Use of deep mapping for co-production of knowledges in community development: Lessons from cover cropping in Illinois

Authors: Charles Corwin*,
Topics: Urban and Regional Planning, Agricultural Geography, Field Methods
Keywords: knowledge co-production, actor network theory, deep mapping, community development, conservation agriculture
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM
Room: Ambassador Ballroom, Omni, West
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Planning, and particularly environmental planning and community development, calls for co-production of knowledges, in order to recognize many different voices and build relationships between people and organizations in changing environments (Corburn, 2003). Actor network theory is a radical framework for exploring the co-production of knowledges in material and natural worlds that is used in studying scientific and technological systems and environmental change but is rarely applied in urban planning (Rydin, 2012). This paper draws on a case study of adaptation of cover cropping in agriculture from the perspective of actor network theory and a related methodology of deep mapping to make recommendations for planners on the use of deep mapping in understanding and participating in co-production of knowledges. Actor network theory uses research tools, such as spatio-temporal maps and descriptive narratives (or deep mapping), to represent the activity of network building among key actors (Latour, 2005; Read & Swarts, 2015). I explore deep mapping as a methodology and performative activity to explore and represent the interactions among farmers, agricultural institutions, local ecologies, as well as the larger climatic and economic forces (Springett, 2015). Exploring such interactions in different cropping systems through actor network theory and deep mapping exposes the various actors, knowledges, and practices involved in network formation among a certain agricultural system (i.e., cover cropping).

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