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Explaining regional open space policy – The Multiple Streams perspective

Environmental Policy
Governance
Local Government
Policy Analysis
Decision Making
Policy Change
Policy-Making
Gerd Lintz
Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development, IOER
Gerd Lintz
Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development, IOER

Abstract

Regional open green space provides important ecosystem services, e.g. climate regulation and recreational experience, particularly needed in agglomeration areas. As the protection and development of green space or green infrastructure is mainly investigated in the context of formal and informal spatial or landscape planning, the political dimension has often been neglected. In this policy field, the potential benefits of using approaches established in political science have hardly been explored. Firstly, the presentation aims to show that the Multiple Streams Framework (MSF) is a promising approach to analyse and explain regional open space policy and planning. This is based on the theoretical interpretation of a comprehensive report about the emergence and development of the RheinMain Regional Park (around Frankfurt, Germany) written by an involved practitioner (Rautenstrauch 2015). Out of the three defining streams under the MSF, there is not much evidence given of the problem stream; however, the policy and politics streams, the coupling of these streams in a policy window, and the policy entrepreneur can be easily identified as deci-sive factors (Lintz 2022). Secondly, the presentation introduces a three year research project which goes further by empirically investigating the emergence and development of three regional parks in Germany (Emscher Landscape Park, RheinMain Regional Park, Leipzig Green Belt). It combines a long-term perspective with an in-depth analysis of more current significant policy decisions. The project began in March 2023 and is funded by the German Research Council (subject area of urbanism etc.). Thus the MSF is not only applied to a rarely examined policy field but also on a spatial level which is marked by a distinct governance setting of co-operating municipalities.