Energieke samenleving en democratische instituties

This article presents the factors that determine the success or failure of initiatives taken by companies, citizens or municipalities in or for greenspace in urban regions and the initiators’ ambitions and local government views on how to approach societal initiatives. Do local authorities perceive a transition in the way their municipalities address societal initiatives? A reflection on Strategic Niche Management theory from transition studies, and change theory according to the Policy Arrangement Approach completes the article.

The research showed that the initiatives lead to a broader meaning and involvement of more actors, and especially residents, around green spaces, also actors from other sectors then the traditional green managers. The greenspace which the initiatives develop includes among others vegetable production, letting out of greenspace, new combinations of food production and markets, greenspace that reduces nuisance by traffic. 

The article contains recommendations to local governments and prospects for further research. Pragmatism, and thinking together with the initiators about how to turn an initiative into a success are part of the recommendations. The involvement of additional and different actors and the broader meaning of greenspace is possibly anchoring greenspace much more into society than parkification does. This deserves further investigation.