Lifestyle and language barriers influence community engagement with green infrastructure

Glyn Everett, A. Marissa Matsler, Faith Ka Shun Chan, Marissa A. Naclerio, Anita T. Morzillo, Jessica E. Lamond

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Few studies have focused on value structures, experiences, and cultural diversity as it relates to bioswale planning and implementation. We used ‘Point of Opportunity Interactions’ to understand previously undocumented views of the Cantonese-speaking immigrant community regarding bioswale design and use for stormwater management in Portland, Oregon, USA. Approximately half of participants were not aware of bioswale function. Maintenance costs and aesthetics were noted concerns, but parking and safety were not. Lack of outreach materials in the Chinese language(s), evening and weekend work schedules, and lack of clarity about maintenance responsibility were among barriers to public participation. Overall, lack of trust for the city and city officials was apparent, and hindered outreach and engagement. Emphasis on informality and place-based data collection near bioswales as neutral outdoors spaces, and proximate to participant residences, facilitated communication with this ‘hard-to-reach’ population and revealed information that would have gone unknown using traditional outreach strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1650-1660
Number of pages11
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023


  • Bioswales
  • Cantonese
  • Green infrastructure
  • Hard-to-reach communities
  • Point of opportunity interactions (POI)
  • Stormwater management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Ecology


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