Advertisement

Bringing Climate Change Science to the Landscape Level: Canadian Experience in Using Landscape Visualisation Within Participatory Processes for Community Planning

  • Stephen R. J. SheppardEmail author
  • Alison Shaw
  • David Flanders
  • Sarah Burch
  • Olaf Schroth
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter addresses the role of visualisation tools within participatory processes in bringing climate change science to the local level, in order to increase people’s awareness of climate change and contribute to decision-making and policy change. The urgent need to mitigate and adapt to climate change is becoming more widely understood in scientific and some policy circles, but public awareness and policy change are lagging well behind. Emerging visualisation theory suggests that landscape visualisations showing local landscapes in fairly realistic perspective views may offer special advantages in bringing the projected consequences of climate change home to people in a compelling manner. This chapter draws on and summarizes a unique body of research in Canada, applying and evaluating a local climate change visioning approach in five diverse case study communities across the country. This new participatory process was developed to localize, spatialize, and visualize climate change implications, using landscape visualisation in combination with geospatial and other types of information. The visioning process was successful in raising community awareness, increasing people’s sense of urgency, and articulating for the first time holistic community options in mitigating and adapting to climate change at the local level. In some cases the process led to new local policy outcomes and actions. Such methods, if widely implemented in enhanced planning processes, could facilitate uptake of climate change science and potentially accelerate policy change and action on climate change. However, moving from more traditional types of science information and planning to an approach which can engage emotions with visual imagery, will require guidelines and training to address ethical and professional dilemmas in community engagement and planning at the landscape level.

Keywords

Climate change visualization Visioning processes Landscape visualization Visual imagery Landscape planning Community engagement Community planning Decision-support tools Policy change Public awareness Climate change scenarios 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The co-authors wish to acknowledge the following people whose work on previous studies and papers on climate change visioning has directly contributed to this chapter: Adelle Airey, Kristi Tatebe, Ellen Pond, Sara Muir-Owen, Sara Barron, Glenis Canete, Jon Laurenz, Stewart Cohen, John Robinson, Jeff Carmichael, Sonia Talwar, Rob Feick, John Danahy, and Rob Harrap. We also wish to acknowledge the vital support from our many partners on these projects, including agency staff and stakeholders from the communities of Delta, BC; District of North Vancouver; Kimberley, BC; Clyde River Hamlet, Nunavut; and Toronto, Ontario.

