Alex Franklin


  • 10 h-Index
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Personal profile

Vision Statement

My research is inspired by the need to advance understanding, and in turn develop more conducive ways of supporting and recording, the role of shared community practice in sustainable place-making. My primary research interests are orientated around community resource use, shared practice, collaborative governance of green and blue space, ‘sustainable place-making’ and skills, knowledge and learning for sustainability. This includes, for example, exploring how differing ways of knowing, understanding and ‘doing’ sustainability practice are brought together through place-based initiatives; the role of shared community resource ownership and/ or collaborative forms of resource management and use, in contributing to meaningful relationships between people and the natural environment; and, the role of shared practice and situated knowledge in enhancing the ‘sustainable productivity’ of a local resource base. Reflective of my human geography background, my interest in the notion of sustainable place-making is founded in a fascination with emplaced nature-society relations. As part of my focus on shared practice, I am also interested in researching human-animal relations.



Prior to joining CAWR Alex was a Research Fellow at the Sustainable Places Research Institute, Cardiff University, and previously, a senior research associate/ research manager at the ESRC Centre for Business Relationships, Accountability, Sustainability and Society (BRASS). Although originally a human geographer by training, her constant involvement since 2005, in inter- multi- and cross- disciplinary research practice, sees her identifying more closely these days with the broader field of (social) sustainability science.

Alex specialises in qualitative research techniques, with much of her work informed by a participatory action research approach to study design. She is experienced in researching community-based sustainable place making both within the UK and internationally. This includes, for example, on-going collaboration with colleagues from Colombia, Brazil, Canada, China and mainland Europe. For the period 2011-2015 she was also a co-editor of the international Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning (Taylor and Francis).

External funding sources supporting Alex's research to date have included the UK Economic and Social Research Council, Welsh Government, Canal and Rivers Trust, The Law Society (Wales), Sustrans and the Forestry Commission. She has also previously received funding to participate in international visiting research scholarships in Finland (Ruralia, University of Helsinki) and Hungary (Hungary Academy of Sciences, Budapest). Most recently, as coordinator (together with partner institutions from five other European countries), Alex has been successful in securing funding for a Marie Skłodowska-Curie–Innovative Training Network, entitled ‘RECOMS’ (2018-2022). Funded by the European Commission, the purpose of RECOMS is to train 15 Early Stage Research (ESR) Fellows in innovative, transdisciplinary and transformative approaches to promoting and facilitating resourceful and resilient community environmental practice. For further information please see:


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Research Output 2004 2019

  • 10 h-Index
  • 18 Article
  • 3 Chapter
  • 2 Other report
  • 2 Review article

Decentralizing Geographies of Political Action: Civic tech and Place-Based Municipalism

Husain, S. O., Franklin, A. & Roep, D., 22 Jan 2019, (Accepted/In press) In : Journal of Peer Production. (In-press), p. (In-press) 28 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

political action
civil society
decentralization of power

Interpreting animals in spaces of co-habitance: narration and the role of animal agency at horse livery yards

Schuurman, N. & Franklin, A., 1 Feb 2019, Equine Cultures in Transition: Ethical Questions. Bornemark, J., Andersson, P. & Ekstrom von Essen, U. (eds.). 1 ed. Oxon: Routledge, p. 225-239 14 p. (Advances in Sociology).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Citation (Scopus)

A good time to die: Horse retirement yards as shared spaces of interspecies care and accomplishment

Schuurman, N. & Franklin, A., Jan 2018, In : Journal of Rural Studies. 57, p. 110-117 7 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Aging Animal Bodies: Horse Retirement Yards as Relational Spaces of Liminality, Dwelling and Negotiation

Franklin, A. & Schuurman, N., 24 Oct 2017, In : Social and Cultural Geography. (in press), p. (in press)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
1 Citation (Scopus)

Becoming a (green) identity entrepreneur: learning to negotiate situated identities to nurture community environmental practice

Franklin, A. & Dunkley, R., 28 Mar 2017, In : Environment and Planning A. (in press), p. (in press)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
community development

Activities 2007 2014

  • 25 Participation in conference

Sustainability Science Summer School

Alex Franklin (Co-convenor)
30 Jun 20144 Jul 2014

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

Sustainability Science Summer School

Alex Franklin (Co-convenor)
24 Jun 201328 Jun 2013

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

European Society for Rural Sociology

Alex Franklin (Speaker)
29 Jul 20131 Aug 2013

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

Emotional Geographies 2013

Alex Franklin (Speaker)
1 Jul 20133 Jul 2013

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

Engaging Shared Worlds, CUEXPO 2013

Alex Franklin (Speaker)
12 Jul 201315 Jul 2013

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference