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Effect of Public Space on Collective Action for Rural Waste Management and the Mediating Effects of Social Capital


  • Zengwei Xu

    (Business School, Yangzhou University, Yangzhou 225127, China)

  • Shanshan Miao

    (Development and Research Institute of Central Jiangsu, Yangzhou University, Yangzhou 225009, China)


Public spaces enhance social interactions and contacts, yet few scholars have linked public spaces to the governance of commons for rural waste management. We thus explore the direct and mediated effects of public spaces on collective action for rural waste management. The research was conducted in the Jiangsu Province of Eastern China by interviewing 290 farmers from 9 different counties. The individual dataset was collected from the measurement of public space, social capital and collective action for rural waste management. Public space characteristics include scale, entering frequency and accessibility. A structural equation modelling approach was employed to analyse the path and relationship of these variables. The results show that public space has a direct and positive effect on collective action for rural waste management, which could be attributed to the specific dimensions of scale, entering frequency and accessibility. We also find that social capital positively mediates the relationship between public spaces and collective action. This study highlighted the importance of public space use to rural environmental governance. Social capital is recommended to promote the collective action for rural waste management. The results contribute to the literature on public space research and imply that public space should be considered by policymakers to enhance environmental development and rural revitalisation.

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  • Zengwei Xu & Shanshan Miao, 2022. "Effect of Public Space on Collective Action for Rural Waste Management and the Mediating Effects of Social Capital," Agriculture, MDPI, vol. 12(7), pages 1-15, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jagris:v:12:y:2022:i:7:p:1020-:d:862355

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Nor Isnaeni Dwi Arista & Dwini Handayani & Ninin Ernawati, 2023. "Is It Possible to Implement the Same Circular-Economy Concept in Rural and Urban Areas? Study on Willingness to Pay for Household Waste," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 15(7), pages 1-14, March.
    2. Jianliang Nie & Bohan Chen & Yini Liao & Yufeng Wu & Dan Li, 2023. "The Characteristics and the Influencing Factors of Rural Elders’ Social Networks: Evidence from China," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 15(5), pages 1-13, February.

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