Enhancing environmental citizenshipand reducing energy consumption throughcreative engagement with building users on social media Monica Pianosi, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK Dr. Richard Bull, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK Prof. Martin Rieser, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK
Research questions1. Can social media tools be used effectivelyto foster an interactive participatoryprocess that increases environmentalcitizenship? 2. Would this lead to a reduction in energy consumption?
Case study De Montfort University City of Leicester, UK
Research background1. Climate change is a priority for the UK Government
Research background2. University and institutional buildings can lead by example and work as a catalyst in the energy reduction context
Research background4. Buildings don’t use energy, people do (Janda 2011) Adapted from Janda 2011
TheoryParticipatory approach• Capable of helping society to change its attitudes and actions towards a pro- environmental model (Petts 2006)• Establish a new relationship between expert and lay comprehension about a topic, enhancing trust and decision ownership• It enhances democracy (Webler et al. 1995)
TheoryTesting the hypothesis:participation leads to enhancement ofenvironmental citizenship in engaged individualsThe greencitizen makesenvironmentalconservationandsustainability animportant duty
MethodologyThe links between action research and participationtheory Action research Public participation process The researcher is seen more as a The aim is not to impose solutions, but facilitator than an `expert` to construct a solution with all (Gray 2004). stakeholders.Promote feelings of equality for all Fairness is one of the theoretical involved (Gray 2004). principles (Webler & Tuler 2000).Action research is seen as a tool for Public participation is an enhancementbringing about democracy (Lewin of democracy (Arnstein 1969). 1946). Learning is generated among the Social learning is an important outcome participants (Gray 2004). (Webler et al. 1995).
Methodology Social media: a tool for participatory engagementPublic participation process Social media Bottom up approach Bottom up phenomenon Citizen knowledge Everyone can participate and create content in the online discussion Equality in the process Information is shared without geographical constraintsInformation (or knowledge) can spread Information can easily spread outside the participatory group outside the group of ‘friends’ The process facilitate the dialogue Comments transform information between experts and lay people into an interactive dialogue The process is an enhancement of Social media have been used to ask democracy an enhancement in democracy
MethodologyStudy design and measurement1. Prior to intervention – Evaluating baseline conditionsa. Tracking frequency and content of pre-test social media interactionsb. Conducting pre-intervention surveys on environmental citizenship and energy behaviourc. Recruiting groups of participants for in-depth interviewing and monitoring
MethodologyStudy design and measurement2. During interventiona.Social media campaignb.Interventions using participatory approaches andaction research methodologyc.Application of public participation theoryd.Tracking of energy, social media interactions, andresponses to interactions3. After interventionAnalysis of data and reporting results
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