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The utilization of environmental knowledge in land use planning: drawing lessons for an ecosystem services approach

Cowell, Richard ORCID: and Lennon, Mick 2014. The utilization of environmental knowledge in land use planning: drawing lessons for an ecosystem services approach. Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy 32 (2) , pp. 263-282. 10.1068/c12289j

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Proponents of ecosystem services approaches to assessment claim that it will ensure the environment is ‘properly valued’ in decision making. Analysts seeking to understand the likelihood of this could usefully reexamine previous attempts to deploy novel assessment processes in land-use planning and how they affect decisions. This paper draws insights from a meta-analysis of three case studies: environmental capital, ecological footprinting, and green infrastructure. Concepts from science and technology studies are used to interpret how credibility for each new assessment process was assembled, and the ways by which the status of knowledge produced becomes negotiable or prescriptive. The influence of these processes on planning decisions is shown to be uneven, and depends on a combination of institutional setting and problem framing, not simply knowledge content. The analysis shows how actively cultivating wide stakeholder buy-in to new assessment approaches may secure wider support, but not necessarily translate into major influence on decisions.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
Additional Information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 License ( which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page(
Publisher: SAGE Publications (UK and US)
ISSN: 0263-774X
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 02 May 2023 15:34

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