Measuring the collective planning capabilities of local jurisdictions to manage ecological systems in southern Florida Academic Article uri icon


  • Although ecosystem approaches to management often look beyond specific jurisdictions and focus on broad spatial scales, the contribution local level plans and policies make in managing ecological systems must be strongly considered along with state and federal initiatives. Increasingly, environmental planners and policy makers are acknowledging the importance of local land use decisions implementing ecosystem management. However, little research has been conducted to understand how local jurisdictions can together solve ecosystem-based problems. This article evaluates the collective planning capabilities of local jurisdictions to manage transboundary watersheds based on an evaluation of comprehensive plans in Florida. In addition to describing the spatial pattern of collective watershed planning scores, this paper identifies the major factors contributing to the strength or weakness of local jurisdictions to manage ecological systems. Results indicate that strong ecosystem management capabilities exist for watersheds with the following characteristics: high levels of human disturbance; large, wealthy, and educated populations; and a high degree of planning capacity to address complex environmental issues. Based on the findings, policy implications are discussed and suggestions are made as to how local jurisdictions can more effectively contribute to the management of large ecological systems. 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Brody, S. D., Highfield, W., & Carrasco, V.

citation count

  • 73

complete list of authors

  • Brody, SD||Highfield, W||Carrasco, V

publication date

  • July 2004