Spaces of care, service-provision and austerity
John has a major research interest in the processes through which spaces, services and policies for children, young people and families are produced, regulated and lived-with, particularly ‘in the current climate’ of austerity politics in the UK. John has been Principal or Co-Investigator on 30+ externally-funded studies of diverse youth organisations, public libraries, Sure Start Children’s Centres, youth involvement projects, spaces of care, and spaces of learning/teaching in the UK. For example, in 2007-09 John collaborated with colleagues from Coventry University and University of Leicester on a major AHRC/ESPSRC-funded study of pupil participation in school building (re)design and renewal policies in the UK. John is co-editor of new books on Austerity Across Europe (Routledge, 2021) and International Perspectives on Childhood and Youth in Hard Times (Policy Press, 2021).
Everyday geographies of sustainable urbanism
In 2009-13, John collaborated with colleagues from the Universities of Leeds, Birmingham and Leicester on the major three year ESRC-funded New Urbanisms, New Citizens study of children and young people’s lives, mobilities and participation in new, large-scale urban developments constituted by the Sustainable Communities agenda in England. Findings from the project have been published in the book Children Living in Sustainable Built Environments (Routledge, 2018) as well as an extensive programme of research outputs and impacts. John was also Mentor for Dr. Sophie Hadfield-Hill’s ESRC Future Research Leader project on New Urbanisms in India, and a member of the ESRC/CONFAP-funded Sharing Futures/Partilhandø Futurøs knowledge exchange programme between Brazilian Engineering Scientists and British Human Geographers. John collaborated with colleagues from Universities of Birmingham, Leicester and Sao Paulo State as Co-Investigator on the threeyear ESRC/Newton/FAPESP-funded project (R)econnect the Nexus: Young Brazilians’ Experiences of and Learning about Food-Water-Energy
Children and young people’s play and popular culture
John has a longstanding research interest in relation to children and young people’s play and popular culture. On one hand he has completed a number of large-scale funded projects focusing on diverse designated play-spaces, which he has written up as a sequence of peer-reviewed papers about the complex, bodily, everyday, social-material, emotional-affective, often-exclusionary geographies of outdoor play. On the other hand, John has written a series of peer-reviewed papers about children and young people’s engagements with different forms of popular culture (e.g. children’s TV, pop music, toys, books, collectables). With Prof. Peter Kraftl (University of Birmingham) John has written a range of conceptual, critical and methodological reflections upon interdisciplinary work on geographies of children and young people. In their continuing work, they have sought to develop playful, creative, autoethnographic, multiperspectival styles of thinking-writing-doing in order to acknowledge the complexities of everyday, bodily, social-material, emotional-affective geographies.