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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2023

Values shift in response to social learning through deliberation about protected areas

Andrade, Riley; van Riper, Carena J.; Goodson, Devin J.; Johnson, Dana N.; Stewart, William; Lopez-Rodriguez, Maria D.; Cebrian-Piqueras, Miguel A.; Horcea-Milcu, Andra Ioana; Lo, Veronica; Raymond, Christopher


Green (and blue) spaces receive attention as important components of cities that can help to mitigate the effects of climate change, support biodiversity and improve public health. Green space planning aims to transform cities towards urban sustainability and resilience. In a longitudinal study, representatives from eleven European municipalities that had previously been interviewed in 2014 were re-interviewed in 2020–2021 on changes in urban greening and related practices. The interviewees reported mainly advancements in dealing with ecological issues, such as new plans, strategies, regulations or funding programmes for climate adaptation or biodiversity support, as well as some progress in co-governance with non-governmental stakeholders. Promising developments include breaking professional silos by creating new units that can better deal with complex urban issues. In a few cases, high-level local politicians induced profound changes. These changes stimulated the development of new planning and governance cultures, resulting in more co-creation of urban green spaces. However, from a transformation studies perspective, incremental strategies dominate, and even when municipal representatives are aware that substantive changes are needed, they often lack the means to act. For more radical system change, significant extra efforts are needed.


Social learning; Values; Deliberation; Inclusive conservation

Published in

Global Environmental Change
2023, volume: 78, article number: 102630

Authors' information

Andrade, Riley
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
van Riper, Carena J.
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Goodson, Devin J.
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Johnson, Dana N.
University of British Columbia
Stewart, William
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Lopez-Rodriguez, Maria D.
UOC Universitat Oberta de Catalunya
Cebrian-Piqueras, Miguel A.
University of Gottingen
Horcea-Milcu, Andra Ioana
Institute For Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS)
Lo, Veronica
University of British Columbia
Raymond, Christopher
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Landscape Architecture, Planning and Management
Raymond, Christopher
University of Helsinki

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG4 Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
SDG16 Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels

UKÄ Subject classification

Social Sciences Interdisciplinary

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