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In Rhizomia: Actors, Networks and Resilience in Urban Landscapes
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
Responsible organisation
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

With accelerating urbanization it is crucial to understand how urban ecosystems play a part in generating ecosystem services for urban dwellers, such as clean water, spaces for recreation, stress relief and improved air quality. An equally important question relate to who gets to enjoy these benefits, i.e. the distribution of ecosystem services, and how issues of power and equity influence the management of ecosystems. Through case studies from the urban landscape of Stockholm, this doctoral thesis engages with these perspectives through combining ecological theory with social theory, including social network analysis, actor-network theory and social movement theory. Strategies for how to improve urban ecosystem management are presented along with frameworks for how to analyze issues of power and equity in relation to natural resource management.

Paper I shows that ecosystem management can be studied through analyzing the structure of social networks, i.e. the patterns of relations between agencies, stake-holders and user groups. Paper II and Paper III analyze, based on a network survey of 62 civil society organizations and in-depth interviews, a transformational process of how an urban local movement managed to protect a large urban green area from exploitation (The Stockholm National Urban Park). Paper IV discusses, based on several case studies from Stockholm, a conducive network structure for linking managers and user groups (e.g. allotment gardens, cemetery managers, and urban planners) across spatial ecological scales so as to improve urban green area management. Paper V presents a framework to analyze the social-ecological dynamics behind the generation and distribution of ecosystem services in urban landscapes.

The thesis points towards the notion of "a social production of ecosystem services" and argues for deeper engagement with urban political ecology and critical geography to inform governance and collective action in relation to urban ecosystems.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Systemekologiska institutionen , 2008. , 198 p.
Keyword [en]
urban ecosystem services, green space, social network analysis, social movements, actor-networks, transformation, ecosystem management, scale mismatch, co-management, governance, broker, conservation, Stockholm
National Category
Ethnology
Research subject
Natural Resources Management
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-8137ISBN: 978-91-7155-725-4 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-8137DiVA: diva2:199654
Public defence
2008-09-26, Nordenskiöldsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 8 C, Stockholm, 10:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2008-09-04 Created: 2008-09-03Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Social networks in natural resource management: what is there to learn from a structural perspective?
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Social networks in natural resource management: what is there to learn from a structural perspective?
2006 In: Ecology and Society, ISSN 1708-3087, Vol. 11, no 2, r2- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-25395 (URN)
Note
Part of urn:nbn:se:su:diva-8137Available from: 2008-09-04 Created: 2008-09-03Bibliographically approved
2. Social movements and ecosystem services: the role of social network structure in protecting and managing urban green areas in Stockholm
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Social movements and ecosystem services: the role of social network structure in protecting and managing urban green areas in Stockholm
2008 (English)In: Ecology & society, ISSN 1708-3087, E-ISSN 1708-3087, Vol. 13, no 2Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Exploitation and degradation of urban green areas reduce their capacity to sustain ecosystem services. In protecting and managing these areas, research has increasingly focused on actors in civil society. Here, we analyzed an urban movement of 62 civil-society organizations—from user groups, such as boating clubs and allotment gardens, to culture and nature conservation groups—that have protected the Stockholm National Urban Park. We particularly focused on the social network structure of the movement, i.e., the patterns of interaction between movement organizations. The results reveal a core-periphery structure where core and semi-core organizations have deliberately built political connections to authorities, whereas the periphery gathers all user groups involved in day-to-day activities in the park. We show how the core-periphery structure has facilitated collective action to protect the park, but we also suggest that the same social network structure might simultaneously have constrained collaborative ecosystem management. In particular, user groups with valuable local ecological knowledge have not been included in collaborative arenas. Our case points out the inherent double-nature of all social networks as they facilitate some collective actions, yet constrain others. The paper argues for incorporating social network structure in theories and applications of adaptive governance and co-management.

Keyword
adaptive governance, core-periphery structure, ecosystem management, social movements, social network analysis, urban ecosystem services
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-25396 (URN)
Available from: 2008-09-04 Created: 2008-09-03 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved
3. Weaving protective stories:  connective practices to articulate holistic values in Stockholm National Urban Park
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Weaving protective stories:  connective practices to articulate holistic values in Stockholm National Urban Park
2009 (English)In: Environment and planning A, ISSN 0308-518X, E-ISSN 1472-3409, Vol. 41, no 6, 1460-1479 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

With rapid worldwide urbanization it is urgent that we understand processes leading to the protection of urban green areas and ecosystems. Although natural reserves are often seen as preserving 'higher valued' rather than 'lower valued' nature, it is more adequate to describe them as outcomes of selective social articulation processes. This is illustrated in the Stockholm National Urban Park. Despite strong exploitation pressure, a diverse urban movement of civil society organizations has managed to provide narratives able to explain and legitimize the need for protection-a 'protective story'. On the basis of qualitative data and building on theories of value articulation, social movements, and actor-networks, we show how activists, by interlacing artefacts and discourses from cultural history and conservation biology, managed to simultaneously link spatially separated green areas previously seen as disconnected, while also articulating the interrelatedness between the cultural and the natural history of the area. This connective practice constructed holistic values articulating a unified park, which heavily influenced the official framing of the park's values and which now help to explain the success of the movement. In contrast to historically top-down-led designation of natural reserves, we argue that the involvement of civil society in protecting nature (and culture) is on the rise. This nonetheless begs the question of who can participate in these value-creating processes, and we also strive to uncover constraining and facilitating factors for popular participation. Four such factors are suggested: (i) the number and type of artefacts linked to an area; (ii) the capabilities and numbers of activists involved; (iii) the access to social arenas; and (iv) the social network position of actors.

National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-25397 (URN)10.1068/a40349 (DOI)000267622000014 ()
Note
Part of urn:nbn:se:su:diva-8137Available from: 2008-09-04 Created: 2008-09-03 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved
4. Ecological scales and social network structure: management and governance of urban ecosystem services in Stockholm, Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Ecological scales and social network structure: management and governance of urban ecosystem services in Stockholm, Sweden
Manuscript (Other academic)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-25398 (URN)
Note
Part of urn:nbn:se:su:diva-8137Available from: 2008-09-04 Created: 2008-09-03 Last updated: 2013-08-20Bibliographically approved
5. The social production of ecosystem services: lessons from urban resilience research
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The social production of ecosystem services: lessons from urban resilience research
Manuscript (Other academic)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-25399 (URN)
Note
Part of urn:nbn:se:su:diva-8137Available from: 2008-09-04 Created: 2008-09-03 Last updated: 2010-01-13Bibliographically approved

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