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#UnThinkingLand: ‘thinking in public’ about land

Mark Walton

We’ve been thinking…

Over the next few weeks we’ll be writing a number of blog posts as we do some ‘thinking in public’ on how we can make collective decisions about what we want from land, and how we can collaborate to implement them. We’d love you join us in #UnThinkingLand

Our Director, Kate Swade, recently wrote a blog post reflecting on the Fabian Society’s recent #GreenPlaces event. In it she considered the challenges of moving from a shared analysis of the current challenges we face in managing land and public green space, to agreeing what we should do about it.

She identified two key issues:

  • Firstly we need to start thinking of the environment as the basis of our society and economy, and as something we should be seeking to nurture and grow, rather than as something ‘out there’ to be either exploited or conserved.
  • Changing how we manage our land and natural resources will require us to reconsider the relationships we have with the state, with the environment, and with each other. We will need new processes and structures to make decisions about how we collectively use and manage our resources. 

These issues lie at the heart of much of our work. In short: how do we make collective decisions about what we want from land, and how do we collaborate to implement them?

We have therefore decided to do some ‘thinking in public’ in order to explore these issues further. In a series of upcoming blogs we’ll be exploring the potential for different ways of thinking about land and how systems thinking can help us collaborate to make change happen. We will also be reviewing some of the emerging models of ownership and management in relation to parks and public open spaces and then considering how we can apply some of this thinking about systems, commons governance and group dynamics to help make land work for everyone.


How do we make collective decisions about land? #UnThinkingLand

We’d love for you to help us develop our thinking about how we a can ‘unthink’ land, so please follow the blog series, leave us comments, send us interesting links and ask us questions. We’ll be posting to our Facebook page and on our Twitter feed where we’ll be using the hashtag #UnThinkingLand.

We are kicking this series off with our reflections about the recent We Own It event exploring the future of public ownership. It got us thinking about how we work with others to make change happen inside existing systems and, once again, the importance of being able to make local decisions within a larger ‘common good’ framework.

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