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Are bottom-up approaches good for promoting social-ecological fit in urban landscapes?
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre. University of Cape Town, South Africa.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6300-0572
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4776-3748
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8218-1153
Number of Authors: 32020 (English)In: Ambio, ISSN 0044-7447, E-ISSN 1654-7209, Vol. 49, no 1, p. 49-61Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Bottom-up approaches are often presented as a remedy to environmental governance problems caused by poorly aligned social institutions and fragmented ecosystems. However, there is a lack of empirical evidence demonstrating how such social-ecological fit might emerge and help achieve desirable outcomes. This paper combines quantitative social-ecological network analysis with interviews to investigate whether bottom-up approaches in lake governance improve the fit. We study groups of residents seeking to improve management of a network of lakes in Bengaluru, India. Results show that 23 'lake groups' collaborate in a way that aligns with how lakes are hydrologically connected, thus strengthening the social-ecological fit. Three groups founded around 2010 have mobilized support from municipal officers and introduced an ecosystem-based approach to lake management that recognizes their ecological functions and dependence on, the broader hydrological network. These groups have also changed how other lake groups operate: groups founded after 2010 are more collaborative and more prone to contribute to social-ecological fit compared to the older lake groups. This paper demonstrates the utility of a theoretically informed method for examining the impact of bottom-up approaches, which, we argue, is important for a more informed perspective on their relevance and potential contribution to urban environmental governance.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2020. Vol. 49, no 1, p. 49-61
Keywords [en]
Bottom-up approaches, Environmental governance, Global South, Network analysis, Social-ecological fit, Urban lakes
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences Biological Sciences Environmental Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-177790DOI: 10.1007/s13280-019-01163-4ISI: 000500070800004PubMedID: 30879271OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-177790DiVA, id: diva2:1386935
Available from: 2020-01-20 Created: 2020-01-20 Last updated: 2020-01-20Bibliographically approved

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Enqvist, Johan P.Tengö, MariaBodin, Örjan
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