In many EU-countries, management and policy of green spaces have significantly transformed over the last decades. This transformation includes an enhanced involvement of civil society in land-use decision making processes and governance of green space. In this project, specific attention will be focused on the role of citizens in governance of green spaces. Topic of study is green self-governance, ‘a specific form of governance in which citizens play a major role in realizing, protecting and/or managing green space.’
Modern day governance processes are often characterized by the inclusion of multiple actors and take place on multiple levels of scale. Beyond a trend from ‘government’ to ‘governance’, nowadays a further trend from network governance towards self-governance van be witnessed. In this trend, communities, businesses and NGO’s gain an increasing degree of autonomy in governance issues. Theoretically, the thesis finds inspiration from both the policy arrangement approach as well as from the practice based approach. Methodologically, semi-quantitative and qualitative methods will be used.
The thesis consists of several elements. First, an analysis is made of 264 Dutch examples of green self-governance, with a focus on the practices and policy arrangement in which they function. Secondly, in an case study of three European cities, the long-term commitment of urban green citizenship is investigated. Third, in a Dutch case study, the entanglement of government and civil society practices is investigated.