Home About Browse Search

Citizen participation in the governance of nature-based solutions

Kiss, Bernadett and Sekulova, Filka and Horschelmann, Kathrin and Salk, Carl and Takahashi, Wakana and Wamsler, Christine (2022). Citizen participation in the governance of nature-based solutions. Environmental Policy and Governance. 32 :3 , 247-272
[Research article]

[img] PDF


The last half-a-century has seen a marked demand for authentic citizen participation in public policy-and decision-making, not least in the field of sustainability. The depth and forms of citizen engagement in nature-based solutions (NBS), for example, and how such participation shapes their trajectories is gaining increasing attention. In this paper, we analyze current forms and implications of citizen participation in 58 NBS case studies conducted in 21 cities in the light of supporting wider sustainability goals. Our results show that while tokenistic forms dominate citizen participation across a variety of NBS contexts, collaborative multi-stakeholder forms of engagement do not automatically lead to enhanced ecological functions. Deeper forms of engagement, however, strengthen and diversify both expected and unexpected social outcomes, including social learning, enhanced sense of belonging, environmental stewardship, and inclusiveness and equity, in general. Driven by neoliberal austerity logic governments often cede power to NBS promoters whose interests predefine an intervention's vision of nature. Deeper levels of participation are hence limited by inherent institutional structures, neoliberal regimes and the lack of trust among actors involved. These limitations can be partially bridged by strengthening relational and reflexive capacities of public institutions. Focusing on the process of citizen engagement and creating multiple arenas for discussion could bring out new voices and narratives and also transform the culture of participation.

Authors/Creators:Kiss, Bernadett and Sekulova, Filka and Horschelmann, Kathrin and Salk, Carl and Takahashi, Wakana and Wamsler, Christine
Title:Citizen participation in the governance of nature-based solutions
Series Name/Journal:Environmental Policy and Governance
Year of publishing :2022
Page range:247-272
Number of Pages:26
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 5 Social Sciences > 509 Other Social Sciences > Social Sciences Interdisciplinary (Peace and Conflict Research and Studies on Sustainable Society)
Keywords:citizen engagement, nature-based solutions, participation, sustainability, urban governance
Permanent URL:
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
Web of Science (WoS)000768553600001
ID Code:28413
Faculty:S - Faculty of Forest Sciences
Department:(S) > Southern Swedish Forest Research Centre
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:27 Jun 2022 08:27
Metadata Last Modified:27 Jun 2022 08:31

Repository Staff Only: item control page


Downloads per year (since September 2012)

View more statistics