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OGLM 2095 - Ecological Challenges and Communication Strategies in the Metropolis

Type d'enseignement : Workshop

Semester : Autumn 2018-2019

Number of hours : 12

Language of tuition : English


A basic knowledge of, or interest for the concepts of urban sustainability (ecological footprint, energy efficiency, urban resilience, post-carbon strategies) are required. No prior knowledge but an interest for the fundamental components of strategic communications (how to communicate and how to persuade multiple audiences) is expected.

Course Description

The workshop examines communication processes geared towards environmental sustainability in metropolitan areas. Based on case studies, student-led presentations and an urban walk, the workshop will give a general overview of communication tools and strategies honed to cope with ecological challenges in metropolitan areas, with a focus on climate change, biodiversity and transportation issues. Media such as newspapers, TV channels, radio and the web in its various forms, including social media, will be examined along with other forms of communication such as advertising and public relations, political campaigning and citizen activism. Each student will collect a dynamic toolbox of city profiles, case studies, and model policies in order to analyze the strategic use of environmental communication by governing bodies, NGOs and grassroots organizations. By the end of the workshop, students will have considered the impact of a wide range of communications activities on the process of developing sustainability policies. They will also have analyzed approaches that extend beyond individual behavior change to include shifts in social norms, businesses, markets and public policies.


LE ROY, Alice H. (Professor, University of Paris V)

Pedagogical format

4 sessions of 3 hours (including 1 off-site session). Seminar-style class: students are encouraged to approach themes and to share knowledge from multiple perspectives.

Course validation

One 10-minute presentation of an environmental communication strategy in a metropolitan area (in 2016 the focus will be on reclaimed urban spaces): 50%. A written contribution to a website: 50%.


Seminars (3x3 hours), teamwork (for the creation of the website), online and field research (during the urban walk and for the oral presentation).

Required reading

  • Bogotà, Building a Sustainable City (PBS documentary, 25')
  • The City Fix
  • Reclaiming Urban Space, Judit Bodnar, Central European University, Hungary
  • Connie Roser-Renouf, Neil Stenhouse, Justin Rolfe-Redding, Edward Maibach and Anthony Leiserowitz (2014), Engaging Diverse Audiences with Climate Change: Message Strategies for Global Warming's Six Americas
  • UNEP + Futerra (2005) COMMUNICATING SUSTAINABILITY How to produce effective public campaigns –

Additional required reading

  • Klanten, R., Ehmann, S., Bohle S. (2012) Cause and Effect : Visualizing Sustainability, Gestalten
  • Boyd, A., Oswald Mitchell, D. (2012), Beautiful Trouble: A Toolbox for Revolution, OR Books
  • Soulier, N. (2012), Reconquérir les rues : exemples à travers le monde et pistes d'actions , Ulmer
  • Lefebvre H. (1968), Le droit à la ville, Anthropos
  • Jane's Walks, Citizen-led walking tours towards community-based city building
  • Toxic Tours in Seine Saint Denis in Mexico in Oakland, California
  • Hansen, A., (2010) Environment, Media and Communication, Routledge
  • Cox, J. Robert. (2010). Environmental Communication and the Public Sphere (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications
  • Flor, Alexander G. (2004). Environmental Communication: Principles, Approaches and Strategies of Communication Applied to Environmental Management. Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines: University of the Philippines-Open University
  • Shea, Andrew (2012). Designing for Social Change, Princeton Architectural Press
  • Howlett M. (2009), Government Communication as a Policy Tool : A Framework for Analysis (available online