Wastewater management by citizens: mismatch between legal rules and self-organisation in Oosterwold

Lilian van Karnenbeek, Willem Salet, Stan Majoor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Abstract

Self-organisation in environmental service delivery is increasingly being promoted as an alternative to centralised service delivery. This article argues that self-organised environmental service delivery must be understood in the context of legal rules, especially environmental legislation. The article’s aim is twofold: first, to understand the changing relationship between the government and citizens in self-organised service delivery, and second, to explore how self-organised environmental service delivery complies with environmental quality requirements stipulated in legislation. The empirical study focuses on wastewater management in Oosterwold, the largest Dutch urban development that experimented with self-organisation. The results show that while individual wastewater management was prioritised and implemented at scale, the applicable legal rules were not adequately considered and integrated. Consequently, the experiment led to a deterioration of water quality. The article concludes that the success or failure of self-organisation in delivering environmental services such as wastewater management critically hinges on ensuring compliance with environmental legislation.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Environmental Planning and Management
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Nov 2020

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