The role of public requirements in urban forest decision-making: a case study of nine Swedish cities
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Forests within and adjacent to cities and urban areas are used by local residents and members of social organizations (e.g., sports and outdoor associations) with multiple and diverse activity requirements. This case study provides interview-based evidence from nine Swedish cities on how municipal planners with responsibility for green space issues evaluate and integrate public requirements in decision-making concerning municipality-owned urban forests. In most cases, to include people in forest decision-making the planners rely on traditional tools and methods, such as outdoor information signs, forest walks, and surveys. All of the interviewed planners identified a general lack of interest among the public in participating in meetings that do not concern trees or scrub in their immediate living environment. Participants in more comprehensive planning and management projects usually represent some social organization with specific activity requirements, which the members have discussed internally before meeting with the planners. The planners argued that the use of representatives makes the decision-making process more efficient, and that the concept should be expanded to also include representatives of the general public in local planning groups. However, there was little evidence of any formalized strategies for increasing participation and, in consequence, generating more informed decisions.
multifunctional forests, forest decision-making, urban forests, urban planning
Research subject Social and Economic Geography
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-95902OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-95902DiVA: diva2:761330
This research was funded by the Centre for Environmental Research in Umeå (CMF), Sweden.2014-11-062014-11-062014-11-13Bibliographically approved