Jenny is a Professor of Environmental Geography. Her work has been funded by the ESRC, Urban Studies Foundation, British Academy, Leverhulme Trust, Winston Churchill Memorial Trust and the Independent Social Research Foundation.
Jenny’s research focuses on inspiring grassroots solutions to environmental problems and in hopeful and positive ways in which we can change social practices. This work includes a concern for justice; recognising that the broader context of environmental problems is often inequality, colonialism, racism and neo-liberalism. She focuses on 3 interrelated themes: 1) experimental solutions, 2) self-built eco-homes, and 3) eco-communities, especially in an urban context.
The first strand of her research focuses on experimental solutions to environmental problems. This stems from a recognition that activists are often advocating and practicing alternatives to contemporary capitalist lifestyles, but that there is a lack of research examining the potential of these innovations. In this future orientated work it is particularly necessary to understand and employ emotions, especially hope, but also guilt, fear and anger.
The second strand is a particular focus on eco-homes which are self-built, off-grid, and affordable. She has explored such homes as potential responses to worldwide housing crises through international case studies in her book Eco-homes: People, Place and Politics.
The third strand explores the potential of collective living and working through the creation of eco-communities. Drawing again on international examples she is examining how the physical and social infrastructures of communities work, the challenges they face and the possibilities of replication.