Environmental Management

, Volume 58, Issue 2, pp 254–267

Toward an Understanding of Citywide Urban Environmental Governance: An Examination of Stewardship Networks in Baltimore and Seattle

  • Michele Romolini
  • J. Morgan Grove
  • Curtis L. Ventriss
  • Christopher J. Koliba
  • Daniel H. Krymkowski

DOI: 10.1007/s00267-016-0704-4

Cite this article as:
Romolini, M., Morgan Grove, J., Ventriss, C.L. et al. Environmental Management (2016) 58: 254. doi:10.1007/s00267-016-0704-4


Efforts to create more sustainable cities are evident in the proliferation of sustainability policies in cities worldwide. It has become widely proposed that the success of these urban sustainability initiatives will require city agencies to partner with, and even cede authority to, organizations from other sectors and levels of government. Yet the resulting collaborative networks are often poorly understood, and the study of large whole networks has been a challenge for researchers. We believe that a better understanding of citywide environmental governance networks can inform evaluations of their effectiveness, thus contributing to improved environmental management. Through two citywide surveys in Baltimore and Seattle, we collected data on the attributes of environmental stewardship organizations and their network relationships. We applied missing data treatment approaches and conducted social network and comparative analyses to examine (a) the organizational composition of the network, and (b) how information and knowledge are shared throughout the network. Findings revealed similarities in the number of actors and their distribution across sectors, but considerable variation in the types and locations of environmental stewardship activities, and in the number and distribution of network ties in the networks of each city. We discuss the results and potential implications of network research for urban sustainability governance.


Urban sustainability Governance networks Social network analysis Urban natural resources management 

Funding information

Funder NameGrant NumberFunding Note
USDA Forest Service
  • ARRA Project 10-CA-11260489-090
Directorate for Biological Sciences
  • DEB-0423476
  • DEB-0948947

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michele Romolini
    • 1
  • J. Morgan Grove
    • 2
  • Curtis L. Ventriss
    • 3
  • Christopher J. Koliba
    • 4
  • Daniel H. Krymkowski
    • 5
  1. 1.Center for Urban ResilienceLoyola Marymount UniversityLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Northern Research StationUSDA Forest ServiceBaltimoreUSA
  3. 3.Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural ResourcesUniversity of VermontBurlingtonUSA
  4. 4.Department of Community Development and Applied EconomicsUniversity of VermontBurlingtonUSA
  5. 5.Department of SociologyUniversity of VermontBurlingtonUSA

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