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Ecological restoration as a real-world experiment: designing robust implementation strategies in an urban environment

[journal article]

Gross, Matthias; Hoffmann-Riem, Holger

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Abstract The concept of real-world experiments is a framework to understand environmental design projects under real world conditions. Contrary to laboratory experiments that are generally thought to exclude the public, real-world experiments involve combinations of social and natural factors. In this paper the theory of real-world experiments is applied to the fieldwork of ecological restoration. The case discussed here is an ecological design process at Montrose Point, a peninsula built on landfill in Lake Michigan on the North Side of Chicago. It illustrates how, in the practice of ecological restoration, the idea of experiment can be understood as being built on processes of recursive learning that include different parts of the wider society and nature. The paper outlines a concept of robust implementation strategies in which public involvement is a pivotal part of a more encompassing activity of ecological practice. This is undertaken to aim at a better understanding of learning processes taking place in natural and social systems.
Document language English
Publication Year 2005
Page/Pages p. 269-284
Journal Public Understanding of Science, 14 (2005) 3
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)