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'Eco-civic' Optimisation: A Nested Framework for Planning and Managing Landscapes

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Type: Journal Article
Author: Brunckhorst, David; Coop, Phillip; Reeve, Ian
Journal: Journal of Urban and Landscape Planning
Volume: 75
Page(s):
Date: 2006
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10535/3491
Sector: Land Tenure & Use
Region: Pacific and Australia
Subject(s): institutions
resource management
social change
landscape change
citizen participatory management
Abstract: "An important institution for regional resource governance is civic engagement in local affairs, including resource use issues. Local civic engagement has traditionally been structured around local government and, more recently, to catchment-based decision-making bodies. If citizens are to participate in regional resource management in ways that are meaningful to them, it is important that both the landscape units being discussed and the jurisdictional boundaries are meaningful. We have been examining how boundaries for resource management regions might be identified. Three considerations are believed to be important if regional resource management is to be meaningful to the citizens involved. Firstly, that the regional boundaries maximize the areal proportion of the region that residents consider to be part of their 'community,' which should lead to greater commitment to civic engagement in resource management. Secondly, that the character of the landscape units within the region possess a high degree of homogeneity, reflecting greater coincidence of interest among the inhabitants of the region. The third consideration is a hierarchical multi-scaling capacity to deal with externalities of resource use. The approach was tested through identification of a series of nested 'eco-civic' resource management regions for north-eastern New South Wales in Australia. The results delineate resource governance regions that nest at local to regional scales for integrated natural resource management. Such 'eco-civic' regions demonstrate a better spatial representation of social and ecological characteristics than existing regional frameworks."

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