Adaptive Management in Urban Stream Governance: A Review and an Urban Commoning Scenario-Building Exercise

  • Herlin Chien National Pingtung University of Science and Technology, College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Keywords: adaptive management, river restoration, urban communing, Social-Ecological System, water ecosystem


One environmental solution proposed by scholars since the 1980s is to manage our common natural resources adaptively with emphasis on feedback, the inclusion of multiple stakeholders and the flexibility to change accordingly. By focusing the analysis on the understudied topic of urban river systems in adaptive governance, a systematic literature review and a scenario-building exercise were conducted. Whereas the bibliometric analysis aims to improve our collective knowledge on many aspects of the adaptive management in urban stream governance, the urban commoning scenario-building exercise is to simulate alternatives beyond conventional top-down management approaches and to explore different opportunities of engaging multiple stakeholders throughout the adaptive management cycle. Our investigations recommend that although there is a trend of considering the “human” or “soft” perspective as part of the integrated solution approach, future researches need to ground their studies in more empirical cases in order to identify a few contextual variables such as ICT or public-private collaboration arrangement to leverage the complex inputs of soft power as benefits and added value in the management of urban river as a social-ecological system.


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