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Blue space as caring space – water and the cultivation of care in social and environmental practice

Buser, Michael; Payne, Tom; Edizel, Ozlem; Dudley, Lyze


Tom Payne

Ozlem Edizel

Lyze Dudley


This paper studies three sites or ‘landscapes of care’ in Leeds, Bristol and London where water and associated built and natural environments are used to co-construct and facilitate forms of social and environmental care. Our research narrates the ways in which blue spaces are cultivated for the production of particular forms of caring bodies and sensibilities. Interpreting care as both a doing (caring for) and emotion (caring about), we draw attention to the diverse practices and distributed nature of care in these environments. Our paper has three main insights. First, we draw attention to the role of water as both a material and site of care. Second, we identify a range of more-than-human benefits associated with blue spaces and how these emerge via collaborative, non-linear and reciprocal forms of care. Third, we argue that by understanding how care works in everyday social practice, new forms of ecological care and pro-environmental ways of living with the world can emerge.

Journal Article Type Article
Journal Social and Cultural Geography
Print ISSN 1464-9365
Electronic ISSN 1470-1197
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
APA6 Citation Buser, M., Payne, T., Edizel, O., & Dudley, L. (in press). Blue space as caring space – water and the cultivation of care in social and environmental practice. Social and Cultural Geography,
Keywords care, more-than-human, social change, United Kingdom
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