In urban theory our knowledge of actually existing justice practices in the city are limited. In contrast, our collective knowledge of the ways an ethic of care is practised is better developed. In this paper I argue for the need to value care in conceptualisations of the just city by mobilising the unification of care-thinking and justice-thinking in a way that accepts that both care and justice may (or may not) be practised as situated responses to injustice and neglect, and as other ways of doing/thinking/being the city. I argue that researcher volunteering can help reveal actually existing justice and care in the city in their situated context. Drawing on a research project that documents everyday practices of care and justice at Alfalfa House Food Cooperative, Sydney, Australia, I use the example of waste to explore the ways actually existing care and justice are practised. My aim is to expose how, within everyday urban community organisations, the transformative and relational expressions of care and justice can be revealed through researcher volunteering. By focusing on the actually existing expressions of care and justice in the city we might begin to see how the just (and caring) city is being made and remade in the here and now.
- researcher volunteering
- urban theory