Partnerships for Urban Forestry and Green Infrastructure Delivering Services to People and the Environment: A Review on What They Are and Aim to Achieve


Back­ground and Pur­pose: Part­ner­ships are a key mecha­nism in the plan­ning, deli­ve­ry and mana­ge­ment of urban fores­try (UF) and green infra­struc­ture (GI). They can faci­li­tate local­ly roo­ted co-mana­ge­ment and poly­cen­tric gover­nance. They can also achieve syner­gies by com­bi­ning the resources, com­mit­ment and exper­tise of diverse sta­ke­hol­der groups in order to gene­rate valuable out­comes and build social capi­tal. Unfor­tu­na­te­ly, the term “part­ner­ships” is not used consis­tent­ly in lite­ra­ture and requires cla­ri­fi­ca­tion. The cha­rac­te­ris­tics which dis­tin­guish a part­ner­ship approach from other modes of coope­ra­tion are iden­ti­fied and des­cri­bed. The diver­si­ty of exis­ting UF and GI orien­ted part­ner­ships is out­li­ned, with refe­rence to their sta­ke­hol­ders, dri­vers, acti­vi­ties and goals, toge­ther with poten­tial advan­tages of the part­ner­ship approach. Consi­de­ra­tions to be made in their eva­lua­tion are deri­ved from this back­ground ana­ly­sis and pos­sible suc­cess fac­tors are dis­cus­sed.

Mate­rials and Methods: The diver­si­ty, aims and defi­ning cha­rac­te­ris­tics of a part­ner­ship approach are based on an exten­sive lite­ra­ture review.

Results: Part­ner­ships focus on diverse aspects and deli­ve­ry phases of UF, ran­ging from the plan­ning, desi­gn and crea­tion of urban forests and GI to their mana­ge­ment and use. Bene­fits deli­ve­red by such part­ner­ships include envi­ron­men­tal and eco­no­mic ser­vices as well as social and cultu­ral ser­vices such as envi­ron­men­tal edu­ca­tion, health, lei­sure and tou­rism. Gene­ra­ting valuable ser­vices whil­st at the same time nur­tu­ring rela­tion­ships bet­ween sta­ke­hol­ders helps to deve­lop social capi­tal and build capa­ci­ty. In addi­tion to envi­ron­men­tal, eco­no­mic and social bene­fits, the eva­lua­tion of part­ner­ships may also address inter­nal pro­cess variables such as social lear­ning, the rela­tion­ship bet­ween part­ners, and moti­va­tio­nal out­comes that can influence future co-ope­ra­tion.

Conclu­sions: Co-ope­ra­tive part­ner­ships offer a pro­mi­sing approach for deli­ve­ry in UF. The deve­lop­ment of rela­tion­ships bet­ween part­ners maxi­mises the poten­tial for deve­lo­ping effec­tive long term co-ope­ra­tion and for buil­ding social capi­tal as an aid to the pro­mo­tion of sus­tai­nable deve­lop­ment. Key­words: urban green space, part­ner­ship approach, urban fores­try part­ner­ships, defi­ni­tion, coa­li­tions, co-ope­ra­tion, sus­tai­na­bi­li­ty, gover­nance, social capi­tal

Ralph Hans­mann, Ian Whi­te­head, Sil­vi­ja Kra­j­ter Ostoić, Iva­na Živo­ji­no­vić, Make­don­ka Sto­ja­novs­ka, Nerys Jones, Andreas Ber­nas­co­ni, Sami­ra Bena­mar, Char­lotte Lelie­veld, Johan Bars­tad