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GSD funding success: Getting creative with sustainability

Butterfly mural on Foleshill Road bridge over the Coventry Canal

Image credit: Alan Paxton

Congratulations to Dr Jonathan Clarke and Dr Alastair Smith for their successful applications to the ‘Getting Creative with Sustainability’ funding call!

The 'Getting Creative with Sustainability' funding aims to create the opportunity for local artists and creatives to work with Warwick researchers and external regional public/third sector organisations, around the broad theme of sustainability. These knowledge exchange-based collaborations will see the three parties involved sharing insights around sustainability research in its broadest sense within the context of the organisation or region. The projects will create a means for researchers, organisations, and creatives to work together via an innovative and creative collaboration, which is designed to stimulate, develop, or cement relationships between Warwick researchers and regional externals whilst supporting knowledge exchange, research development, impact, and communications.

Co-creating energy efficiency in Foleshill: A collaboration between artists, researchers and the community in Coventry

A project by Dr Jonathan Clarke

A row of houses

Coventry City Council has recently been awarded funding to provide energy efficiency for owner occupiers in Foleshill, a deprived district of Coventry. However, despite the individual financial savings that energy efficiency brings and wider societal benefits to sustainability, uptake amongst residents is low. Culture has a unique ability to help us understand and connect with people and ideas.

Jonathan's project will fund workshops to co-create materials that help residents understand practical sustainability measures, the benefits of energy-efficient homes and how barriers to uptake can be overcome. This will be achieved by bringing together members of the local community to share their views, researchers from the University with expertise in energy and urban governance, officers from Coventry City Council, and artists who will use mixed media to record and create materials to promote wider understanding of the initiative.

These materials will acknowledge the areas diverse cultural mix, but also provide a life beyond the project, potentially being shared more widely through social media and helping overcome barriers to uptake. Jonathan, the lead researcher, has recently published articles on the importance of energy efficiency for wider energy security, and how domestic energy policy can be understood as a trilemma between affordability, security and sustainability, so this project is the perfect opportunity to apply wider sustainability knowledge in a local context.

Painting the city green: Artistic public engagement for micromobility and more

A project by Dr Alastair Smith

Cyclists on a road, photo taken from above

Taking a transdisciplinary approach, Alastair's project will look at the problem of sustainable transport in the local area, highlighting the values and opportunities of ‘Green Micromobility Corridors’ in the city. The project will engage with the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust and Coventry City Council, along with two local creatives. A current Warwick student will also be involved in creative knowledge generation for this project.

Coventry City Council is currently setting out plans to reduce the city’s reliance on car travel, as well as introducing new forms of micromobility. Meanwhile, the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust is actively promoting the UK Government’s Environment Act; one specific objective is to create new wildlife corridors across Coventry to support the resilience of other species, actively marginalised by human development, through processes such as urbanisation and road construction. Through Alastair’s project, stakeholders will focus on how the artistic process can support a synthesis of these two agendas, by integrating further community stakeholders in creative expression.

Potential activities include a stakeholder route walk from the city centre to the University of Warwick's campus, followed by a creative expression workshop. The walk and discussion will develop ideas for the design and positioning of public mural art that represents the co-created knowledge around value and opportunities of ‘Green Micromobility Corridors’ in the city.

Alastair’s project will start in April and end in June.

Dr Jonathan Clarke

Dr Jonathan Clarke

Senior Teaching Fellow in GSD

Email: j dot r dot l dot clarke at warwick dot ac dot uk

Dr Alastair Smith

Dr Alastair Smith

Senior Teaching Fellow in GSD

Email: A dot Smith dot 21 at warwick dot ac dot uk