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    Author(s): Molly M. Ramsey; Tischa A. Muñoz-Erickson; Elvia Mélendez-Ackerman; Christopher J. Nytch; Benjamin L. Branoff; David Carrasquillo-Medrano
    Date: 2019
    Source: Environmental Science & Policy
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: International Institute of Tropical Forestry
    PDF: Download Publication  (2.0 MB)


    Despite increasing attention to the role that multiple sets of knowledge, including citizen-based knowledge, have in developing more resilient and sustainable pathways for flood management, informal knowledge systems have yet to gain legitimacy and be integrated into formal planning and decision-making process. Here we show that a knowledge systems lens can bring to the fore the prospects and barriers to align different knowledge systems for urban resilience. Focusing on two communities in San Juan, Puerto Rico, we use knowledge systems analysis to identify, analyze, and compare the elements and functions of formal and citizen knowledge systems coming to bear on urban flood management. We found key aspects of these knowledge systems that deserve attention to overcome integration barriers, including different frames about how stormwater and riverine flood systems work, a fragmented and unclear formal knowledge system for stormwater management, and a focus on shortterm approaches that limit anticipatory capacities in both community and governance. We discuss how citizen knowledge systems have a more nuanced and granular understanding of riverine and stormwater flood dynamics and the opportunities that exist to integrate knowledge systems through co-production, citizen science, and other governance interventions. As officials and citizens continue to learn from experiences with extreme events like Hurricane María, a goal of knowledge integration interventions should be the transformation of our knowledge infrastructures to build climate resilience in more just and sustainable ways

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    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Ramsey, Molly M.; Muñoz-Erickson, Tischa A.; Mélendez-Ackerman, Elvia; Nytch, Christopher J.; Branoff, Benjamin L.; Carrasquillo-Medrano, David. 2019. Overcoming barriers to knowledge integration for urban resilience: A knowledge systems analysis of two-flood prone communities in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Environmental Science & Policy. 99: 48-57.


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    Urban resilience, Flood management, Knowledge integration, Knowledge systems analysis Citizen knowledge, Co-production

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