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Staying afloat? Making home and creating place on London’s canals and rivers

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  • Full or part time
    Prof A Owens
    Prof G Wharton
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About This PhD Project

Project Description

• Academic lead: Professor Alastair Owens, Queen Mary University of London

• Co-supervisor: Professor Geraldene Wharton, Queen Mary University of London

• Partners: Sorwar Ahmed, Canal & River Trust; Eleanor John, Geffrye Museum of the Home (

• Funding: LISS-DTP ESRC Collaborative studentship, +3 (PhD) or 1+3 (MRes Geography or MRes Cities and Cultures and PhD)

• Application deadline: 23rd February 2018

Project Description

The London Assembly estimates that at least 10,000 people now make their homes on London’s waterways, occupying 4000 vessels, and living at fixed points in the city (home moorers) or moving every two weeks to different locations (continuous cruisers). This phenomenon has been triggered by the escalating costs of ‘on land’ housing but also by Londoners seeking an alternative lifestyle. These waterside environments are also emerging as novel public spaces with regeneration promoting opportunities for recreation and new economic activities, especially those centred around food and the arts. Benefitting from a collaboration with the Canal & River Trust and The Geffrye Museum for the Home, this interdisciplinary project is the first detailed study of the communities living on London’s waterways. It seeks to understand how these communities form and operate and how they manage the challenges of canal boat living. The research will contribute to our theoretical understanding of home and place making and, specifically, it will generate new evidence to help the CRT and other stakeholders better understand the needs of those who make their homes on London’s canals and rivers and help inform the development of these waterway environments as sustainable and high-quality places for people and wildlife.

For further details on the project please see here:

Applications must be made through the LISS DTP website:

Please do not hesitate to contact the academic lead Prof Alastair Owen to discuss the details of the proposed project.

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