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This chapter illustrates the practical application of the broad range of tools and approaches described in Chapter 2 to real-world situations. It responds to an important need for well-documented use cases by giving detailed consideration to the specific context of each case study and the way in which tools are used to respond to specific objectives. The chapter is divided into three groups of case studies, called “themes.” In the first of these (Theme 3.1: Getting to know the territory) we explore ways to assist communities to value their local landscapes, customs, and traditions and create, redefine, or recover their sense of place-based identity to defend against the powerful external forces that have tended to homogenize the rural landscape and ultimately rob its people of economic activity and the opportunity to decide the future at a local scale. In the second theme (Theme 3.2: Between city and country) we address the root of the problem in rural and peri-urban areas today: the loss of their identity as producers of food and materials for nearby population centers. This theme is strongly oriented around agroecology, and illustrates the practical application of a wide range of participatory initiatives to search for a more sustainable and socially just model of food supply and distribution which puts local communities at the center and reduces environmental impacts by shrinking food networks, minimizing waste, and promoting non-intensive and organic approaches to farming. The last group (Theme 3.3: Conflicts, citizens, and society) addresses the need to search for better answers to global problems like urban sprawl, ecosystem degradation, and climate change by exploring and questioning structures of power, challenging the roles of traditional decision-makers, and working across sectors and scales to involve all stakeholders in constructing common visions of the future. In this theme we delve into a range of participatory modeling, scenario planning, and role-playing approaches to help us collectively imagine how things might be done differently. Here we move away from the idea of a participatory process as a series of techniques applied in response to concrete objectives, and show it as an emergent, responsive activity with individual actions linking together into cycles of social learning. We also introduce a range of evaluation techniques suitable for critical assessment of the utility of these kinds of processes.




Hewitt, R. J., Hernández-Jiménez, V., Zazo-Moratalla, A., Ocón-Martín, B., Román-Bermejo, L. P., & Encinas-Escribano, M. A. (2017). Experiences. In Developments in Environmental Modelling (Vol. 30, pp. 49–179). Elsevier B.V. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-444-63982-0.00003-3

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