Institution: Urban Green Polylogue – Switzerland

About: Bianca Baerlocher was born in 1981 in Berlin and lives in Switzerland since 2001, where she has studied Sociology and Media Sciences at the University of Basel. Since her PhD time she has been interested in the human-environmental interrelation and therefore further developed the theoretical framework of social-ecological regimes as an analytical basis for sustainability issues. In the forestry department of the Bern University of Applied Science (BFH) she worked as a scientist on diverse sociological topics pertaining to societal demands of urban forests, including gender and social diversity aspects in participation processes. In 2016 she founded together with other members a Swiss Network on Urban Forestry, called ArboCityNet. In 2017 she founded her company Urban Green Polylogue, where she is working as a mediator in the field of urban green infrastructure.

Contact: bbaerlocher@urbangreenpolylogue.ch

Keywords: Public Narratives, Climate Change, Collective Action, Digital Storytelling

Humans are storytellers. Storytelling is a discursive and narrative practice which constitutes and circulates meaning, a certain coherence as well as regularity in society (Viehöver 2008 cit. Ricoeur 1991). All communication, ranging from media, comments or even scientific article contain narratives. Sociological Research on climate-change has been illustrating, that the success or failure of “climate narratives” in the public sphere is not depending on “facts”, but on the way “how” incidents, data, pictures and people are positioned in the process of narrativisation toward a coherent narration including certain knowledge for action (ebd., 129). The case of climate change narration as a climate catastrophe is not only high lightening the abuse of nature through human society it also allows a reflection of collective institionalised practices. It showcases different narrated “worlds” which could lead to a correction of recent climate policies and politics (Viehöver 2012, 210).

Against this theoretical background I will a) discuss whether the “Urban Forestry narration” follows the principle of the narrated climate change catastrophe and therefore trees becoming a boundary maker and b) reflect on the Urban Forestry narrative in Europe in general. I assume that there is no coherent Urban Forestry narrative in the non-English speaking countries. Based on this assumption I will introduce an example of narration, the method of digital storytelling and how it could be instrumentalised to better narrate on Urban Forestry values for different levels of collective action.


  • Ricoeur, Paul (1991): Myths as a bearer of possible worlds. In: M.J. Valdés (Ed.): Reflection & Imagination. New York, pp. 482-490
  • Viehöver, Willy (2012): Öffentliche Erzählungen und der globale Wandel des Klimas. In: M. Arnold, G. Dressel, W. Viehöver (Ed.): Erzählungen im Öffentlichen. VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, pp. 173-215.
  • Viehöver, Willy (2008): CO2-Moleküle und Treibhausgesellschaften: Der globale Klimawandel als Beispiel für die Entgrenzung von Natur und Gesellschaft in der reflexiven Moderne, In: Berichte zu deutschen Landeskunde. 82. Band. Heft 2. 115–172

Presentation: link (pdf), Prezi.com