Institution: The University of Melbourne – Australia


Keywords: Urban Sustainability, Institutions, Government, Nature-Based Solutions


The successful governance of urban forests depends on how municipalities address fragmentation across a metropolitan urban area. Metropolitan areas are usually fragmented in many municipalities, each characterized by varying levels of expansion of urban physical elements and institutional character. For example, the city of Melbourne, Australia, one of the 32 municipalities in the Melbourne metropolitan area, is a world-renowned case study of urban forest planning, and is leading an effort to design and implement a metropolitan-wide urban forest strategy. Many municipalities across the Melbourne metropolitan area participate in this initiative and now have ambitious targets and tree-planting initiatives to increase tree-canopy cover. The success of this initiative is greatly influenced by the decisions municipal managers make about urban forests and how they understand and facilitate governance processes, such as the coordination of policies and stakeholders. There is currently no clear understanding of how municipal managers do this at a metropolitan scale. We seek to answer these questions using a framework of governance and empirical data sourced through interviews and surveys from municipal managers involved in making decisions about urban forests in various municipalities across the metropolitan area of Melbourne. These data were analysed to understand decision-making priorities and the underlying structure of governance processes in different types of municipalities, in order to understand how municipalities coordinate their efforts at a metropolitan scale. We discuss how are findings can shed light on the governance of urban forests.

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