Demystifying governance and its role for transitions in urban social-ecological systems

Tischa A. Muñoz-Erickson, Lindsay K. Campbell, Daniel Childers, J. Morgan Grove, David M. Iwaniec, Steward T A Pickett, Michele Romolini, Erika S. Svendsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Governance is key to sustainable urban transitions. Governance is a system of social, power, and decision-making processes that acts as a key driver of resource allocation and use, yet ecologists- even urban ecologists-seldom consider governance concepts in their work. Transitions to more sustainable futures are becoming increasingly important to the management of many ecosystems and landscapes, and particularly so for urban systems. We briefly identify and synthesize important governance dimensions of urban sustainability transitions, using illustrations from cities in which long-Term social-ecological governance research is underway. This article concludes with a call to ecologists who are interested in environmental stewardship, and to urban ecologists in particular, to consider the role of governance as a driver in the dynamics of the systems they study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1564
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2016


  • Governance
  • Power
  • Social networks
  • Social-ecological systems
  • Sustainability transitions
  • Urban

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology


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