The purpose of this paper is to focus on the relevance of citizen complaints as a new source of information for local environmental governance. It represents an initial attempt to construct a fresh approach to the field.
The paper comprises a brief literature review around the concept of environmental governance, the role played by institutions, and the challenges of local environmental governance; an empirical study of a Portuguese municipality based on environmental complaints submitted to its City Council and a comparative analysis between the results garnered from the empirical study and the areas of intervention in the Municipal Environmental Plan.
The results suggest that the information gathered from public complaints on environmental issues has the potential to reveal the most significant environmental problems from the standpoint of local actors. This knowledge is relevant for self‐evaluation by local authorities whilst remaining a promising avenue for local public participation in decision‐making processes.
The authors take the view that concerns raised by local populations are important, latent sources of information that can have a positive impact on delineating necessary action for the management and resolution of local environmental problems.
Salgado Carvalho, D. and Fidélis, T. (2011), "Citizen complaints as a new source of information for local environmental governance", Management of Environmental Quality, Vol. 22 No. 3, pp. 386-400. https://doi.org/10.1108/14777831111122941Download as .RIS
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