IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Environmental communication and the cultural politics of environmental citizenship


  • J Burgess
  • C M Harrison
  • P Filius


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.

Suggested Citation

  • J Burgess & C M Harrison & P Filius, 1998. "Environmental communication and the cultural politics of environmental citizenship," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 30(8), pages 1445-1460, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:pio:envira:v:30:y:1998:i:8:p:1445-1460

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: abstract
    Download Restriction: Fulltext access restricted to subscribers, see for details

    File URL:
    File Function: main text
    Download Restriction: Fulltext access restricted to subscribers, see for details

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pio:envira:v:30:y:1998:i:8:p:1445-1460. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Neil Hammond) The email address of this maintainer does not seem to be valid anymore. Please ask Neil Hammond to update the entry or send us the correct email address. General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.