Living with environmental risks: giving a voice to young people in the design of community-based risk communication programs in the city of San Luis Potosi, Mexico

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Susanne Börner
  • Juan Carlos Torrico-Albino
  • Luz Maria Nieto-Caraveo
  • Ana Cristina Cubillas-Tejeda

Colleges, School and Institutes


Risk communication programs (RCPs) can contribute to the improvement of community health in marginalized settlements by improving health-related information and practices. Yet, there is a need to include young people's concerns in the design and implementation of RCPs. This study analyses young peoples’ risk perceptions in the city of San Luis Potosí, Mexico, using visual methods such as drawings and photography. Research was conducted with 74 students from two deprived urban neighborhoods. Results indicate that the use of visual techniques enabled them to identify environmental health risks such as unhealthy sedentary habits and the exposure to hazardous items. We conclude that visual methods may help young people to critically reflect on everyday elements in their environment that affect their well-being. By giving them a voice in a reflexive way, visual methods may engage young people as key multipliers in the awareness raising process, and promote their sense of everyday agency.


Original languageEnglish
JournalChildren's Geographies
Publication statusPublished - 17 Apr 2017


  • risk perception, risk communication, environmental health, children, young people, Mexico, environmental risk