References

  1. Appleyard D. Understanding professional media: issues, theory, and a research agenda. In: Altman I, Wohlwill JF, editors. Human Behavior and Environment, vol. 1. New York: Plenum Press; 1977. p. 43–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Barron S, Canete G, Carmichael J, Flanders D, Pond E, Sheppard SRJ, Tatebe K. A climate change adaptation planning process for low-lying, communities vulnerable to sea level rise. Sustainability. 2012;4:2176–208.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bishop ID, Lange E, editors. Visualization in landscape and environmental planning. London: Taylor and Francis; 2005.Google Scholar
  4. Bishop ID, Rohrmann B. Subjective responses to simulated and real environments: a comparison. Landscape Urban Plann. 2003;65:261–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Burch S, Sheppard SRJ, Shaw A, Flanders D. Planning for climate change in a flood-prone community: municipal barriers to policy action and the use of visualisations as decision-support tools. J Flood Risk Manage. 2010;3(2):126–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cohen SJ. Scientist-stakeholder collaboration in integrated assessment of climate change: lessons from a case study of Northwest Canada. Environ Model Assess. 1997;2:281–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cohen S, Sheppard SRJ, Shaw A, Flanders D, Burch S, Taylor B, Hutchinson D, Cannon A, Hamilton S, Burton B, Carmichael J. Downscaling and visioning of mountain snow packs and other climate change implications in North Vancouver, Br Columbia. J Mitig Adapt Strat Glob Change. 2011;17(1):25–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Daniel TC, Meitner MJ. Representational validity of landscape visualizations: the effect of graphical realism on perceived scenic beauty of forest vistas. J Environ Psychol. 2001;21(1):61–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dockerty T, Lovett A, Sunnenberg G, Appleton K, Parry M. Visualising the potential impacts of climate change on rural landscapes. Comput Environ Urban Syst. 2005;29(3):297–320.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Ervin SM. Answering the ‘what ifs’. Landscape Archit Mag. 1998;10:64–73.Google Scholar
  11. Furness III TA, Winn W, Yu R. The impact of three dimensional immersive virtual environments on modern pedagogy: global change, VR and learning. In: Proceedings of workshops in Seattle, Washington, and Loughborough, England in May and June 1997. Seattle, WA: Human Interface Technology Lab, University of Washington. 1998. Available online at http://www.hitl.washington.edu/publications/r-97-32/. Accessed 1 June 2004.
  12. IPCC. Climate change 2007: synthesis report. In: Core Writing Team, Pachauri RK, Reisinger A, editors. Contribution of working groups I, II and III to the fourth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change. Geneva: IPCC; 2007. p. 104.Google Scholar
  13. Kriegler E, O’Neill B, Hallegatte S, Kram T, Lempert R, Moss R, Wilbanks T. The need for and use of socio-economic scenarios for climate change analysis: a new approach based on shared socio-economic pathways. Global Environmental Change. 2012;22:807–22.Google Scholar
  14. Lewis JL, Sheppard SRJ. Culture and communication: can landscape visualisation improve forest management consultation with indigenous communities? Landscape Urban Plan. 2006;77:291–313.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Lowe T, Brown K, Dessai S, de França Doria M, Haynes K, Vincent K. Does tomorrow ever come? Disaster narrative and public perceptions of climate change. Public Underst Sci. 2006; 15:435–57.Google Scholar
  16. Moser S. Making a difference on the ground: the challenge of demonstrating the effectiveness of decision support. Climatic Change. 2009;95(1–2):11–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Moser S, Dilling L, editors. Creating a climate for change: communicating climate change and facilitating social change. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; 2007.Google Scholar
  18. Mulder J, Sack-da-Silva S, Bruns D. Understanding the role of 3D visualisations: the example of Calden Airport expansion, Kassel, Germany. In: van den Brink A, van Lammeren R, van de Velde R, Dane S, editors. Geo-visualisation for participatory spatial planning in Europe: imaging the future. vol. 3. Mansholt Publication Series. Wageningen: Wageningen Academic Publishers; 2007. p. 75–88.Google Scholar
  19. Nicholson-Cole SA. Representing climate change futures: a critique on the use of images for visual communication. Comput Environ Urban Syst. 2005;29(3):255–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Pond E, Schroth O, Sheppard SRJ, Feick R, Marceau D, Danahy J, Burch S, Cornish L, Cohen S, Pooyandeh M, Wijesekara N, Flanders D, Tatebe K, Barron S. Collaborative processes and geo-spatial tools in support of local climate change visioning and planning. In: Chrisman and Wachowicz, editors. The added value of scientific networking: perspectives from the GEOIDE network members 1998–2012. GEOIDE Network, Québec: Cité Universitaire; 2012.Google Scholar
  21. Pond E, Schroth O, Sheppard SRJ, Muir-Owen S, Liepa I, Campbell C, Salter J, Tatebe K, Flanders D. Local climate change and landscape visualizations guidance manual. Collaborative for Advanced Landscape Planning, UBC. 2010.Google Scholar
  22. Pond E, Schroth O, Sheppard SRJ, CALP. Visioning and visualizations, Kimberley Climate Adaptation Project. Vancouver: Real Estate Foundation; 2009. p. 28.Google Scholar
