Managing parks as human ecosystems

Machlis, C.E., 1989, Managing parks as human ecosystems, in: Altman, I., E. Altman & E.H. Zube, ‘Public places and spaces’, Plenum Press, New York

  • Author : Machlis, C.E.
  • Year : 1989
  • Published in Book : Public places and spaces
  • Pages : 255-275
  • Outline in English : The purpose of this chapter is to argue a particular theory of park management, that is, the value in managing parks as human ecosystems. Park management involves an endless series of often difficult decisions, most with tradeoffs and unforeseen consequences. A sound theoretical framework can be invaluable for making environmental choices that are coherent, far-sighted and effective. In this respect, sound theory is a very necessary and practical tool. First, several key assumptions about people and parks are presented, derived from the disciplines of sociobiology, ecology, and sociology. Following is a brief description of the ecological perspective – the roots of human ecology and the key variables and processes human ecology addresses. This perspective is then applied specifically to parks. Next, the role of people in parks management is examined in more detail, first focusing of visitors and then the local communities that are often inter dependent with national parks. Efforts to model park ecosystems are discussed and the need to include people in these models is argued. Finally, the implications of the material, especially for research, are suggested.
  • Comments/Notes : KEYWORDS: parks, urban forestry, management, humanities, human ecology.