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Lotte Dijkstra

Intersectional Belonging: Exploring equitable access to urban forest qualities across communities

Places can mean different things to different people. This PhD research by creative practice explores how a sense of intersectional belonging contributes to increasing equitable access to urban forest qualities. Intersectional means going beyond binary thinking: we are more than just our gender, age, health status, or other typical markers used in research. Storytelling is used to ensure participants have the opportunity to share their thoughts on urban forestry to the fullest extent. A selection of urban forest places in Northeast England serves as a basis for organising storytelling workshops. Participants are invited to share their stories about those locations in various ways, so-called ‘place-based narratives’. The produced writing is connected to theory to interpret the findings, using writing as a tool for critical thinking. The creative product will develop as an ongoing piece of work, culminating in a series of co-produced illustrated urban forest stories. This final series aims to answer the overall research questions.