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Dissecting the politics of scale in watershed-based planning

Dan Milz

Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 2022, vol. 65, issue 12, 2214-2236

Abstract: This paper explores how spatial judgments impacted planning and policy-making by studying how stakeholders on Cape Cod, Massachusetts considered cross-scale relationships between local, regional, and state jurisdictions and hydro-geologically defined watersheds. Analysis of video data from participatory planning workshops illustrates how these judgments were made as stakeholders developed a regional wastewater management plan. Detailed analysis of their deliberations illustrates the complex and dynamic nature of their scalar judgements as they addressed mismatches between watersheds and towns. Findings illustrate how their judgments were part of the process that led to the development of innovative policy tools for collective action that embraced, rather than erased, mismatches. This paper also demonstrates the application of spatial judgments of non-expert stakeholders as they made plans and proposed actions for a complex social-ecological system.

Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1080/09640568.2021.1968808

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