“Positive parochialism”, local belonging and ecological concerns: Revisiting Common Ground's Parish Maps project

Devine-Wright, Patrick, Smith, Jos ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3826-6416 and Batel, Susana (2019) “Positive parochialism”, local belonging and ecological concerns: Revisiting Common Ground's Parish Maps project. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 44 (2). pp. 407-421. ISSN 0020-2754

[thumbnail of Accepted manuscript]
PDF (Accepted manuscript) - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.

Download (1MB) | Preview


Scepticism about the value of parochialism and local belonging has been a persistent feature of geographical scholarship, which has advocated a relational account of place and a cosmopolitan worldview. This paper revisits the Parish Maps project that was instigated in 1987 by UK arts and environment charity Common Ground, which led to the creation of thousands of maps across the UK and beyond, and was appraised in 1996 by Crouch and Matless in this journal. Drawing on archival materials and in‐depth interviews, we examine the legacy of the project. We argue that Common Ground's vision for Parish Maps represents a “positive parochialism” that confidently asserts the validity of the parish without retreating towards insularity. We complicate this by revealing diverse ways that communities took up Common Ground's vision. We conclude by arguing that the view of parochialism manifest by Parish Maps offers a foundation for ecological concern that remains relevant today, with places offering the potential for solidarities that bring together local and incomer. This “positive parochialism” disturbs assumptions that local attachments are necessarily exclusive and indicates the unresolved challenge of finding ways to realise the value of affect and creative environmental engagement in wider policy and land‐use planning.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: common ground,local belonging,parish maps,parochialism,qualitative method,sdg 15 - life on land ,/dk/atira/pure/sustainabledevelopmentgoals/life_on_land
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing
University of East Anglia Research Groups/Centres > Theme - ClimateUEA
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Modern and Contemporary Writing Research Group
Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Creative-Critical Research Group
Related URLs:
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 04 Dec 2018 16:30
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2023 11:32
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/69164
DOI: 10.1111/tran.12282


Downloads per month over past year

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item