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Environmental communication and the cultural politics of environmental citizenship

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  • J Burgess
  • C M Harrison
  • P Filius
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    Abstract

    This paper presents a comparative analysis of how representatives from the public, private, and voluntary sectors of two cities [Nottingham (United Kingdom) and Eindhoven (The Netherlands)] responded to the challenge of communicating more effectively with citizens about issues of sustainability. The analysis is set in the context of literature about the need to widen participation in the determination of Local Agenda 21 policies, and the drive for more inclusionary forms of communication in planning and politics. Workshop members discussed the results of surveys and in-depth discussion groups with local residents which had revealed considerable scepticism and mistrust of environmental communications and environmental expertise. Three themes are explored. First, there is consensus in attributing responsibility for public alienation and resistance to environmental communications to the content and styles of media reporting. Second, there are contrasting discursive constructions of the 'public', which reflect different political cultures -- with the Nottingham workshop supporting a strategy to share power and knowledge more widely than hitherto, whereas the Eindhoven strategy proposed greater rigour, clarity, and authority from the local state. Third, responding to evidence of public resistance to calls for more sustainable practices, workshop participants in both cities focused on what institutions themselves can and should do to progress environmental goals. Workshop participants in both countries acknowledged the urgent need for public, private, and voluntary sector organisations to match their own practices to their environmental rhetoric.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Pion Ltd, London in its journal Environment and Planning A.

    Volume (Year): 30 (1998)
    Issue (Month): 8 (August)
    Pages: 1445-1460

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    Handle: RePEc:pio:envira:v:30:y:1998:i:8:p:1445-1460

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    Web page: http://www.pion.co.uk

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    Cited by:
    1. Marianne Lindström & Rikard Küller, 2008. "Sustainable development in four Swedish communities priorities, responsibility, empowerment," Environment, Development and Sustainability, Springer, vol. 10(3), pages 311-336, June.
    2. Oikonomou, V. & Becchis, F. & Steg, L. & Russolillo, D., 2009. "Energy saving and energy efficiency concepts for policy making," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(11), pages 4787-4796, November.
    3. Simcock, Neil & MacGregor, Sherilyn & Catney, Philip & Dobson, Andrew & Ormerod, Mark & Robinson, Zoe & Ross, Simon & Royston, Sarah & Marie Hall, Sarah, 2014. "Factors influencing perceptions of domestic energy information: Content, source and process," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 455-464.
    4. Tabi, Andrea, 2013. "Does pro-environmental behaviour affect carbon emissions?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 972-981.
    5. Clark, Judy & Burgess, Jacquelin & Harrison, Carolyn M., 2000. ""I struggled with this money business": respondents' perspectives on contingent valuation," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 45-62, April.
    6. Viardot, Eric, 2013. "The role of cooperatives in overcoming the barriers to adoption of renewable energy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 756-764.
    7. Rogers, J.C. & Simmons, E.A. & Convery, I. & Weatherall, A., 2008. "Public perceptions of opportunities for community-based renewable energy projects," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(11), pages 4217-4226, November.
    8. Owens, Susan & Driffill, Louise, 2008. "How to change attitudes and behaviours in the context of energy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(12), pages 4412-4418, December.
    9. Hargreaves, Tom & Nye, Michael & Burgess, Jacquelin, 2010. "Making energy visible: A qualitative field study of how householders interact with feedback from smart energy monitors," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(10), pages 6111-6119, October.

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