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Clearing the smog?: Public responses to air-quality information

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/01/1999
<mark>Journal</mark>Local Environment
Issue number3
Number of pages16
Pages (from-to)279-294
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Recent perspectives on public responses to environmental and risk communication have emphasised the interpretation, judgement and 'sense-making' that takes place when lay audiences receive information and advice. In this paper we consider the public reception given to air-quality information in the UK as one example of a government information and communication initiative. Drawing on elements of a wider research project undertaken in the city of Birmingham in the UK, involving a survey and in-depth interviews with members of the public, it examines the extent of awareness and use of information services, attitudes towards information and the role of information in behaviour change. The objective of the paper is to assess in practical terms the impact of air-quality information available through the media and other sources, as well as to provide empirical evidence with which to reflect on debates over the practice of environmental communication and the stimulation of pro-environmental behaviour. Conclusions are drawn which point to both problems with air quality information provision and the possibilities of more effective and appropriate interventions through local-level initiatives.