Urban forest governance: Towards a framework for comparing approaches

Anna Lawrence, Rik De Vreese, Mark Johnston, Cecil C. Konijnendijk van den Bosch, Giovanni Sanesi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

123 Citations (Scopus)


Research on urban forest governance is scarce, despite the current high level of interest in urban forestry. This paper addresses one of the main reasons for this scarcity - poor understanding of what governance is, and how it can be described. We propose a systematic approach to researching urban forest governance, based on a case study framework which provides a way to describe examples clearly, and to compare them robustly. The paper briefly reviews definitions and debates around governance, before using a descriptive definition as the basis for developing a framework. It then uses five examples from across Europe, to illustrate the use of the framework for describing urban forest governance. The analysis reflects on the experience of writing and sharing case studies, to distill out the framework as a research tool, and discusses issues arising from the application of the framework and the challenges of standardisation. The paper concludes with reflections on the role of this framework in stimulating comparisons while maintaining the flexibility to contribute to individual research needs and traditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)464-473
Number of pages10
JournalUrban Forestry and Urban Greening
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jul 2013


  • Decision making
  • Participation
  • Planning
  • Policy instruments
  • Regulation
  • Urban forestry


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