Jane McAllister

Jane is the Architecture BA co-Course Leader for the School of Art, Architecture and Design and also serves as tutor for the undergraduate Studio three.

Portrait of Jane McAllister

Jane McAllister

Jane McAllister is an academic and architect. She is the BA co-Course Leader for The School of Art Architecture and Design and practices on a number of live community projects at home and abroad, working with international Universities and NGO’s. Her design based PhD explores community wellbeing as identity, memory and myth through the bricolage of their practices. She co-runs a design atelier which explores ‘crossing cultures’, which looks specifically at issues around migration impacting on settlement and identity and has co-authored chapters in ‘The politics of making’ published by Routledge and ‘Angels of suburbia’ in the ARQ Journals and Re-imagining Rurality. She is also part of the Architecture of Rapid Change and Scarce Resources (ARCSR) research group at London Met. 

Socio-spatial Practices of Well-being: City Farms as Authors of Civic Ecologies

Dr Matthew Barac and Pierre d'Avoine

If well-being is valuable in a moral, objective sense, then an individual’s autonomy and freedom to set goals should be supported by the wider socio-cultural, spatially-constituted context in order to flourish. The thesis explores the socio-spatial practices of city farms and the value that they bring to the community by fostering ‘well-being’ from the ground up. The research aims to articulate the operational strategies for these practices, exploring how they engage with horizons of involvement, and teasing out the networks formed to initiate policy change. The critical approach adopted endeavours to be mindful of different scales of practice and how do these practices build networks of engagement that influence the flourishing of individuals, the local neighbourhood and moral objectives of the city farm as an institution.

The registered charity Social Farms & Gardens (SF&G) promotes community managed green spaces including ‘city farms’. Historically, these develop on land that is commercially unviable and in locations open to increased community engagement. The physical and social repair of these sites is supported by local residents, reinforced by a symbolic image of farming and underpinned by a commitment to care for and nurture the collective good.

This research builds an argument for framing the role of city farms in promoting well-being that – by providing a spatial setting and social storyline – functions to narrate better cycles of living oriented to the public good: as authors of civic ecologies. If city farms are to achieve their claim of well-being as related to ‘the good life’ and eudaimonia, it follows that their virtues are an attempt to ‘join up’ and repair our modern lifestyles that have, attests Cooper, been partitioned into public, civic, professional and private lives, where conduct is ordinarily relegated out to individual ‘choice’ or ‘preference’.


Book chapters

BA co-Course Leader for The School of Art Architecture and Design.