What’s left before participatory modeling can fully support real-world environmental planning processes: A case study review


In environmental participatory modeling (PM), both computer and non-computer-based modeling techniques are used to aid participatory problem description, solution, and decision-making actions in environmental contexts. Although many PM case studies have been published, few efforts have sought to systematically describe and understand dominant PM processes or establish best practices for PM. As a first step, we have reviewed a random sample of environmental PM case study articles (n=60) using a novel PM process evaluation instrument. We found that significant work likely remains for PM to fully support participatory and integrated planning processes. While PM reports systematically address knowledge integration and learning, they often neglect the facilitation of a multi-value perspective within a democratic process, and the integration across organizations within a governance system. If not reported, we suspect these aspects are also neglected in practice. We conclude with key research and practice issues for improving PM as an approach for real-world participatory planning and governance.

Publication Type
Journal Article
Beatrice Hedelin, Karlstad University
Steven Gray, University of Massachusetts Boston
Stefan Woehlke
Todd K. BenDor
Alison Singer, Michigan State University
Rebecca Jordan, Rutgers University
Moira Zellner, Northeastern University
Philippe Giabbanelli, Northern Illinois University
Pierre D. Glynn
Karen Jenni, US Geological Survey
Antonie Jetter, Portland State University
Nagesh Kolagani, Centurion University of Technology and Management
Bethany Laursen, Michigan State University
Kirsten M. Leong
Laura Schmitt Olabisi, Michigan State University
Eleanor Sterling, AMNH
Environmental Modelling & Software

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