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A comparative institutional analysis of management in urban riparian greenways: the American River Parkway (Sacramento, California) and the Willamette River Greenway (Portland, Oregon)

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Title: A comparative institutional analysis of management in urban riparian greenways: the American River Parkway (Sacramento, California) and the Willamette River Greenway (Portland, Oregon)
Author: Kim, Kihyun
Abstract: Greenways are linear corridors of park land that can have great ecological and socio-cultural value. Some of the most popular greenways are those adjacent to rivers. A riparian greenway typically includes the actual river or stream channel plus a corridor of protected land on either side of the waterway. Riparian greenways provide important habitat for plants and animals, ecological services and recreation opportunities. Creating and managing successful greenways in urban environments requires long-term planning and continuous commitment of financial and human resources that take into account environmental constraints and socio-political expectations. In general, a three step process including 1) planning, 2) implementation, and 3) management is necessary to establish and maintain successful greenways. This study examines the management of urban riparian greenways. Management was defined as the process of sustaining greenways once established. Models of successful greenway management were initially explored through literature review. An analytical framework for assessing successful greenway management was developed and included presence of institutional structures for continuous management, capacity to manage and monitor greenway resources, to maintain positive relationships with the public and to secure operational funding. Site visits and qualitative interviews with greenway managers were combined with review of local planning documents to analyze and compare two cases based on the analytical model: the Willamette River Greenway in Portland, Oregon and the American River Parkway in Sacramento, California. Results showed that the model provided a useful framework for a comparative analysis of the two cases. Both greenways suffered from recent budget cuts which affected the overall management of greenways including public safety and maintenance of facilities. The research also identified striking differences in the institutional structure of the two greenways and in their interactions with the public. In particular, the degree of collaboration with not-for-profit organizations contributed significantly to the success of the American River Parkway and went beyond the more commonly understood patterns of relationships between greenways and the public found in the literature. These findings can be used to inform greenway management in other locations.
Description: Thesis (M.S.)--Humboldt State University, Natural Resources: Planning and Interpretation, 2011
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2148/743
Date: 2011-05

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  • Masters Theses [874]
    A collection of selected Masters Theses in electronic format.

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