Bridging Social and Environmental Sustainability: Instigating Solidarity through An Eco-friendly Public Art

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Submission Summary
Although there is a plethora of what sustainability is, approaches tend to address its dimensions separately. The concept of sustainable development originally included a clear social mandate, for two decades the human dimension has been neglected. However, it is clear that action in one area will affect outcomes in others, and that development must balance social, economic and environmental sustainability. This paper narrates a public art installation project in which the community is the resource. During the Christmas Season, a competition of Nativity Scene interpretations is held in Tarlac, a province in the Philippines. Financial resources can be critical especially for its municipalities that are dominated by agriculture, such as Victoria. This led to identifying what community resources could be utilised for the project. Materials were selected from their natural environment and industries that apparently involve people with disabilities. Participation also extended to members inhabiting the bamboo forests, bamboo craftsmen and school children. The diverse engagement resulted in participants showing concern for the community: volunteered to assist the pwds, suggested incorporating junk food foil from the community waste and proposed events to extend the exhibit of the art components. An environment-friendly art installation was produced without compromising the resources of the community. Furthermore, giving the community members the freedom to dominate the project initiated their realizations that collectively their contributions can empower the community. This concludes that the approach to the project is a strategy that can bridge ecological integrity and social well-being, the elements of a sustainable community.
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1: Inclusiveness and empowerment. Al-Majlis: planning with and for communities
Polytechnic University of the Philippines

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