Lost in Transactions: Analysing the Institutional Arrangements Underpinning Urban Green Infrastructure2018

    MAC DONALD D.H., MEKALA G.D.Journaux et Revues (scientifiques)

    infrastructures, consentement à payer, biens et services écosystémiques, aide à la décision

    Ecological Economics
    Volume 147, May 2018, Pages 399–409

    • We use institutional analysis to reveal impediments, transaction costs and gaps.
    • Find preventative health is neglected in green infrastructure delivery.
    • Attention to creating habitat corridors could enhance ecological value.

    Urban development has altered surface-water hydrology of landscapes and created urban heat island effects. With climate change, increasing frequency of extreme heat events and in some areas, episodic drought and flooding, present new challenges for urban areas. Green infrastructure holds potential as a cost-effective means of providing microclimate cooling and stormwater diversion. Further, green open spaces when combined with the provision of equipment and facilities have the potential to promote physical and emotional well-being. However successful implementation may be predicated on co-ordinated efforts of multiple agencies. The Institutional Analysis and Development framework developed by Crawford and Ostrom is used in a case study to understand the institutional impediments, transaction costs and gaps in responsibility associated with the delivery of green infrastructure. Lessons learned are potentially transferable to other urban settings. Our analysis reveals areas of high transaction costs as well as a gap in the polycentric decision-making of agencies. The local government council is concerned with the well-being of its residents but has limited financial capacity. None of the agencies who deliver green infrastructure have responsibility for facilitating the indirect or preventative health benefits. Thus, a co-ordination problem among agencies can lead to suboptimal investments in green infrastructure.

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