Dr Michael Buser

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About me

I joined the Centre for Sustainable Planning and Environments (SPE) in 2010 after completing my PhD on city-regional governance in the US and UK.  My research interests focus around three broad concepts:  community activism and creativity; community planning; and urban/spatial theory. I am currently exploring all of these themes through various engagements with water - amongst activists for social and environmental change, in urban infrastructure, and in coastal settings.  

Area of expertise

In 2012 I conducted a scoping study for the AHRC's Connected Communities programme on the topic of cultural activism. More information can be found here: http://www.culturalactivism.org.uk/ 

In 2013 I led a multi-partner Connected Communities project called 'Foodscapes' where we brought arts and performance into communication with two local food initiatives in Bristol.  Our website is here: http://foodscapesbristol.wordpress.com/ 

I recently finished a UWE SPUR project on affect and place meaning with a focus on the Bearpit (a public space in the centre of Bristol).  Here is an audio/visual collage of the work: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KS7DOwz5Od0&feature=youtu.be

As part of the SPUR work, I led a workshop series on methods in postphenomenology.  Have a look at the webpage! http://postphenomenology.wordpress.com/

I recently took part of a multi-year project funded by the AHRC looking at the idea of 'hydro-citizenship' (2014-2017).  I looked at the role of maintenance workers and inspectors in urban water infrastructure systems.  Here is the website: http://www.hydrocitizenship.com . and a short video of some of our work on infrastructure (with David Hopkinson) here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-s_WAJdrFo&feature=youtu.be   

I am currently (2017) co-investigator on Urban-ID (http://www.urban-id.co.uk), a collaborative project developing new approaches and diagnostics to understand and address several key urban challenges. My involvement on the project centres on leading a case study on health and happiness amongst older people in the neighbourhood of Staple Hill. 

I am Principal Investigator for an AHRC-funded research network looking at relations of care in traditional water infrastructures in Rajasthan, India (2017-2018). The network will explore how community-based arts can contribute to understandings and improvements in the welfare of those living in conditions of water scarcity. Here is the project website: https://rajasthanwater.weebly.com/

I am Principal Investigator for the British Academy Knowledge Frontiers project:  Community resilience in locales of coastal erosion: local knowledge, culture and practice in the Upper Gulf of Thailand (2018-2019) .  In this work, we will collaborate with Chulalongkorn University (Engineering Department / Coastal Engineering), artists and people living along the coast south of Bangkok.  The area is experiencing extreme levels of coastal erosion and environmental change. ​https://thailandwater.weebly.com​ 


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