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Research – environment and sustainability

Dundee Urban Orchard (2013-17)

Dundee Urban Orchard – otherwise known as DUO – is a city-wide art and horticulture project supporting individuals, community groups and cultural organisations to plant and care for small-scale orchards across Dundee. In addition to the practical benefits of enhancing biodiversity, accessing greenspace for community use and raising awareness of where food comes from, DUO celebrate the biodiversity and cultural diversity of Dundee through art workshops, exhibitions and peer-learning events.

With a particular focus on food sustainability, DUO is committed to community empowerment coupled with long-term planning for a sustainable and equitable future.

Having spent four years working with community groups to plant orchards in Dundee (2013 – 2017), DUO continue to support the ongoing maintenance and care of the Orchard City network. Where possible we assist in the planting of additional community orchards and growing spaces and we actively encourage other orchards to be planted.

Keywords: edible landscapes, sustainability, art, participation, social practice, socially engaged practice, public art

Contributed by: Jonathan Baxter, Dundee Urban Orchard (DUO)



PhD. The conditions for cross-sector collaboration in Wales (2016-2019)

The project aims to develop cross-sector collaboration in ways that enable environmental groups to maximise their contribution to national well-being while at the same time increasing the outcomes for wildlife and biodiversity. The approach is based on the principles of action research i.e. democratic, participative enquiry with the aim of empowering less influential groups of society.

There are two phases:

Phase 1. Collaborating as an alternative to campaigning to change the management of road verges

Phase 2. Integrating a social-ecological strategy in schemes for Social Prescribing

Keywords: collaboration, cross-sector, legitimacy, integration of interests, action research, social prescribing

Links currently unavailable

Contributed by: Elizabeth Woodcock – Bangor University



Citizen Juries on wind-farm development in Scotland (2015)

This is one the most comprehensive studies of citizens’ juries conducted to date. The unique project entailed, for the first time, three citizens’ juries addressing the same task in different locations, and the research combined five sources of data to provide an in-depth account of the deliberative process and its outcomes.

The deliberative approach used in citizens’ juries gives voice to the diversity of views that often exists around controversial policy areas. Deliberative processes are particularly valuable because rather than simply expressing their views, participants are encouraged to develop, scrutinise, justify and re-examine those views in light of evidence and arguments presented by others. As such, deliberative engagement is particularly suitable for topics characterised by complexity, conflicting views and values, competing interests, and contested evidence.

Scottish Planning Policy emphasises the importance of public engagement, requiring that it should be early, meaningful and proportionate. However, to date, deliberative engagement has not been actively used to inform planning policy or decisions in Scotland. This project focused on onshore wind farm development, and was designed to offer insight into key dynamics in citizen participation and public deliberation – rather than to inform decision-making. This report provides the policy and practice community with practical advice about organising and facilitating deliberative public engagement in support of decision-making. It explores how citizens’ knowledge and perspectives evolve during the process. It presents a picture of what the jurors decided matters most to them about wind farm development. It analyses whether three juries, addressing the same topic under similar conditions, generate different outcomes. And it explores the potential role of citizens’ juries in policy and decision-making.

Keywords: wind farm development, citizen juries, deliberative debate, citizen participation

Research report 2015: Involving communities in deliberation: A study of 3 citizens’ juries on onshore wind farms in Scotland

Executive Summary:

Project overview:

Contributed by: Jennifer Roberts – University of Strathclyde; Oliver Escobar – What Works Scotland, University of Edinburgh; ClimateXChange




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