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Transformation of urban lake governance in Bangalore, India: A comparison of civic initiatives
Stockholm University, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 80 credits / 120 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Urban lakes connected though channels across the city of Bangalore generate multiple ecosystem services including flood control, groundwater recharge, and water use for local livelihoods as well as recreation. However, on-going lake restorations often focus on recreation while excluding other users such as the urban poor, and fail to take into account lake connectivity and ecological function. Furthermore, restoration events are not followed up with adequate management actions. This study analyses and contrasts five lakes with co-management agreements, of which two were in more advanced state, and present the findings based on interviews with individuals involved in the initiatives.  Aim was to a) identify key phases in navigating change, and b) actors who were key in the different phases and their characteristics.


The results suggest that strong leadership connected with emotional ties to ecosystems is key to initiating and navigating early stages of the transformation efforts, while successful interactions with formal authorities seem to be leveraged by politically engaged actors with knowledge about the functioning of the government system across scales. Stages related to the preparation of plans and proposals require the presence of actors with ecosystem-oriented knowledge, as their inputs seem to be strongly connected with improved ecological outcomes. Finally, a varied set of actors organized in sub-groups seem to facilitate phases related to building resilience in improved states.


In identifying and analysing the capacities and competencies needed to initiate, develop, and facilitate transformation, the study reflects on general lessons for local and cross-scale governance of urban commons in complex governance contexts. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
urban social-ecological systems, Bangalore, cross-scale governance
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Environmental Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-105717OAI: diva2:730880
Available from: 2014-06-30 Created: 2014-06-30 Last updated: 2014-06-30Bibliographically approved

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