Enhancing local authorities' community engagement: Co-designing and prototyping strategies for carbon emission reduction
The dire predicted impacts of climate change on our environment and societies have prompted some governments to sign up to massive future reductions in carbon emissions.
In Scotland the goal of 80% by 2050 requires Scottish Local Authorities to take extensive action to reduce carbon emissions. Fife Council is perceived to be a leader in addressing carbon emissions and was seeking to expand their impact beyond partner organisations and business in the region. This project was thus developed in partnership between the University of St Andrews, University of Dundee and Fife Council.
Project Aim: To produce a cooperative design of an integrated strategy for local authorities to engage with local communities for reduction of carbon emissions. This strategy will be based on sound academic theory, aligned with local authority structures, informed by external approaches and grounded in a network of existing initiatives and institutions. Interdisciplinary, multi stakeholder workshops and seminars will be held on the topics of Food, Energy use, Transport and Community mobilisation. Placement exchanges, capacity building and close working with Fife Council and other local authorities will develop a practical legacy from the research undertaken. The project will also reflect more broadly on mechanisms by which sustainable development principles can be implemented through this exploration of the cross sectoral, multigoal, participatory working required by government.
An exective summary of the scoping study for the project can be downloaded here: Executive summary:Reducing carbon emissions (Word, 91 KB)
Project team: Rehema White1, Hamid van Koten2, Emilia Ferraro1, Jennifer Franz1, and Justin Kenrick (email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
1 Sustainable Development Programme, School of Geography and Geosciences, University of St Andrews and 2 School of Design, University of Dundee.
Community / Local Authority seminars
We are holding a series of four seminars focusing on how local authorities in general (and Fife Council in particular) can support communities to reduce their carbon emissions. the seminars focus on: Energy, Transport, Food and Community.
1. Energy seminar
Over 50 people attended this seminar on Re-energising Communities in Buckhaven Community Centre on 12 March 2010. The seminar asked: "How can Local Authorities help Communities reduce energy use and shift to renewables?" It included presentations from community initiatives, responses from relevant local authority teams, and open space working group discussions.
Introduction to the seminar
- Introducing the research project - Rehema White (PDF, 3,779 KB)
- Carbon targets and the national policy context for energy - Justin Kenrick (PDF, 138 KB)
- ENLEN – David Stutchfield
- North Howe Transition Toun - Tom Morton (PDF, 24,557 KB)
- Newburgh Wind Group – Neil Anderson (PDF, 1,014 KB)
Fife Council presentations
- Energy Management - Bill Dewar (PDF, 20,823 KB)
- Community Learning and Development - David McGrath (PDF, 5,112 KB)
- Housing - Szabolcs Kerek (PDF, 4,283 KB)
- Buckhaven presentation (PDF, 20,480 KB)
2. Transport seminar
45 people attended this seminar on Connecting Communities in Markinch on March 25 2010. The seminar asked: “How can Local Authorities help Communities shift to sustainable transport?” It included presentations by North Howe Transition transport initiative, Fife local authority, the national Sustrans network, and a presentation from the sustainable transport capital of Europe: the town of Odense in Denmark.
- Transport seminar leaflet (PDF, 1,127 KB)
Introduction to the seminar
- Introducing the Research project – Rehema White (PDF, 1,587 KB)
- Carbon targets and Scottish transport policy - Justin Kenrick (PDF, 63 KB)
- Fife's local transport strategy - Stuart Knowles (PDF, 27,267 KB)
- Sustrans: 'More haste, less speed' - John Lauder (PDF, 32,236 KB)
- North Howe Community Transport Initiative - Crispin Hayes (PDF, 10,866 KB)
- Odense, Denmark - Troels Andersen (PDF, 32,646 KB)
3. Food seminar - 'Nourishing communities'
36 people from Fife Council, and from Fife food networks, initiatives, communities and support organisations, attended our ‘Nourishing Communities’ Food Seminar in Letham Community Hall on 27 April 2010. The day included presentations from an academic perspective, from Fife Council, and from community and support organisations perspectives, as well as offering a chance for informal discussion and networking. The day provided the space to bring together people from very different perspectives to collectively begin (or continue) to develop a sustainable and transformative food system for Fife.
Hamid van Koten, from the University of Dundee, painted the broader global picture before focusing down on the particular ways in which his local initiative – North Howe transition Toun – is working to relocalise food production. From similar, if distinct, perspectives, Mike Small and Ellie Kinross outlined Fife Diet’s work building a local food network and community food resilience in Fife, while Teresa Martinez and Pete Ritchie from One Planet Food examined how the council might contribute to reshaping the existing food system in Fife to build sustainability. Fife Council’s Vivienne Brown outlined the emerging food policy in Fife, and Derek Hamilton explained the role of Fife Council procurement in helping the council, communities and households food choices contribute to a low carbon future.
- Nourishing communities food seminar (PDF, 1,168 KB)
- Food seminar report (PDF, 120 KB)
- Introduction to Food seminar - Rehema White (PDF, 3,315 KB)
- Food in transition - Hamid van Koten (PDF, 11,919 KB)
- One Planet Food - Pete Ritchie (PDF, 3,144 KB)
- Fife diet - Mike Small (PDF, 1,020 KB)
- Fife regional food - Teresa Martinez (PDF, 1,400 KB)
- Fife Council and low carbon food - Derek Hamilton (PDF, 70 KB)
- Fife Council food policy - Vivienne Brown (PDF, 904 KB)
- Fresh Fife food - Bruce Bennett (PDF, 18,188 KB)
4. Community seminar - 'Resilient communities revitalising regions'
50 people attended our final seminar on ‘Resilient communities revitalising regions’ at Elmwood College in Cupar on 19 May 2010. People came from communities that have successfully secured Climate Challenge Funding for carbon reduction projects, and from those that haven’t, from support organisations, from Fife Council as well as from Dundee, Midlothian and East Lothian Councils.
- Resilient communities revitalising regions (Word, 1,882 KB)
- Introduction - Rehema White (PDF, 2,292 KB), University of St Andrews
- What is a transition council? - Alexis Rowell (PDF, 2,588 KB) Chair, Camden Sustainability Task Force (2006-2010)
- How can local authorities ensure communities succeed? - Dave Paterson (PDF, 45 KB), Fife Council
- Take a pride in Fife: Council and communities working together? - Laura Duncan (PDF, 9,455 KB), Fife Council
- Community action for a flourishing Fife - Shelagh Young (PDF, 398 KB), Sustainable Development Commission Scotland and CCF
- Communities readying for a fast transition to resilience - Eva Schonveld (PDF, 19,708 KB), Transition Support Scotland
- What can communities ask councils to do to tackle climate change, peak oil and the underlying causes? - Alexis Rowell, Camden Sustainability Task Force (2006-2010)
- Starting to sketch a strategy for Fife - Justin Kenrick, University of St Andrews
- Resource 1 - Sustainable energy (Word, 1,556 KB)
- Resource 2 - Sustainable transport (Word, 804 KB)
- Resource 3 - Sustainable food (Word, 598 KB)
- Resource 4 - Sustainable community (Word, 663 KB)
Contact: Rehema White, Email: email@example.com
Lead Institutions: University of St Andrews, University of Dundee
Project Partners: Fife Council