Edited by Matthias Ruth
Chapter 5: Mixed methods analysis of urban environmental stewardship networks
The set of organizations associated with governance of urban ecological processes has shifted since the 1970s (Weber 2000; Kempton et al. 2001; Horton 2004; Corburn 2005; Andrews and Edwards 2005; Svendsen and Campbell 2005; Kramer 2007). In this time, local urban environmental stewardship groups have become an important part of the regular management of natural systems in cities (Shabecoff 1996; Svendsen and Campbell 2005; Ernstson et al. 2008, 2010a; Connolly et al. 2013; Fisher and Svendsen 2014). Environmental stewardship groups include a wide array of organizations that work to conserve, manage, monitor, advocate for, and educate their friends, neighbors, and representatives about a range of quality of life issues (Fisher et al. 2007). These groups may be informal or formal, and may include large non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and small community associations that work on environmental issues (see Fisher et al. 2012). A 2005 report from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognized the essential role stewardship groups play in the social infrastructure of urban sustainability. The report stated, ‘We believe environmental stewardship offers great potential for solving some of our most challenging problems and that it can help galvanize collaborations with a broader range of stakeholders’ (US EPA 2005, p. i). The growth of urban environmental stewardship is primarily a product of a renewed push toward civic engagement around local environmental issues (Sirianni and Friedland 2001, ch. 3; Fisher et al. 2011).
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