29 July 2020

Young Researcher Award for Aimee’s work on shared outdoor spaces

PhD candidate Aimee Felstead has been awarded the Young Researchers Award from the 2020 International Association of People-environment Studies (IAPS) conference.

Aimee Felstead
Aimee received the award following her presentation on resident participation in UK cohousing landscapes

Aimee, whose PhD aims to identify ‘what works and what doesn't for residents’ involvement in shared outdoor spaces’, received the accolade following her presentation - A pattern language for urban commons: resident participation in UK cohousing landscapes - at the conference in June.

“Being presented the Young Researcher’s Award during the virtual banquet ceremony in Quebec was a surreal moment, and for my research to be recognised in this way was the icing on the cake.”

Aimee Felstead

Originally scheduled to take place in Quebec, the IAPS conference was re-imagined as a virtual event, with presenters and delegates logging in from around the world.

Aimee said: “presenting at the IAPS virtual conference in Canada from my laptop at home in Sheffield was a completely new, but rewarding experience for me. It was fantastic to get such valuable feedback from mentors and interact with researchers from around the world during a time when most of us are limited to working from home.”

“Being presented the Young Researcher’s Award during the virtual banquet ceremony in Quebec was a surreal moment, and for my research to be recognised in this way was the icing on the cake.”

Aimee’s research looks at examples of urban cohousing – a type of community-led housing development with shared facilities – to identify solutions and challenges for residents’ participation in shared outdoor spaces.

The ambition of the research is to develop a tool for resident groups and designers to share design and management solutions for getting involved in their own shared outdoor spaces.

Aimee’s presentation included the findings from her first case study – an urban cohousing site in the North of England – where residents have been sending Aimee video diaries to share their experiences. 

Aimee’s supervisor, Dr Kevin Thwaites said: “The IAPS conference draws together a large international audience of delegates which represent the leading edge of global research in human-environment relations and is mostly populated by environmental psychologists, as well as a smattering of representation from built environment and landscape oriented researchers."

"It’s not all that common for someone not in the mainstream of environmental psychology research to get this award as standards are always very high, so this is quite a big deal for Aimee and the Department. It indicates Aimee’s ability to persuasively reach across disciplinary boundaries with her research into residential urban commons.”

Read more: A Conceptul Framework for Urban Commoning