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Using policy to promote participatory planning: an examination of Minnesota's Lake Improvement Districts from the citizen perspective


  • Kaitlin Steiger-Meister
  • Dennis R. Becker


Increased development around Minnesota's lakes and their respective watersheds has degraded lake health in counties surrounding the St. Paul and Minneapolis metro areas. Confronted with the implications of degraded lakes, such as loss of property values and declining recreational experiences, lakefront landowners, and those using the lake for recreation, are increasingly looking for meaningful ways to engage in activities to improve lake water quality. Even with increased citizen interest in lake management issues, state and county agencies are struggling to find effective methods that transform citizen interest into citizen action. We examine the Minnesota Lake Improvement District (LID) Law as a mechanism for formally involving lakefront homeowners in the design and implementation of lake management actions from the citizen perspective. Semi-structured, in-depth interviews with LID participants were used to explore what citizens perceived tobe benefits and challenges of the programme. Findings provide insight to environmental planners regarding citizen perceptions of pursuing a participatory management approach in which citizens are able to request a new taxing district to fund their desired lake management activities.

Suggested Citation

  • Kaitlin Steiger-Meister & Dennis R. Becker, 2012. "Using policy to promote participatory planning: an examination of Minnesota's Lake Improvement Districts from the citizen perspective," Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 55(5), pages 599-615, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jenpmg:v:55:y:2012:i:5:p:599-615
    DOI: 10.1080/09640568.2011.619334

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