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Citizen Science in Major Development Assessment

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This paper investigates the role of Citizen Science in planning processes that seek to secure environmental conservation, drawing on new empirical data from Sydney, Australia, for the case of Citizen Science around the Chullora Wetlands. Through in-depth qualitative interviewing and deskwork, a detailed account is presented of the input and contestation of diverse actors within the approval processes around a major development, over the period from 1991 to 2012. The analysis demonstrates the development of Citizen Science in response to varied treatment of citizen contributors and contributions to a series of episodes of statutory processes embedded in a shifting political context. Findings highlight the importance of the creativity and relational tenacity of the particular groups of volunteers involved in achieving the wetlands in the Sydney case and leveraging additional societal benefi ts. More widely, the case demonstrated the importance of: independent agency of civil society organizations, which can interact with but are not dependent on statutory actors; status and legitimacy derived from scientifi c credentials; and collaborative work before, throughout and beyond decision-making processes.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2019

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  • Built Environment is published quarterly in March, June, September and December. With an emphasis on crossing disciplinary boundaries and providing global perspective, each issue focuses on a single subject of contemporary interest to practitioners, academics and students working in a wide range of disciplines. Issues are guest-edited by established international experts who not only commission contributions, but also oversee the peer-reviewing process in collaboration with the Editors.

    Subject areas include: architecture; conservation; economic development; environmental planning; health; housing; regeneration; social issues; spatial planning; sustainability; urban design; and transport. All issues include reviews of recent publications.

    The journal is abstracted in Geo Abstracts, Sage Urban Studies Abstracts, and Journal of Planning Literature, and is indexed in the Avery Index to Architectural Publications.

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