School of GeoSciences

School of GeoSciences


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'Community': the ends and means of sustainability in remote rural Scotland?

Supervisors: Simon Allen and Claire Haggett

2011 - 2014


This PhD explored the role of community-led initiatives in encouraging the uptake of more sustainable lifestyles within the social and physical context of remote rural Scotland. Participant observation with two community-led sustainability initiatives, both funded by the Scottish Government's Climate Challenge Fund (CCF), led to findings which challenge the common assumption that funding for community-led initiatives will be of net benefit at the local level.

Overall, this research concluded that, whilst the CCF employs community as a means by which to reduce carbon emissions, it cannot be assumed that 'community' is being strengthened as a outcome or end of the CCF. As such, this research questions whether current mechanisms of central government funding for isolated, self-identified community-led groups to deliver finite, output-driven projects will inherently help to empower geographic communities to adopt more sustainable lifestyles.



Creamer, E (2015) ‘Community’: the ends and means of sustainability? Exploring the position and influence of community-led initiatives in encouraging more sustainable lifestyles in remote rural Scotland PhD Thesis: University of Edinburgh

Creamer, E (2015) The double edged sword of grant funding: a study of community-led climate change initiatives in remote rural Scotland Local Environment, 209:9, 981-999.