Craft, Rhiannon

Rhiannon Craft
Start date:
October 2017
Research Topic:
Exploring responses to urban Vehicle Dwellers amid the escalating housing crisis in Bristol
Research pathway:
Research Supervisor:
Dr Thomas Hall and Dr Kate Moles
Supervising school:
School of Social Sciences,
Primary funding source:
ESRC Studentship

The proposed research is an empirical ethnography of an increasing number of Vehicle Dwellers (VDs), which could be considered to be a third generation of New Travellers (NTs). Recently, connections have been suggested linking this movement to unaffordable housing (e.g: Johnston, 2016; Nsubuga, 2016). I propose to research this movement empirically, in relation to the housing crisis, including responses from local authorities, and their impact.
Existing theoretical frameworks regarding NTs will be developed and reformulated accordingly.

The following questions will be raised:

How do VDs identify themselves? Do they consider nomadism to be a part of their identity, or a matter of necessity?

To what extent is the housing crisis a motivating force – if it is at all?

How do local authorities respond to VDs? How does this shape the spatial practices of VDs?

Do city streets provide VDs with ideal spaces of tolerance and freedom?

Johnston, H. (2016) Meet the young women beating the housing crisis by living in a van. Available at: [Accessed: 12/12/2016]

Nsubaga, J. (2016) IT worker saves £1k each month by living in a van in London. Available at: [Accessed on: 12/12/2016]