by JJ Connolly, ES Svendsen, DR Fisher, LK Campbell
Landscape and Urban Planning 109:76-842013
As a way of understanding the complexity and importance of the network of stewardship groups involved in protecting and advocating for the local urban environment, the authors investigated 2,767 non-profit and informal community environmental advocacy groups in New York City. These organizations were surveyed, and “bridge organizations,” i.e., mid-level groups that “started out engaged in local organizing and eventually began to centralize the work of many small organizations while connecting resources across scales and sectors,” were identified. The 13 bridge organizations were approached for open-ended semi-structured interviews to determine their specific activities and how their bridging role evolved. The authors found that the importance of these bridge groups is growing, that most have a simultaneously collaborative and antagonistic relationship with government agencies, and that an earlier heterarchic (non-hierarchical) atmosphere around stewardship in New York City was essential to their development.