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Public support for river restoration funding in relation to local river ecomorphology, population density, and mean income


Schläpfer, Felix; Witzig, Pieter-Jan (2006). Public support for river restoration funding in relation to local river ecomorphology, population density, and mean income. Water Resources Research, 42:W12412.

Abstract

In 1997, about 140,000 citizens in 388 voting districts in the Swiss canton of Bern passed a ballot initiative to allocate about 3 million Swiss Francs annually to a canton-wide river restoration program. Using the municipal voting returns and a detailed georeferenced data set on the ecomorphological status of the rivers, we estimate models of voter support in relation to local river ecomorphology, population density, mean income, cultural background, and recent flood damage. Support of the initiative increased with increasing population density and tended to increase with increasing mean income, in spite of progressive taxation. Furthermore, we found evidence that public support increased with decreasing “naturalness” of local rivers. The model estimates may be cautiously used to predict the public acceptance of similar restoration programs in comparable regions. Moreover, the voting-based insights into the distribution of river restoration benefits provide a useful starting point for debates about appropriate financing schemes.

In 1997, about 140,000 citizens in 388 voting districts in the Swiss canton of Bern passed a ballot initiative to allocate about 3 million Swiss Francs annually to a canton-wide river restoration program. Using the municipal voting returns and a detailed georeferenced data set on the ecomorphological status of the rivers, we estimate models of voter support in relation to local river ecomorphology, population density, mean income, cultural background, and recent flood damage. Support of the initiative increased with increasing population density and tended to increase with increasing mean income, in spite of progressive taxation. Furthermore, we found evidence that public support increased with decreasing “naturalness” of local rivers. The model estimates may be cautiously used to predict the public acceptance of similar restoration programs in comparable regions. Moreover, the voting-based insights into the distribution of river restoration benefits provide a useful starting point for debates about appropriate financing schemes.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Uncontrolled Keywords:collective decision-making, demand, financing
Language:English
Date:2006
Deposited On:11 Feb 2008 12:27
Last Modified:09 May 2016 14:24
Publisher:American Geophysical Union
ISSN:0043-1397
Publisher DOI:10.1029/2006WR004940
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-2078

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