to the Park Planning and Policy Lab website. It provides an overview
of the research activities of the Park Lab.
Lab conducts research directed at understanding park and protected
area development, including community-based decision-making related
to park policy. The Lab specializes in research investigating social
processes of park development within watershed or ecosystem contexts.
Lab is committed to social justice and empowerment of stakeholders.
We do not advocate park development. We advocate the accurate representation
of stakeholder values within the context of land use planning processes.
Through our research, we strive for representation of stakeholder
values, for opportunities for social learning, and to reach decisions
about land uses acceptable to the community of stakeholders.
a Park Lab?
limitations of jurisdictional planning frameworks have become obvious
within most land management discussions, and because of this, expert-only
decision processes are becoming a thing of the past. For a variety
of reasons, public and private sector groups have become oriented
toward landscape-based frameworks (e.g., watershed, ecosystem, regional
scale) often tied to adaptive management concepts in which expertise
informs community-based forums. These landscape frameworks are still
in their infancies and struggling for tools to facilitate discourse
on public values related to nature. With citizen involvement becoming
more central to park planning contexts, visitor-based information
is less relevant to decisions compared to information connected to
collaborative learning, contested meanings of place, empowerment strategies,
and social justice. As a consequence of this shift, land managers
are finding themselves in roles that require stakeholder dialogue
processes rather than being analysts who make decisions. Managers
are inadequately prepared to address stakeholder-based issues and
in most need of information that would facilitate the transition.
Research from the Park Lab does not so much advocate this shift, as
taking it as a premise that dramatically influences the relevance
and roles for social science. See
more click here.