PhD Candidate in Urbanism, Community Resilience and Ecological Transition

Updated: 4 months ago
Deadline: 07 Feb 2022

The TU/e Department of the Built Environment is currently seeking ONE PhD candidate to join the Urbanism and Urban Architecture research group and work on the CoNECT project - Collective Networks for Everyday Community Resilience and Ecological Transition, led by Dr. Oana Druta. The project is a cross-national collaborative project funded under the JPI ENUTC Capacity for Urban Transformation scheme.

About the Project

The CoNECT project will catalyze networks for collective action in six EU countries, aiming to boost community organizing capacity by recognizing, mapping, connecting, and strengthening everyday practices of community resilience toward ecological transition.

CoNECT focuses on the mechanisms of setting up spaces and practices of everyday resilience at the neighbourhood scale through the complex partnerships required to scale up and enhance the transformational agency of local civic dynamics for ecological transition. Community resilience is understood as a process linking a network of adaptive capacities - resources that have

dynamic attributes - to adaptation in the face of adversity. CoNECT envisions multi-actor networks as a way to let innovative ecologies have the maximum positive impact where the methods and tools of the project allows these innovations to strengthen the local communities on one hand and on the other the new initiatives and networks can be seen as a new type of urban entrepreneurship.

The project builds on the following principles:

Putting the focus on places and practices of everyday community resilience, and recognising their value for crisis resilience, as well as, reorienting the theories and practices of public space, making room for other actors (institutional, as well as entrepreneurial) to join in and bring resources towards increasing the commons and sustaining social justice (as required by The New Urban Agenda Habitat III). Drawing on theories of the urban commons we see practices of resilience as embedded in place, producing situated, collaborative knowledge that challenges dominant discourses and enables just and inclusive ecological transitions.
Unpacking the partnerships and collaborations behind places and practices of resilience will offer a series of models of adaptation to climate changes and societal transformation that will inspire citizens to engage further in social innovation; but will also communicate the idea that partnerships at all levels are the ones that help drive the huge transformations in environment, society and the economy that the European Green Deal calls for. We draw on feminist care ethics to propose a conceptualization of collaborations for resilience as acts of care.
Piloting toward innovative community buidling: from new roles of professionals of the built environment, to new ways in which public institutions canproduce more public value; to the possibilities of making a living for oneself while serving a larger purpose to 'imagine and build a future that is sustainable, inclusive and beautiful for our minds and for our souls' (New European Bauhaus).
Scaling up through innovative dissemination strategies will be a key factor in the project. The project will  co-produce transnational and transdisciplinary research on resources, partnership models, and stakeholder networks, legal and policy frameworks, practices and spaces; and ethnographic research in specific neighbourhoods in the participating cities/countries, involving neighbours, professionals, and institutional actors. It will collect, document, organize, and visualize this knowledge through an interactive map, open to participatory crowdsourcing tools and citizen science cloud services. At least four 'Collective Networks for Community Resilience and Ecological Transition- Labs' (CoNECT Labs), in the six partner countries, will be initiated building on the paramount experience of the R-Urban hubs as a leading model.

What will you be doing?

Your main task as a PhD candidate will be to develop your own research project utilizing enthographic and participatory action research methods, and focused on ecologically conscious and socially sustainable living concepts in several case study neighbourhoods in the Netherlands.

In addition, you are expected to contribute to the collaborative aspects of the project, including:

  • Developing a methodology for identifying, mapping and visualizing practices of community resilience in collaboration with the project PI
  •  Maintaining close contact with the project team in the Netherlands (including municipal, and community partners), as well as with the entire consortium with teams in Romania, France, Spain, Sweden and Norway.
  • Supporting the activities of the PI in setting up the Co-NECT labs

The position also requires you to:

  • Publish and (co-)author papers for leading scientific journals and conferences;
  • Enthusiastically engage in co-creation activities as part of the living-lab activities of the group.

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