Chad Walker

Chad Walker
Queen's University | QueensU · Geography and Planning

BA - Environmental Policy; MA - Geography; PhD - Geography

About

34
Publications
9,520
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548
Citations
Introduction
I am a social scientist trained interested in studying social responses to sustainable transitions. I have earned on an MA (2012) and PhD (2017) in Geography (Environment and Sustainability) at Western University. My dissertation research looked at policy mechanisms and community-level responses to wind energy development in Canada. I am currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow (Geography) at Exeter University. Here, I am part of the EnergyREV Research Project, looking at user engagement in Smart Local Energy Systems across the UK. Twitter handle: @TheChadWalker
Additional affiliations
January 2016 - August 2017
The University of Western Ontario
Position
  • Lecturer

Publications

Publications (34)
Article
Full-text available
In places like Canada, fast-paced wind turbine development combined with policy that limits local decision-making power has resulted in strong opposition to specific projects. Some studies suggest that anti-wind sentiment is tied to inadequate financial benefits – especially sharing at the local level. Thus, ideas of distributive economic justice h...
Article
Following its growing popularity in practice, social scientists have turned their attention to a greater understanding of community energy (CE). Beginning with Walker and Devine-Wright's 2008 framework, researchers have consistently been critical about the use of the term – especially when doing so to further powerful, non-local interests. Unpackin...
Article
Full-text available
The transition from fossil-fuel based power generation to renewable energy is well underway; however, this transition is highly uneven and not all regions and communities are engaging equally. The circumpolar north is one region where disparities in the uptake of community renewable energy (CRE) projects is evident. Many Northern, remote communitie...
Article
Full-text available
Community-led bioenergy projects show great promise to address a range of issues for remote and Indigenous Arctic communities that typically rely on diesel for meeting their energy demands. However, there is very little research devoted to better understanding what makes individual projects successful. In this study, we analyze the case of the Gale...
Article
As governments worldwide address the climate crisis, energy systems are becoming both decarbonised and decentralised. In this study, we aim to increase understanding of the spatial dimensions of new forms of decentralised energy systems that integrate electricity, storage, transportation, and heating. Drawing on workshops and secondary data from th...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose This research considers the potential for renewable energy partnerships to contribute to Canada's efforts to overcome its colonial past and present by developing an understanding of how non-Indigenous peoples working in the sector relate to their Indigenous partners. Design/methodology/approach This study is part of a larger research progr...
Article
Background/aims With coverage of antenatal care in sub-Saharan Africa approaching a universal level, attention is now turning to maximising the life-saving potential of antenatal care. This study assessed the gestational age at which pregnant mothers make their first antenatal visit in the context of high antenatal coverage in Lesotho. Methods For...
Article
Although there is a clear positive link between community wind energy (CWE) projects and social acceptance, there is still empirical and conceptual ambiguity concerning the details of why. To fill this gap, we revisit foundational papers in this field and then, focusing on empirical case studies between 2010 and 2018 (n = 15), trace how recent rese...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this article was to analyze data associated with advances in wind energy across the United States. While governments, academia, and the private sector generally know patterns of wind turbine development (i.e. turbine size and capacity growing in recent years), there is no known independent, reliable, and/or updated summary of these v...
Article
Full-text available
The Experimental Lakes Area in Northwestern Ontario, Canada, is a globally prominent freshwater research facility, conducting impactful whole-of-lake experiments on so-called ‘pristine’ lakes and watersheds. These lakes are located in traditional Anishinaabe (Indigenous) territory and the home of 28 Treaty #3 Nations, something rarely acknowledged...
Article
Full-text available
Governments from around the world-including Canada-have declared climate change an emergency. This signals the need for aggressive climate change law and policy across national and subnational jurisdictions. At the same time, these shifts may need to be sensitive to public opinion to ensure longevity. In an effort to address a research gap and bett...
Article
Full-text available
As more researchers have considered the use of mixed methods, writings have moved away from debates about epistemological incompatibilities and now focus on the (potential) value of increased understanding that comes from combining qualitative and quantitative approaches. Yet, as the level of integration can vary substantially, some designs are sai...
Chapter
Full-text available
In theory, there is a strong, two-way relationship between sustainability research and public policy that functions in synchrony to identify, understand, and ultimately address ecological problems for the greater good of society. In reality, such a cooperative relationship is rarely found. Instead, researchers and policymakers face a suite of chall...
Article
