Commonality as the place of urban nature: Methodological approaches to familiar engagement in urban green communities

  • Anette Gravgaard Christensen
  • Troels Krarup
  • Amanda Krog Juvik
  • Jakob Laage-Thomsen
Keywords: Urban nature, place-attachment, familiar engagement, French pragmatism, Laurent Thévenot, urban green communities


This article presents three methodological approaches to the study of urban nature as a location for what we call »commonality«, an idea which is basedon the concept of »familiar engagement« from the pragmatic sociology of Laurant Thevenot. Whereas the concept of familiar engagement itself bearsresemblance to »place attachment« as used in, for example, psychology and geography, our broader theoretical approach has the advantage of couplingindividual engagement with the concept of social coordination in the form of commonality. Thus, the approach draws analytical attention to the potentialinterplay between familiar engagements and other forms of engagement in the city’s green places, namely functional engagements in plans and publicengagements in justification. The analytical question, approached from three methodological angles, is what types of relationships exist between familiarengagement and commonality in urban nature, and the other forms of engagements and commonality (plan, justification). The methodological pluralismof the paper results in a general claim about the relationship between familiar, functional and justifiable engagement in urban nature, and that futureresearch should take into account the many possible compositions of placeattachments, and not reduce these to one simple phenomena.


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