Doing Critical Community Geography to Inform Policy: Approaches and Outcomes II

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups: Applied Geography Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM (MDT)
Room: Cleveland 1, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Organizers: Madeleine Hamlin, Jonnell Robinson
Chairs: Jonnell Robinson

Call for Submissions

For this session, we invite papers that employ an applied, community- or public-engaged geographic research methodology to generate policy-oriented outcomes. We invite papers that come from different contexts and that take aim at different social issues, policy areas, or community concerns but that each address how community participation informed policy solutions, was leveraged to enact a change in a policy or policies, or revealed policy implications not highlighted through traditional forms of academic research. Paper topics can focus on the policy outcomes themselves or the process of conducting policy-oriented, participatory research, including any pitfalls or challenges involved in mobilizing spatial research for policy change.

Please send your abstract by November 6th to and feel free to contact with any questions.


In contrast to traditional forms of academic research, participatory research, or participatory action research, recognizes "a plurality of knowledges in a variety of institutions and locations" (Kindon, Pain, & Kesby 2007, 9). Within geography, participatory research takes any number of forms: participatory GIS, feminist methods, volunteered geographic information, and community mapping, for example, have all been offered as methodologies that aim to include research subjects meaningfully in geographic research, as well as generate new, innovative solutions to problems experienced by community members. More than just engaging or including normally-excluded groups in the research process, advocates of these approaches argue that these methods can generate actionable or time-sensitive information where traditional data sources fall short (Goodchild & Glennon 2010); draw upon and (re-)center voices or knowledges that are traditionally marginalized in the research process (Parker 2008); deconstruct conventional knowledge hierarchies (Pavlovskaya & St. Martin 2007); and/or generate data that meaningfully consider context, subjectivity, and multiple perspectives (Knigge & Cope 2004). The relevance of such research often varies from that derived from more traditional academic methods as well: while participatory research can certainly add to the scholarly knowledge base, much work in community geography aims to reach alternative audiences, inform policies, and/or create positive change in and with communities (Robinson, Block, & Rees 2017; Robinson & Hawthorne 2018).


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Discussant Jonnell Robinson Syracuse University 20 9:55 AM
Presenter Yolanda McDonald*, Vanderbilt University, Tennessee Community Water Systems Operators Insights on the Infrastructure Challenges of Ensuring a Safe Drinking Water Supply 20 10:15 AM
Presenter Daniel Block*, Chicago State University, Deconstructing Food Access: Public Health, Geographic Information Systems, and the Power of Maps 20 10:35 AM
Presenter Carolina Prado*, San Jose State University, Environmental Justice Community –Based Mapping at the U.S.-México Border 20 10:55 AM
Presenter Eloise Reid*, University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability, Green Gentrification in Gentilly, New Orleans, Louisiana 20 11:15 AM

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