Matching Items (4)

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Aligning Public Participation to Stakeholders’ Sustainability Literacy—A Case Study on Sustainable Urban Development in Phoenix, Arizona

Description

n public planning processes for sustainable urban development, planners and experts often face the challenge of engaging a public that is not familiar with sustainability principles or does not subscribe

n public planning processes for sustainable urban development, planners and experts often face the challenge of engaging a public that is not familiar with sustainability principles or does not subscribe to sustainability values. Although there are calls to build the public’s sustainability literacy through social learning, such efforts require sufficient time and other resources that are not always available. Alternatively, public participation processes may be realigned with the sustainability literacy the participants possess, and their capacity can modestly be built during the engagement. Asking what tools might successfully align public participation with participants’ sustainability literacy, this article describes and evaluates a public participation process in Phoenix, Arizona, in which researchers, in collaboration with city planners, facilitated sustainability conversations as part of an urban development process. The tool employed for Visually Enhanced Sustainability Conversation (VESC) was specifically designed to better align public participation with stakeholders’ sustainability literacy. We tested and evaluated VESC through interviews with participants, city planners, and members of the research team, as well as an analysis of project reports. We found that the use of VESC successfully facilitated discussions on pertinent sustainability issues and embedded sustainability objectives into the project reports. We close with recommendations for strengthening tools like VESC for future public engagements.

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Date Created
  • 2015-07-03

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The Role of Transacademic Interface Managers in Transformational Sustainability Research and Education

Description

Working towards sustainable solutions requires involving professionals and stakeholders from all sectors of society into research and teaching. This often presents a challenge to scholars at universities, as they lack

Working towards sustainable solutions requires involving professionals and stakeholders from all sectors of society into research and teaching. This often presents a challenge to scholars at universities, as they lack capacity and time needed for negotiating different agendas, languages, competencies, and cultures among faculty, students, and stakeholders. Management approaches and quality criteria have been developed to cope with this challenge, including concepts of boundary organizations, transdisciplinary research, transition management, and interface management. However, few of these concepts present comprehensive proposals how to facilitate research with stakeholder participation while creating educational opportunities along the lifecycle of a project. The article focuses on the position of a transacademic interface manager (TIM) supporting participatory sustainability research and education efforts. We conceptualize the task portfolio of a TIM; outline the capacities a TIM needs to possess in order to successfully operate; and propose an educational approach for how to train students in becoming a TIM. For this, we review the existing literature on TIMs and present insights from empirical sustainability research and educational projects that involved TIMs in different functions. The article provides practical guidance to universities on how to organize these critical endeavors more effectively and to offer students an additional career perspective.

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Date Created
  • 2013-10-30

Learning Through Evaluation: A Tentative Evaluative Scheme for Sustainability Transition Experiments

Description

Transitions towards sustainability are urgently needed to address the interconnected challenges of economic development, ecological integrity, and social justice, from local to global scales. Around the world, collaborative science-society initiatives

Transitions towards sustainability are urgently needed to address the interconnected challenges of economic development, ecological integrity, and social justice, from local to global scales. Around the world, collaborative science-society initiatives are forming to conduct experiments in support of sustainability transitions. Such experiments, if carefully designed, provide significant learning opportunities for making progress on transition efforts. Yet, there is no broadly applicable evaluative scheme available to capture this critical information across a large number of cases, and to guide the design of transition experiments. To address this gap, the article develops such a scheme, in a tentative form, drawing on evaluative research and sustainability transitions scholarship, alongside insights from empirical cases. We critically discuss the scheme's key features of being generic, comprehensive, operational, and formative. Furthermore, we invite scholars and practitioners to apply, reflect and further develop the proposed tentative scheme – making evaluation and experiments objects of learning.

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Date Created
  • 2016-09-03

Mitigating Urban Sprawl Effects: A Collaborative Tree and Shade Intervention in Phoenix, Arizona, USA.

Description

Communities in Phoenix are confronted with numerous challenges that adversely affect human health and safety, with disproportionate impacts on low-income communities. While some challenges are being addressed at the city

Communities in Phoenix are confronted with numerous challenges that adversely affect human health and safety, with disproportionate impacts on low-income communities. While some challenges are being addressed at the city level, new alliances at the neighbourhood level are initiating community development programmes and projects. This article reports on an intervention study carried out in collaboration with community representatives, city staff, and non-profit organisations to mitigate adverse effects of urban sprawl in the Sky Harbour Neighbourhood in Phoenix. Participatory research was conducted to design and test a tree and shade intervention. Challenges associated with navigating community desires and broader principles of sustainable development are discussed. The study offers a replicable and adaptable intervention research design aimed at empowering communities to meet urban challenges.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014-05-01