My research focuses broadly on the everyday environmental challenges in cities. In particular, I am interested in understanding how everyday life in urban areas, especially in mundane spaces, is embedded within multi-scalar ecological politics – from gendered human-nature relations in the household to uneven urban environmental problems and governance structures – and how paying attention to this embeddedness might help inform more just urban ecological and social justice efforts. I am especially interested in the gendered and racial politics of urban environmental challenges. My main research approach draws on urban political ecologies, environmental justice, critical urban geography, feminist geographies (especially feminist science studies), and children’s geographies.
Children Nature and Cities
My main research project at present explores the political ecologies of children and youth in cities. In particular, the production of space and the ways in which it regulates the materialities of nature and children in cities. The project has two different foci – theoretical engagements with children, nature and queer theory, and the other focus on children, nature and development (in Managua, Nicaragua)
I have four publications thus far on this topic:
Murnaghan, AM, and Shillington, L. (eds) (2016) Children, Nature, Cities. Ashgate/Routledge Publishing. ISBN 978-1-4724-5317-4.
Shillington, L. and A.M. Murnaghan (2016) Urban Political Ecologies and Children’s Geographies: Queering Ecological of Childhood, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research (20pp.)
Shillington, L. (2016) ‘Birds are for the girls’: children’s media landscape and the emotional geographies of urban natures, in Skelton, T., Dwyer, C., & Worth, N. (eds). Geographies of Children and Young People: Volume 4: Geographies of Identities and Subjectivities, Springer Reference.
Gender, environmental justice and sensory political ecologies in Managua, Nicaragua
I have a research project that focuses on issues of gender, health and environmental justice in Managua, Nicaragua. Working in collaboration with the Nicaraguan NGO FUNDECI, the project examines a case study of big cola and urban zoning, focusing in particular on gender, health and emotional ecologies as well as community mobility around spatial and environmental justice.
I have one publication (and one forthcoming) on this project:
Shillington, L. (14 February, 2016) ‘The Ecologies of Senses and Environmental Justice in Managua’, http://www.thenatureofcities.com/2016/02/14/13126/
See sample video on effluent and sound pollution from Big Cola in Managua.
Open source geographic information science, spatial knowledge, and Cegep-level geography
**Project funded by an ECQ grant (June 2017 to June 2018)
The research project explores the use of open-source mapping for teaching Geographic Information Science (GIScience) at the Cegep level and will produce a series of modules (pedagogical tools) to introduce students to GIScience using open-source mapping.
2017 is International Map Year (mapyear.org)
Nature and graffiti in cities
I have been working in collaboration with the Nature of Cities curating an online (crowd-sourced) gallery of nature-themed graffiti. See http://thenatureofgraffiti.org/
Shillington, L. (23 March 2016) ‘Graffiti, space, and gender’, Nature of Cities Global Roundtable. www.thenatureofcities.com/graffitiandstreetart
Maddox, D., Anderson, P., Downton, P., Fantin, E. Gomez, G., Goodness, J., Houck, M., Lester, T., Lydon, P., Milillo, P., & Shillington, L. (20 January 2016) Creative Place-Making—This is The Nature of Graffiti’, http://www.thenatureofcities.com/2016/01/20/creative-place-making-this-is-the-nature-of-graffiti/