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Opu, Eric, 2014. Social networks and participatory governance of urban green commons : the case of Vuosaari District in Helsinki, Finland. Second cycle, A2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Urban and Rural Development



Urban development is today causing the loss of urban green spaces such as urban forests and meadows on which cities equally rely for recreation and other ecosystem services. This loss of urban green spaces is increasingly being contested by some members of the citizenry. This thesis examines the nature of the governance of urban green spaces in the Vuosaari district of Helsinki, Finland and how social networks among residents affect the governance process.
A qualitative research method is employed to examine the Helsinki City Council’s collaborative governance approach and how social relationships among residents have impacted this governance in the instance of land development controversies in the district. The research finds weak social connections in the district with a core group of mostly long-term residents active in engaging City Officials while the majority resort to online engagement. It is also revealed that within the district’s social network, clusters of relationships have formed in different parts of the district: a characteristic referred to as modularity in social network lexicon. It is induced from these findings is that the weak ties, modularity and online engagement strategies do not strengthen collaborative governance which is an arduous process dependent on dense social networks and commitment from all stakeholders.
The study concludes that if the Vuosaari scenario reflects a generalized trend, then increased urbanization and technology will further weaken social relations which in turn will be detrimental to collaborative governance of the commons in metropolitan areas.

Main title:Social networks and participatory governance of urban green commons
Subtitle:the case of Vuosaari District in Helsinki, Finland
Authors:Opu, Eric
Supervisor:Sriskandarajah, Nadarajah
Examiner:Raitio, Kaisa
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2014
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:NM026 Environmental communication and management - Master's programme
Supervising department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
(LTJ, LTV) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
Keywords:social networks, public participation, urban green spaces
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Development economics and policies
Deposited On:13 Nov 2014 10:41
Metadata Last Modified:13 Nov 2014 10:41

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