740.1 Understanding the role of civic environmental stewards within a dynamic system of hybrid governance

Saturday, August 4, 2012: 2:30 PM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Dana FISHER , Sociology, University of Maryland
Erika SVENDSEN , Northern Research Station , USDA Forest Service, New York, NY
How do we understand the social, spatial and political interactions among actors working on urban stewardship?  In recent years, locally grounded civic groups have responded to public problems by working along with and outside of government agencies and the private business sector as environmental stewards.  As stewards, civic groups conserve, manage, monitor, restore, advocate and educate their friends, neighbors, and representatives about a wide range of quality of life issues on public and private urban land.  Using data collected from a survey of nearly 3,000 civic groups in New York City, this paper looks at the ways that civic, government and private sector groups engage in hybrid arrangements associated with governing urban natural resources.  The paper is separated into three sections.  First, we present a conceptual framework for understand hybrid governance and a set of hybrid arrangements. Second, we present information on the organizational characteristics, networks and evolution of civic stewardship groups as they partner on particular aspects of urban stewardship.  Third and finally, using data collected from volunteers on the MillionTreesNYC city-wide tree campaign, we discuss the emerging role of the individual steward in this larger system of urban environmental governance.