Baltimore Ecosystem Study Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies

2012 BES Annual Meeting Presentation and Poster Abstracts

Governance of 21st Century Sustainable Cities: A Study of Stewardship Networks in Baltimore & Seattle
Romolini, Michele
Co-Authors: J. Morgan Grove

Abstract: The first decade of the 21st century has seen the proliferation of sustainability policies in cities across the US and the globe. It has become widely accepted that the success of these urban sustainability initiatives will require a form of adaptive governance, in which city agencies must partner with, and even cede authority to, organizations from other sectors and levels of government. Yet the resulting collaborative networks are often poorly understood, and the study of large whole networks has been a challenge for researchers. Through two citywide surveys in Baltimore and Seattle, we collected data on the attributes of environmental stewardship organizations and their network relationships. We applied missing data treatment approaches and conducted social network and comparative analyses to examine a) the organizational composition of the network, and b) how information and funding resources are shared and distributed throughout the network. We found similarities in the number of actors and their distribution across sectors, but we found considerable variation in the number and distribution of ties in the networks of Baltimore and Seattle. We discuss these findings and their implications for urban sustainability governance.