Strategies and interventions have promoted the sustainability of urban communities, but effective communication of these solutions is lacking. Documentation of current solutions tends to be dense and difficult for non-academics to understand. Sustainability scientists and practitioners need ways to meaningfully and intelligibly communicate their experiences to the lay public. This project sought to visually present sustainable community development solutions to address this communication barrier. Members of urban/community gardens in Phoenix and Tempe, Arizona, and Copenhagen and Aarhus, Denmark, were photographed, interviewed. Their feedback was then examined to assess the degree to which photographs can tell a holistic sustainability story.
The photographs focused on aspects of life and behaviors that have contributed to happiness in local communities. A website was created and a gallery event was mounted for public review and discussion. Gallery attendees and website visitors were asked to complete a survey to assess (1) gained knowledge of sustainability solutions, and (2) how effective a tool photography is as a means of sustainability solutions communication.
This visual medium allowed people think about how to incorporate sustainable community solutions into their own lives and may have changed people’s interest in, and thoughts about, overall sustainability and sustainable solutions. The survey results demonstrated that photographs can successfully communicate sustainability ideas. Specifically, viewers gained an increased awareness of how community and urban gardening can increase happiness, well-being, and sense of community. This visual approach can continue to be used to more successfully communicate additional sustainability solutions ideas and methods to the public.
Included in this item (3)
- Communicating Sustainability Solutions Through Photojournalism