Gathering Voices:

Lead Research Organisation: Newcastle University
Department Name: Sch of Architect, Planning & Landscape


Developing, supporting and implementing place-based strategies to improve the sustainability and resilience of rural communities in Scotland.

The principle objective of this study is to explore how rural communities can successfully respond to the twin challenges of rural decline and climate change. The research focusses on community-led transformations taking place in the Scottish Islands. The Small Islands, Outer Hebrides and Orkney Islands have been identified as potential case studies. These archipelagos represent a diversity of contexts and community aspirations. In each, local communities have affected bottom-up transformations by working collaboratively over decadal timescales. The study seeks to understand these contexts as complex and dynamic socio-ecological systems. It will analyse and evaluate the strategies, structures and processes adopted by islanders to improve sustainability and resilience. It will explore how a greater awareness of existing and/or potential socio-ecological relationships might contribute to the evolution of place-based strategies which maximise community co-benefits. It will investigate the effectiveness of different analytical approaches in communicating the complex and dynamic nature of these socio-ecological systems to stakeholders, and how these might aid the design and adaptive management of integrated place-based strategies. And it will examine the importance of collaboration, community empowerment, multi-stakeholder involvement and responsive multi-level governance in securing these community transformations. In its execution, the study will draw on knowledge, tools and techniques from both the natural and social sciences and use a mix of quantitative and qualitative approaches. The study of socio-ecological systems is a new and evolving field; so this study has the potential to be significant in both academic discourse and the practical application of this knowledge.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
ES/P000762/1 30/09/2017 29/09/2027
2717152 Studentship ES/P000762/1 30/09/2022 30/03/2028 Frances Wright