The project will deliver a wide range of academic and publicly facing outcomes including online resources, lively and accessible public engagement activities, and high quality academic and creative outputs. It will culminate with a festival of art, literature, installations, exhibits and talks on the research focussing on urban commons’ cultural, health and wellbeing potential, and disseminating the research outputs to a wide audience of case study communities and stakeholders. These will include:

 1.        A set of public digital resources:

  • Project website hosted by Newcastle University Humanities Research Institute, with chronicle weblog and ‘Guide to Good Practice’ as exemplar for urban commons research.
  • An oral histories depository, making accessible research into the spatial and located memory and use of each common.
  • A radio essay on the political history of land ownership and the development and role of urban commons, interspersed with oral histories material.
  • Four visual and textual ‘Common Placebooks’ as records of and guides to the four urban common case studies, including information on their history, present perception and condition, visual representations across the ages and transcriptions from the oral histories research (also printed as pamphlets for the Festival below).
  • Online ‘Futures’ policy document ‘booklets’ (PDFs) demonstrating a range of future proposals for the case studies.

2.        Interdisciplinary/academic books and articles:

  • A monograph examining the history, archaeology, governance, cultural importance and potential futures of urban commons. Interest in publishing this work has been expressed by Routledge.
  • A book of ‘Common Poetry and Performance’ representations based on two creative commons’ residencies by a poet taking part in the research. This will be co-produced with members of the public, and the publication will trial crowdfunding and be free and open-access.
  • Three peer-reviewed methodological and topic based disciplinary journal articles: for targeted peer-reviewed journals.

3.      A set of archaeological field reports on the historic landscape of each common.

4.      A Festival of the Commons: A culminating festival drawing together and showcasing the research, entitled, ‘Creating Common Land: Past Present Future’. To include: visual representations of commons through the ages; literary outputs (the ‘Common Placebooks’, ‘Futures’ document, ‘Common Poetry and Performance’ book); installations of video and photographs and re-enactments of the engagement activities; presentations by academics; oral history booth; guided walking tours; biodiversity and health initiatives; student architectural ‘live’ projects. To be held in public venues throughout Brighton (May 2021) and Newcastle to coincide with The Hoppings (June 2021). The Festival will focus on urban commons’ cultural, health and wellbeing potential, and disseminate the research outputs to public stakeholders, schools, public groups and individuals, policy makers and academics.
The project will be based on the principle of ‘co-production’ of knowledge. The project’s Advisory Board will meet once a year. The National Trust are project partners and their  extensive expertise in the management of their own large common land estate will be highly relevant to the development of our engagement strategy with local communities in each of the four case studies; it will also be invaluable in putting together the projected Guide to Good Practice for urban commons management and community engagement. There will be 3 symposia – one in each year of the project (focussed respectively on the past, present and future research strands) and workshops in each case study area. The project Advisory Board also includes representation from the Open Spaces Society, Foundation for Common Land, Natural England, the Freemen of Newcastle and a wide range of stakeholders and academics. It is hoped that specialist contributions from the Advisory Board membership will also be highly useful e.g. on technical legal aspects of the project research, or on archival evidence for the historical element of the project.


  • Venue: School of Architecture and Design University of Brighton
  • Date: Tue, 09 Jul 2019 12:30:00 BST

Last modified: Fri, 15 Nov 2019 12:34:38 GMT