  23. Rantanen H, Kahila M. The SoftGIS approach to local knowledge. J Environ Manage. 2009;90(6):1981–90.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Salter JD. Designing and testing a prototypical landscape information interface for lay-people. Unpublished Masters thesis, Faculty of Forestry. Vancouver: University of British Columbia; 2005.Google Scholar
  25. Salter JD, Campbell C, Journeay M, Sheppard SRJ. The digital workshop: exploring the use of interactive and immersive tools in participatory planning. J Environ Manage. 2009;90:2090–101.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Schroth O. From information to participation—interactive landscape visualization as a tool for collaborative planning. Institute for Spatial and Landscape Planning. Dissertation. Zurich: ETH Zürich; 2007.Google Scholar
  27. Schroth O, Pond E, Campbell C, Cizek P, Bohus S, Sheppard SRJ. Tool or Toy? virtual globes in landscape planning. Future Internet. 2011;3:204–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Schroth O, Pond E, Muir-Owen S, Campbell C, Sheppard SRJ. Tools for the understanding of spatio-temporal climate scenarios in local planning: Kimberley BC case study. Zurich: Swiss National Sciences Foundation; 2009.Google Scholar
  29. Shackley S, Deanwood R. Stakeholder perceptions of climate change impacts at the regional scale: implications for effectiveness of regional and local responses. J Environ Plan Manage. 2002;45(3):381–402.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Shaw A, Sheppard SRJ, Burch S, Flanders D, Wiek A, Carmichael J, Robinson J, Cohen S. Making local futures tangible—synthesizing, downscaling, and visualizing climate change scenarios for participatory capacity building. Global Environ Change. 2009;19(4):447–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Sheppard SRJ. Guidance for crystal ball gazers: developing a code of ethics for landscape visualization. Landscape Urban Plan. 2001;54(1–4):183–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Sheppard SRJ. Landscape visualisation and climate change: the potential for influencing perceptions and behaviour. Environmental Science and Policy. vol. 9. New York: Elsevier; 2005a. p. 637–54.Google Scholar
  33. Sheppard SRJ. Validity, reliability, and ethics in visualization. In: Bishop ID, Lange E, editors. Visualization in landscape and environmental planning. Chapter 5. London: Taylor and Francis; 2005b. p. 79–97.Google Scholar
  34. Sheppard SRJ. Local climate change visioning: a new process for community planning and outreach using visualization tools. Plan Canada. 2008;48(1):36–40.Google Scholar
  35. Sheppard SRJ. Visualizing climate change: a guide to visual communication of climate change and developing local solutions. Abingdon: Earthscan/Routledge; 2012.Google Scholar
  36. Sheppard SRJ, Cizek P. The ethics of Google-Earth: crossing thresholds from spatial data to landscape visualization. J Environ Manage. 2009;90:2102–17.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Sheppard SRJ, Meitner MJ. Using multi-criteria analysis and visualisation for sustainable forest management planning with stakeholder groups. For Ecol Manage. 2005;207(1–2):171–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Sheppard SRJ, Salter J. The role of visualization in forest planning. In: Encyclopedia of Forest Sciences. Oxford: Academic Press/Elsevier; 2004. p. 486–98.Google Scholar
  39. Sheppard SRJ, Shaw A, Flanders D, Burch S. Can visualization save the world? Lessons for landscape architects from visualizing local climate change. Conference Proceedings, digital design in landscape architecture 2008, 9th international conference, 29–31 May 2008, Germany: Anhalt University of Applied Sciences Dessau/Bernburg; 2008.Google Scholar
  40. Sheppard SRJ, Shaw A, Burch S, Flanders D, Wiek A, Carmichael J, Robinson J, Cohen S. Future visioning of local climate change: a framework for community engagement and planning with scenarios and visualization. Futures. 2011;43(4):400–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Snover AK, Whiteley Binder L, Lopez J, Willmott E, Kay J, Howell D et al. Preparing for climate change: a guidebook for local, regional, and State Governments. Prepared by climate impacts group (Centre for Science in the Earth System), University of Washington, and King County, Washington, in association with and published by ICLEI—Local Governments for Sustainability, Oakland. 2007.Google Scholar
  42. Tatebe K, Shaw A, Sheppard SRJ. Technical report on local climate change visioning for Delta: findings and recommendations. The Collaborative for Advanced Landscape Planning. Vancouver: University of British Columbia; 2010.Google Scholar
  43. Tress B, Tress G. Scenario visualisation for participatory landscape planning: a study from Denmark. Landscape Urban Plan. 2003;64:161–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Winn W. The impact of three-dimensional immersive virtual environments on modern pedagogy. HITL Technical Report R-97-15. Human Interface Technology Laboratory, Seattle: University of Washington; 1997.Google Scholar
  45. Zube EH, Sell JL, Taylor JG. Landscape perception: research, application, and theory. Landscape Plan. 1982;9:1–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen R. J. Sheppard
    • 1
    Email author
  • Alison Shaw
    • 4
  • David Flanders
    • 1
  • Sarah Burch
    • 3
  • Olaf Schroth
    • 2
  1. 1.Collaborative for Advanced Landscape Planning (CALP)University of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  2. 2.Department of LandscapeSheffield UniversitySheffieldUK
  3. 3.Dept. of Geography and Environmental ManagementUniversity of WaterlooOntarioCanada
  4. 4.Flipside SustainabilityVancouverCanada

Personalised recommendations