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Chiara Certomà, Martin Sondermann and Susan Noori

1 Urban gardening and the quest for just uses of space in Europe Chiara Certomà, Martin Sondermann and Susan Noori Every bit of land you see around you, from the lawn across the street to the street itself to the schoolyard at the end, is used according to a decision made by someone. The decision may not have involved you at the time, but you’re involved now because it makes a difference in the kind of world you live in and react to every day. If land matters, so too do all the things that may or may not grow on it … You’re a player, which means you help

in Urban gardening and the struggle for social and spatial justice

It is increasingly clear that, alongside the spectacular forms of justice activism, the actually existing just city results from different everyday practices of performative politics that produce transformative trajectories and alternative realities in response to particular injustices in situated contexts. The massive diffusion of urban gardening practices (including allotments, community gardens, guerrilla gardening and the multiple, inventive forms of gardening the city) deserve special attention as experiential learning and in-becoming responses to spatial politics, able to articulate different forms of power and resistance to the current state of unequal distribution of benefits and burdens in the urban space. While advancing their socio-environmental claims, urban gardeners make evident that the physical disposition of living beings and non-living things can both determine and perpetuate injustices or create justice spaces.

In so doing, urban gardeners question the inequality-biased structuring and functioning of social formations (most notably urban deprivation, lack of public decision and engagement, and marginalisation processes); and conversely create (or allow the creation of) spaces of justice in contemporary cities.

This book presents a selection of contributions investigating the possibility and capability of urban gardeners to effectively tackle spatial injustice; and it offers the readers sound, theoretically grounded reflections on the topic. Building upon on-the-field experiences in European cities, it presents a wide range of engaged scholarly researches that investigate whether, how and to what extent urban gardening is able to contrast inequalities and disparities in living conditions.

Young people in migrant worker families in Ireland
Naomi Tyrrell

enhancing migration research by incorporating migrants’ experiences, feelings and narratives into our understandings of what it means to migrate. This chapter brings these two bodies of research together by focusing on the experiences of children and young people in migrant worker families in Europe, i.e. children and young people who have migrated to Ireland because one or both of their parents have migrated for employment. These children’s and young people’s experiences often are overlooked because of the narrow definitions related to child migration and the assumption

in Spacing Ireland
Tim Robinson, culture and environment

Unfolding Irish landscapes offers a comprehensive and sustained study of the work of cartographer, landscape writer and visual artist Tim Robinson. The visual texts and multi-genre essays included in this book, from leading international scholars in Irish Studies, geography, ecology, environmental humanities, literature and visual culture, explore Robinson’s writing, map-making and art. Robinson’s work continues to garner significant attention not only in Ireland, but also in the United Kingdom, Europe and North America, particularly with the recent celebration of the twenty-fifth anniversary of his monumental Stones of Aran: pilgrimage. Robert Macfarlane has described Robinson’s work in Ireland as ‘one of the most sustained, intensive and imaginative studies of a landscape that has ever been carried out’. It is difficult to separate Robinson the figure from his work and the places he surveys in Ireland – they are intertextual and interconnected. This volume explores some of these characteristics for both general and expert readers alike. As individual studies, the essays in this collection demonstrate disciplinary expertise. As parts of a cohesive project, they form a collective overview of the imaginative sensibility and artistic dexterity of Robinson’s cultural and geographical achievements in Ireland. By navigating Robinson’s method of ambulation through his prose and visual creations, this book examines topics ranging from the politics of cartography and map-making as visual art forms to the cultural and environmental dimensions of writing about landscapes.

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Private greed, political negligence and housing policy after Grenfell

As the tragedy of the Grenfell Tower fire of 14 June 2017 has slowly revealed a shadowy background of outsourcing and deregulation, and a council turning a blind eye to health and safety concerns, many questions need answers. Stuart Hodkinson has those answers. Safe as Houses weaves together Stuart’s research over the last decade with residents’ groups in council regeneration projects across London to provide the first comprehensive account of how Grenfell happened and how it could easily have happened in multiple locations across the country. It draws on examples of unsafe housing either refurbished or built by private companies under the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) to show both the terrible human consequences of outsourcing and deregulation and how the PFI has enabled developers, banks and investors to profiteer from highly lucrative, taxpayer-funded contracts. The book also provides shocking testimonies of how councils and other public bodies have continuously sided with their private partners, doing everything in their power to ignore, deflect and even silence those who speak out. The book concludes that the only way to end the era of unsafe regeneration and housing provision is to end the disastrous regime of self-regulation. This means strengthening safety laws, creating new enforcement agencies independent of government and industry, and replacing PFI and similar models of outsourcing with a new model of public housing that treats the provision of shelter as ‘a social service’ democratically accountable to its residents.

100 years of Ireland in National Geographic magazine
Patrick J. Duffy

as an exotic other on the edge of Europe. For much of the twentieth century, Ireland was perceived as a comparatively poor, quaintly nostalgic location for the American imagination. Even during the brash economic boom in the late twentieth century, NG’s representations of Irish landscape and society frequently reached back to earlier lyrical imagery of a laid-back, misty isle. While critically evaluating its depictions of Ireland, our own self-image in the first half of the twentieth century in many ways mirrored what NG was doing – a discourse of rural social

in Spacing Ireland
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Geographies of the post-boom era
Denis Linehan and Caroline Crowley

Employment, where she was depicted as a New European. She remembered ‘her country in the 1980s as an inward-looking place, locked into age-old doctrines and rivalries’ (Baker, 1999). She concluded that to deal with the challenges of globalisation, ‘[g]eography has to be irrelevant’. With this vision came new depictions of Ireland on the global stage. On the cover of Harney’s 1999 Asia Strategy Group report (Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, 1999), Ireland is depicted floating in the South China Sea. In this image of the island liberated from geography

in Spacing Ireland
Communities and collaboration along the Irish border
Caroline Creamer and Brendan O’Keeffe

isolationist socio-economic, political and physical development policies by promoting social progress, ecological conservation 58 Communities and collaboration along the border and innovations in economic development, and improving access to local services. The opening up of the Irish border and the progress of collaborative initiatives along it, parallels a process of deepening integration throughout the European Union (EU). This is associated with nations putting the legacy of world wars and territorial disputes behind them, and striving for peace. The prevalence of

in Spacing Ireland
Philip Lawton

spaces (McCann, 2008). Thus, the image of the city centre as both a safe entertainment venue and a place for middle-class living has formed the key element in the way the futures of cities have been officially imagined and promoted. The enhancement of city centres in Europe in recent decades has been directly influenced by what can be summarised as a European city model (McNeill, 1999). The European city model extols a geographic imaginary of the virtues of a relaxed, safe or urbane form of social interaction within a finely grained urban fabric associated with

in Spacing Ireland
Securing or denying minorities’ right to the city?
Parama Roy

community development projects, casting those who are unable to participate as undeserving of citizenship rights (Ghose and Pettygrove, 2014). While sufficient research on community gardening and its relevance to civil society –​especially within the current market-​driven political-​ economic condition  –​exists, the subtle similarities and differences between the extensively explored US (and to some extent UK) experience and that from the rest of the global North is only beginning to unfold as more scholars focus on these issues in the European State context (Certomà et

in Urban gardening and the struggle for social and spatial justice