Franklin, Alex

Franklin, Alex

RECOMS Project Coordinator, Senior Research Fellow

Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience, Coventry University, UK

Academic background

My research is inspired by the need to advance understanding, and in turn develop more conducive ways of supporting and recording, the role of shared community practice in sustainable place-making. My primary research interests are orientated around community resource use, shared practice, collaborative governance of green and blue space, ‘sustainable place-making’ and skills, knowledge and learning for sustainability. This includes, for example, exploring how differing ways of knowing, understanding and ‘doing’ sustainability practice are brought together through place-based initiatives; the role of shared community resource ownership and/ or collaborative forms of resource management and use, in contributing to meaningful relationships between people and the natural environment; and, the role of shared practice and situated knowledge in enhancing the ‘sustainable productivity’ of a local resource base. Reflective of my human geography background, my interest in the notion of sustainable place-making is founded in a fascination with emplaced nature-society relations. As part of my focus on shared practice, I am also interested in researching human-animal relations.


Prior to joining CAWR Alex was a Research Fellow at the Sustainable Places Research Institute, Cardiff University, and previously, a senior research associate/ research manager at the ESRC Centre for Business Relationships, Accountability, Sustainability and Society (BRASS). Although originally a human geographer by training, her constant involvement since 2005, in inter- multi- and cross- disciplinary research practice, sees her identifying more closely these days with the broader field of (social) sustainability science.

Alex specialises in qualitative research techniques, with much of her work informed by a participatory action research approach to study design. She is experienced in researching community-based sustainable place making both within the UK and internationally. This includes, for example, on-going collaboration with colleagues from Colombia, Brazil, Canada, China and mainland Europe. For the period 2011-2015 she was also a co-editor of the international Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning (Taylor and Francis).

External funding sources supporting Alex's research to date have included the UK Economic and Social Research Council, Welsh Government, Canal and Rivers Trust, The Law Society (Wales), Sustrans and the Forestry Commission. She has also previously received funding to participate in international visiting research scholarships in Finland (Ruralia, University of Helsinki) and Hungary (Hungary Academy of Sciences, Budapest). Most recently, as coordinator (together with partner institutions from five other European countries), Alex has been successful in securing funding for a Marie Skłodowska-Curie–Innovative Training Network, entitled ‘RECOMS’ (2018-2022). Funded by the European Commission, the purpose of RECOMS is to train 15 Early Stage Research (ESR) Fellows in innovative, transdisciplinary and transformative approaches to promoting and facilitating resourceful and resilient community environmental practice. For further information please see: