To realize more sustainable and resilient urban social-ecological systems, there is great need for active engagement from diverse public agencies, non-profit organizations, businesses, natural resource managers, scientists, and other actors. Cities present unique challenges and opportunities for sustainability and resilience, as issues and organizations are frequently intertwined in networks of relations. Understanding and leveraging the range of knowledge types, motivations, skills, and goals of diverse participants and their networks is fundamental to sustainable and resilient cities. As efforts to examine and understand urban stewardship networks continue to emerge, it is increasingly clear that there are no structured or systematic frameworks to guide the integration of social and ecological phenomena. Such a framework could facilitate planning new urban stewardship network research, and provide a basis for comparisons among cities and their urban stewardship networks. In this paper, we develop and present a social-ecological framework for examining and understanding urban stewardship networks. To illustrate this framework and provide examples of its prospective and evaluative utility, we use examples from the U.S. Forest Service’s Stewardship Mapping (STEW-MAP) network in the United States from Baltimore, MD, USA, New York City, NY, USA, San Juan, Puerto Rico, USA, and Seattle, WA, USA.
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