Translating the influence of the river : an exploratory study of the social benefits in river restorations
Abstract: This Master’s thesis aims to fill the research gaps by providing a study that clearly defines and concretizes the social benefits in river restorations. By further analysing the significance of the social benefits the aim is further to gain a better understanding of the factors that enable people to reap greater social benefits in river restoration. Given the dearth in research, an exploratory research approach is chosen to guide this thesis, on the premises that it provides and generates greater descriptions and broader understandings of the social benefits in river restorations. In addition, the exploratory approach enables analysis and arguments using both primary and secondary research methods, which are applied through literature reviews, official website analysis and interviews with representatives of the single organizations. The factors considered to constitute the social benefits in river restoration are well-being, aesthetics, recreation, play and learn, cultural expression, social cohesion and sense of belonging. When analysing the key factors that enable people to benefit from the social benefits of river restoration, the recognition includes relational values, active citizenship, public participation, knowledge sharing and social dynamics. In addition, the data collected from the single organizations indicate different levels of citizens’ activity and participation, i.e., semi-active, participating, active and highly active. Lastly, this thesis’ contribution to the research field is of great value, as the main findings demonstrate a coherence and consistency between the theoretical reasonings and the identifications of the four single organizations.
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