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Re-constructing the urban landscape through community mapping: an attractive prospect for sustainability?

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Community mapping is a relatively new tool with considerable potential in giving practical effect at the local level to sustainable development rhetoric. As a repository of socially constructed knowledge, it has considerable value in democratizing information both in terms of what is recorded and public access to it, in a manner that facilitates more meaningful participation of non-experts in planning and advocacy processes. Focusing on a community mapping project in Galway, Ireland, this research paper explores how the city's municipal authority is employing community mapping not just to record and promote the city's social, environmental, economic and cultural assets but also as a practical tool to bolster public participation in policy-making and to improve local communities’ trust in the municipal authority, thereby shaping sustainability practices through enhanced governance.

Keywords: Ireland; community mapping; governance; local sustainability

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-4762.2008.00860.x

Affiliations: 1: School of Environmental Sciences, University of Ulster, Northern Ireland, Email: f.fahy@ulster.co.uk 2: Department of Geography, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland

Publication date: June 1, 2009

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