Decades after wind energy has taken hold in many developed countries, social scientists are beginning to understand the complex story of what causes differentiated responses to local development. Transitions in this literature include moving from attitudinal factors, and the infamous Not in My Backyard (NIMBY) explanation, toward place attachment,...
Article
Full-text available
Background Including content on Indigenous health in medical school curricula has become a widely-acknowledged prerequisite to reducing the health disparities experienced by Indigenous peoples in Canada. However, little is known about what levels of awareness and interest medical students have about Indigenous peoples when they enter medical school...
Chapter
What will you do when research participants and others threaten to terminate your study? Though public disapproval of research is nothing new, there has been little discussion surrounding activism against academics. More often, discussions relate to the role of the academic as activist (see Castree 2000). In this short chapter, I take the reader th...
Article
Full-text available
In 2015, the Liberal Party of Canada formed a majority federal government on a platform that included prioritizing Nation-to-Nation relationships with Indigenous (First Nations, Inuit, and Métis) peoples in the country and re-asserting global leadership in climate change action by moving away from fossil fuel-based extraction and toward renewable e...
Article
Full-text available
Global demographics are shifting, and as a result, rural populations are becoming further open to marginalization in regional politics. This research uses in-depth qualitative interviews to examine how the politics of two specific techno-industrial developments in Canada have played out within a complex urban-rural perspective of development. Using...
Article
Full-text available
Whether because instances are rare or because academics are uncomfortable writing about them, descriptions of activism against academic research cannot be easily found within the existing literature. In this paper, we share our experience of being young geographic researchers faced with impassioned opposition against our work. Studies we conducted...
Thesis
Full-text available
This thesis primarily examines wind energy policy and development through the lens of local acceptance and environmental justice in Ontario and Nova Scotia, Canada. It has been argued that encouraging more participatory planning alongside introducing financial benefits, can powerfully shape local responses. With little in the Canadian context to su...
Article
Though there is a growing literature on the value of participatory siting processes for increasing local acceptance of wind energy development, there has been much less unpacking of how residents view the siting process itself. We explore differences in the ways governments and developers enact planning and how this impacts both acceptance/support...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This toolkit is meant as a relatively high-level lay summary of some of the key findings from Chad Walker’s (Western University) PhD research which looked specifically at the social responses to facility siting processes for wind energy development in Ontario and Nova Scotia, Canada. In Ontario, opposition to wind turbines has grown in recent years...
Chapter
Health geographers are increasingly turning to a diverse range of interpretative methodologies to explore the complexities of health, illness, space and place to gain more comprehensive understandings of well-being and broader social models of health and health care. Drawing upon postmodernism, many health geographers are concerned with issues of r...
Article
Full-text available
This article explores the legal framework and resulting social tensions related to renewable energy development in Ontario, Canada. Under the Green Energy and Green Economy Act 2009, the government of Ontario has helped to create a successful, growing base of renewable electricity in the province. Despite successes in terms of increased procurement...
Research
Full-text available
A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree in Master of Arts at Western University (Canada).
Article
Full-text available
This paper focuses on public concerns about real estate value loss in communities in the vicinity of wind turbines. There are some conflicting results in recent academic and non-academic literatures on the issue of property values in general—yet little has been studied about how residents near turbines view the value of their own properties. Using...
Article
Full-text available
The literature concerning local opposition to wind turbine developments has relatively few case studies exploring the felt impacts of people living with turbines in their daily lives. Aitken even suggests that such residents are subtly or overtly cast as deviants in the current literature. Our mixed-methods, grounded-theory case study of two commun...
Thesis
Full-text available
This thesis addresses a major gap in the wind turbine and risk assessment literatures. It explains local support for wind energy in some areas in spite of vocal opposition in others. Findings from Port Burwell and Clear Creek, Ontario indicate that social and contextual forces may help explain much of the difference in opinion between the two commu...

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Projects (2)
Archived project
The purpose of the proposed project is to create toolkits for dialogue (e.g., a rapid assessment survey; case scenarios) for potential turbine "host" communities and wind energy developers to improve turbine facility siting by better: 1) addressing equity in benefits negotiations and; 2) minimizing intra-community conflict. The toolkits will be informed by the mixed-method research conducted by Walker looking at siting practices and local responses to development in rural communities in Ontario and Nova Scotia, Canada. The toolkits themselves will be unveiled as part of a Workshop in December 2016 at Western University. More information about the project can be found here: http://coarep.uwo.ca/study1.php