150,000 people engaged – Community insight #2 Environment

Over the past four years, we’ve engaged more than 150,000 across Australia and New Zealand to address the big issues facing our communities and organisations.

In the second part of our Insights series, we unpack the many shades of green.

Aside from the technology and data, one of the biggest changes we’ve seen in community is the change. The concept of what it means for people or communities to be green or environmentally aware or sustainable.

When engaging on the environment consider the following:

1. Values: Compare people’s values – or what they say are their values – with the choices they make. This helps to identify the difference between intention and action. Saying you’re green, could mean that you like to see protected green spaces, or it could mean you prefer to eat organics. The two are not the same. The values are very different.

2. Green doesn’t mean a pocket park: Valuing green spaces doesn’t necessarily mean people want pocket parks. Ten years ago, every development put in pocket parks as part of their walkable communities’ strategies, but in some parts of Australia, when people say green, they mean shaded streets. In other parts of Australia, more green spaces actually mean more active parks. In in other parts, it means large tracts of protected areas.

3. Communities are ready to act: People aren’t having conversations about whether or not climate change is occurring or why. People are talking about what they can do today. They want solutions.

4. Small-scale actions: People are willing to take small-scale actions, even if they’re not about saving money. They’re reducing energy or water usage, spending the time and money to refit their homes to avoid single-use items.

5. Big-scale solutions: If people are given the right information, and we’re honest about the real challenges then, people are suggesting radical but achievable solutions like underground high-rises to maintain green spaces. Using drones to airlift people in an out of remote areas to reduce travel. Or introducing energy and water reuse schemes in micro grids to service local areas.

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