Part of: Urban Forests for Healthier Cities: Policy, Planning, Regulations, and Institutional Arrangements

Institutional Arrangements: Part I

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Plans and policies are important tools for cities to define the needs and vision for their urban forests. But implementation requires collaboration between those planning and managing public and private lands, as well as dedicated funding for management and growth.

A variety of possible institutional arrangements, or governance structures and processes, exist. Governance can be thought of as the shared decision-making and rule-setting process by government actors, technical practitioners, civil society, and private businesses. (Sheppard et al, 2017)

Singapore. Photo: Aleksandr Zykov, Flickr.

Equitable and inclusive governance provides a foundation for sustainable and resilient cities. (Nesbitt et al, 2018Public participation can build trust, reduce conflict, streamline operating costs, increase legitimacy of decisions, and foster knowledge building. (Beckley, Parkins, & Sheppard, 2006) Failure to engage communities in planning and decision-making may exacerbate existing disparities in access to the benefits of urban forests and other green infrastructure. (Nesbitt et al, 2018)

Because urban forests are complex and affect so many stakeholders, collaboration across multiple sectors and agencies can reduce redundancy in efforts and leverage limited resources effectively. However, the most successful arrangements in one city may not be suitable or feasible in another.