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From Models to Management: Lessons learned from evaluating U.S. National Heritage Landscapes

Conference contribution
Authors Daniel Laven
Katarina Saltzman
Jennifer L. Jewiss
Nora J. Mitchell
Published in 10th Nordic Environmental Social Science Conference, Stockholm 14-16 juni 2011
Publication year 2011
Published at Department of Conservation
Language en
Subject categories Cultural Studies


In many parts of the world there is a growing interest in how to manage, protect and develop landscapes as evidenced by the advancement of the European Landscape Convention (ELC) during the last decade. In Sweden, the ELC was recently ratified and decision makers have now turned their attention to implementing the Convention. The ELC underlines the importance of local perspectives and democratic processes to successful and sustainable landscape management. This paper will present experiences from a landscape-scale management and governance program in the United States, and discuss if and how these experiences may inform the ELC process currently underway in Sweden. U.S. National Heritage Areas (NHAs) are one of the oldest and most well-established federal landscape scale programs in the United States. NHAs operate through partnerships with the U.S. National Park Service (NPS), local communities, private and third sector organizations, as well as other governmental agencies and seek to integrate resource conservation with social and economic objectives. Previous research on NHAs reveals the importance of heritage as a discourse tool, inter-sectoral networks and network governance, and entrepreneurial approaches to managing and decision-making. Despite important differences between the NHA environment and the ELC, the NHA experience may be sufficiently similar to the ELC such that thoughtful treatment of these issues will be necessary for successful implementation efforts. We conclude by offering our perspectives on future research.

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