Approaches to Effective Public Engagement and Education for Green Infrastructure Co-Benefits

Sarah Vallee, Kenneth Shum, Duncan Poon, Jasmine Wong, and Samuel Lee 

Objectives

Our objectives in this report are first and foremost to propose a resource tool to engage the Mount Pleasant community in learning more about the St. George Rainway project with the establishment of collaboration between residents, the City of Vancouver, and other agencies involved in the project. The aim of this resource is to clear up misunderstandings that the public may hold about the scope and details of the Rainway, as well as education on the real and tangible co-benefits the community can expect to see when the project is completed. A secondary goal in this project is to communicate in a way that is engaging, interactive, and easy to understand and interpret. This report will also accommodate COVID-19 restrictions in the creation of this resource. Finally, we aim to leave opportunities to work with the City of Vancouver in order to modify or adjust details of this resource in an iterative process as communication needs change over time. 

Next Steps

By including a metric of success in the form of post-campaign surveys, feedback can be analyzed to quantify the degree of success for the resource. The surveys can include a rating scale that participants can complete to communicate their experiences and understanding following their use of the tool. Quantification of the surveys can help identify areas that need improvement and allow residents to express their opinions after they are able to examine the proposed site. These surveys can also be used to compare resident’s opinions on the St. George Rainway with previous results of the 2021 Shape Your City survey, with particular focus on whether residents appear to have a clearer picture of the reality of what the project entails and if there is a broader recognition of potential co-benefits.

If this project is successful, similar VR technology can potentially be replicated for future GRI projects across the City of Vancouver as a tool for the public to explore and learn about changes in different neighbourhoods throughout the city. Depending on the type of VR technology chosen to be used in the GRI project, similar projects could be recreated for applications in other industries and fields. Some potential projects that are feasible for a municipality to implement include the hospitality and tourism setting, museum tours (Errichiello et al., 2019), and in the field of gerontology (Serino et al., 2017). From the laboratory experiments of Flavián et al. (2021), results showed that VR had a positive impact on psychological and behavioural engagement in the hospitality setting. VR could be used as a hospitality and tourism marketing tool that reaches a global audience by helping people plan their future trips through an interactive experience while researching a destination (Huang et al., 2013). In addition, VR can be used as an engagement tool to combat accessibility and mobility issues common with frailty (Serino et al., 2017) as the elderly generation in BC is predicted to increase (Statistics Canada, 2020). Many opportunities for engagement, education, and solutions will become more evident as new technology becomes more readily available and more integrated into the daily lives of those residing in the City of Vancouver. 

Research Poster

Final Report