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Playing games with sustainability in Glasgow

Grierson, David and Hyland, Claire and Sadler, Sue and Rogerson, Robert (2012) Playing games with sustainability in Glasgow. In: Proceedings of the International Association People Environment Studies (IAPS). International Association of People-Environment Studies. ISBN 0-88937-282-9

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Abstract

Getting out of school and playing games is an ‘easy sell’ to pupils aged 11-14, if less so to their teachers. This case study describes an ESRC Festival of Social Science project undertaken by researchers in the fields of Geography and Architecture which aimed to get participants to see beyond the mere technical fix of erecting new ‘sustainable’ buildings and to see the local built environment as part of a sustainable community. A walking tour encouraged pupils to critically assess the current cityscape and a ‘sustainable communities game’ provided a means to ‘imagine’ a new start. Literature from planning, regeneration and education all emphasise the need for community members to engage in local visioning. This activity, harnessing the momentum of the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development and the new Curriculum for Excellence in Scotland, stimulated thinking about community, energy and waste. With the potential to challenge existing preconceptions of sustainable communities, bring existing knowledge to practical decision making and improve communication skills, this approach is well placed to better prepare pupils (and ourselves) for addressing the grand challenges of sustainability and uncertainty.