Next Article in Journal
The Well(s) of Knowledge: The Decoding of Sustainability Claims in the UK and in Greece
Next Article in Special Issue
Critical Connections: The Role of the Built Environment Sector in Delivering Green Cities and a Green Economy
Previous Article in Journal
Development of a Framework for the Evaluation of the Environmental Benefits of Controlled Traffic Farming
Previous Article in Special Issue
Framing Processes in the Envisioning of Low-Carbon, Resilient Cities: Results from Two Visioning Exercises
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Sustainability 2015, 7(7), 8709-8728; doi:10.3390/su7078709

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

1
School of Sustainability, Arizona State University, 800 South Cady Mall, Tempe, AZ 85281, USA
2
Earth and Environmental Sciences Department, Furman University, 3300 Poinsett Highway, Greenville, SC 29613, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Tan Yigitcanlar
Received: 15 April 2015 / Revised: 26 June 2015 / Accepted: 29 June 2015 / Published: 3 July 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Planning, Development and Management of Sustainable Cities)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [380 KB, uploaded 3 July 2015]   |  

Abstract

In 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. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainability; sustainability literacy; urban development; public participation; urban planning; civic engagement sustainability; sustainability literacy; urban development; public participation; urban planning; civic engagement
Figures

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Cohen, M.; Wiek, A.; Kay, B.; Harlow, J. Aligning Public Participation to Stakeholders’ Sustainability Literacy—A Case Study on Sustainable Urban Development in Phoenix, Arizona. Sustainability 2015, 7, 8709-8728.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Sustainability EISSN 2071-1050 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top