whether for dealing with climate change, addressing racial inequity, tackling poverty, or creating a more sustainable food system. However, land is rarely discussed in the UK, and most people know little about it. This means we need to find ways to popularise the evidence around historic and current land use, and create powerful narratives that capture imaginations. For this reason, Shared Assets thinks it is vital to undertake and communicate research on land, in order to:
- Raise awareness about land, and the ways its links to many other key issues we’re facing as a society, amongst people involved in land work, policy makers and funders, and the wider public
- Bring to light some of the challenges people who work with the land, or those who would like to, have to deal with to survive in the sector
- Put forward or test potential solutions to these problems, or new models for managing land
We prioritise research which is participatory, practical, and pressing - read more about our Research Approach here.
Shared Assets contributes to land-based research in two main ways:
- We work alongside communities involved in working on the land to help us collectively understand the challenges and opportunities the common good land sector offers to address some of the systemic issues mentioned above.
- We offer bespoke consultancy services or responses to tenders for specific clients interested in finding out more about a specific issue related to the land in their work.
By taking on research in both these spheres, we seek to create the conditions in which people using or stewarding land for the common good can thrive, through making an impact at a local and a systemic level.
We are interested in applying our skills and experience as part of any research project, partnership, bid or consortium loosely related to land, community or the environment.
Just some of the key areas we have identified with our peers as useful for research currently include:
- Community organising around land use and ways for a wider public to form meaningful connections with the land and each other
- Volunteering in the land sector (its ethics, opportunities and complexities)
- The different business models at work in the sector (specifically to better understand their potential to scale and the conditions that need to be in place to sustain repayable finance)
- Community-led soil care and remediation, particularly in urban areas
- The life cycles of community land projects, to understand how learning from those no longer active can be carried forward, and to calculate more comprehensively their impact on the local economy/links to community wealth building