Improved understanding of how the landscape (as a resource system) influences the interactions between actors in the social system, and how actor groups decide to intervene in the physical landscape to gain desired values is essential. This understanding allows us to develop methods that facilitate local communities in finding a balance between private and public interests, between conservation and adaptation (for example with respect to biodiversity and cultural heritage), and between economic and social well-being. Values and uncertainties play a key role in individual decisions to invest in a future landscape and in collective action. We investigate how the perception of shared values (for example: landscape identity) and social or economic benefits influence collaborative processes in local communities, how social networks generate self-governance, and how local communities respond to external governance mechanisms. This new planning approach also generates new and fundamental questions on the role of scientific information as a governance tool.