Agency and Governance in Green Infrastructure Policy Adoption and Change


Gerlak, A.K., Elder, A., Sanderford, A., Zuniga-Teran, A.A., Pavao-Zuckerman, M. 2021.    
Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning            Taylor & Francis Online                

Green Infrastructure (GI) is being adopted in cities all around the world as a key piece of climate change adaptation and water management for local governments. Recognizing that there is increasingly a diversity of actors engaged in designing, implementing, and fostering GI policies, we aim to better understand how urban GI policies take shape over time. We draw from two bodies of scholarship – – agency in Earth System Governance and entrepreneurs in public policy scholarship -- to study the agents who come to exercise authority to shape GI governance. We trace the trajectory of urban GI practices and policy over the past two decades, keenly observing how GI policies are adopted and change over time. We focus on Tucson, Arizona and combine document analysis, key informant interviews, and participation in stakeholder meetings with an innovative timeline method we collaboratively developed with stakeholders to identify the key events and actors in GI policy adoption. Our findings suggest diverse yet, interconnected roles for entrepreneurs highlighting how agency is exercised, how learning occurs and takes shape across entrepreneurs and scales, and how inequities are realized and addressed.Agency and Governance in Green Infrastructure Policy Adoption and Change