Climate Perspectives

Koi fish sculpture with focus group quote: "You're just not really certain when the season really started. You get a warm spell and then it's cold again. There's just no predicting - it's too erratic now."

July 2019

Climate Perspectives

Summary of Findings from Focus Groups with Workers in Construction, Farming, Home Health Care, and Fishing

Climate change is already visible across the Metro Boston region, forcing individuals and communities to cope with increasingly severe weather, unpredictable harvests and workplace conditions, and greater risks from vector-borne and heat-related illnesses. The Climate Perspectives project integrates focus groups and participatory art-making to collect individuals' perspectives on the current and future impacts of climate change and emerging resilience strategies. The project focuses on industries and workforces with greater exposure to climate impacts and employees who serve climate-vulnerable populations as part of their work.

In 2019, MAPC facilitated four focus groups and conducted follow-up interviews with managers, employees, and representatives from the construction, farming, home health care, and fishing industries.

Download the full report here and see key findings below.

MAPC and collaborating artists are integrating the findings into an art installation, "Schools of Thought on Climate Change." The installation, which is being displayed at public events and festivals, helps communicate the focus group findings and serves as a platform to collect additional perspectives from the public.

This project is a collaboration between members of MAPC's public health, economic development, and arts and culture departments.

Questions? Contact Jeanette Pantoja at jpantoja@mapc.org.

Key Findings

Home health care koi fish at the Wake Up the Earth Festival

Home Health Care

Koi fish sculpture with focus group quote: "You're just not really certain when the season really started. You get a warm spell and then it's cold again. There's just no predicting - it's too erratic now."

Farming

Koi fish sculpture made out of fishing net at Wake Up the Earth 2019

Fishing

Koi fish made out of construction netting, gloves, and air mask at Wake Up the Earth 2019

Construction

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Art Installation

Artists Carolyn Lewenberg and Nia Holley crafted four separate groups of fish using gloves and materials from each industry: for example, burlap for farmers, gauze and scrubs for home health care workers, fishing nets for those in the fishing industry, and orange safety netting for construction workers.

In the "Schools of Thought on Climate Change" installation, the koi hang among lanterns printed with quotes from the focus groups. Viewers can read how climate change effects people’s livelihoods: species migration, storm damage to soils and equipment, power outages, and extreme heat risks to both outdoor workers and consumers of home healthcare. Viewers can also learn about actions people are taking to respond and prepare: clean energy adoption, worker safety training, and partnering with institutional buyers to develop markets for new seafood products, including invasive species.

Read our Planning101 blog post for more!

This project was conceived, designed, and created by: Carolyn Lewenberg, Daniel Koff, Hortense Gerardo, and Nia Holley (2019); Materials: mixed media, wire.

Where Can I See It?

Coming Up:

Friday, August 16 - Sunday, August 18
Boston GreenFest and Tech Expo
Rose Kennedy Greenway

Past Installations: