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River rehabilitation: preference factors and public participation implications


  • Xavier Garcia Acosta (Institut d’Estudis Regionals i Metropolitans de Barcelona)
  • Marta Benages-Albert (Universitat Internacional de Catalunya)
  • Matthias Buchecker (Swiss Federal Research Institut)
  • Pere Vall-Casas (Universitat Internacional de Catalunya)


Year: 2019

Human activities have caused the degradation of rivers and streams, and consequently, the disruption of the provision of valuable services. Therefore, the rehabilitation of these ecosystems can provide many benefits that will contribute to the well-being of society. However, these projects often meet with controversial public responses because of conflicting interests and expectations. Through a literature review, this paper identifies and describes the main public preference factors for river rehabilitation. Understanding the multiple factors that inform the public’s preference for rehabilitation actions might assist decision-makers in anticipating conflicts and outline rehabilitation management strategies that can improve the acceptability of river rehabilitation, thus helping to ensure the sustainability of these projects. These factors are categorised as: socio-cultural, perceptual, and physical. Using these findings, we develop a conceptual framework for understanding how these preference factors and the knowledge about them can be used to increase the acceptance of river rehabilitation.

Garcia Acosta, X., Benages-Albert, M., Buchecker, M., & Vall-Casas, P. (2019). River rehabilitation: preference factors and public participation implications. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, On line: 5 November 2019, https://doi.org/10.1080/09640568.2019.1680353