The European Commission’s Joint Research Centre is a daunting place to go to deliver a paper. The entrance to the enormous site resembles a border. A row of control cabins, each with an armed guard outside, check every vehicle. Anyone without the necessary permissions goes to a desk to handover ID in return for being checked as an expected visitor. On the way out another armed guard with a german shepherd dog scans your new visitor badge and checks it against your ID again.
The challenges of getting evidence and ideas from research into policy was the focus of a workshop at the Friends Meeting House in London today. Matt Watson presented on some of the basis of the Reshaping the Domestic Nexus project as a contribution to a rich afternoon’s discussion, which went well beyond the usual prescriptions of how to engage policy audiences. The Evidence-Policy Gap was the final event in a series of 9 funded by the ESRC on Behaviour Change, and organised by Fiona Spotswood from the University of West England.
A roundtable conference in the French town of Autun, organised by Olivier Coutard and Jochen Monstadt, was a great opportunity to push new thinking on urban infrastructures in relation to the nexus in cities. I delivered a paper, co-authored with Elizabeth Shove, developed from work in the DEMAND centre to engage with the urban nexus agenda. The paper sets out and seeks to work through the concept of ‘infrastructuration’ as a means of approaching the recursive relations between infrastructures of resource provision, and the everyday practices that constitute the demand for those resources. The paper should be going forward as part of a special issue submission to Urban Studies
The focus of the second workshop in the Domestic Nexus series was on researching and understanding changes in domestic practices which can reduce demand for resources. It took place on 23rd November, at Manchester Friends Meeting House. 35 participants, including from Aalborg, Tartu and Roskilde as well as from around the UK, chewed over ideas and issues in a packed programme of talks and discussions. A full report is published on the Domestic Nexus blog and can be accessed here.
The first ‘nexus at home’ workshop made for an excellent start to the series, with a morning of provocative talks warming us up well for some lively workshop activity orchestrated by Will Medd. An account of the day is over on the project blog, and can be accessed here.