Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-7635

Article | Open Access

Citizen Participation in Urban Forests: Analysis of a Consultation Process in the Metropolitan Area of Rouen Normandy

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Abstract:  The article examines the results of a “citizen consultation” organised by local public officials through a questionnaire-based consultation approach to the management of urban and peri-urban forests. The study shows how forests are at the same time strong, complex, and ambivalent policy levers in a public consultation process. The article, first of all, specifies the economic context of the case study, namely that of a metropolis in the north of France with a population of 500,000 people. It then presents the methods and the occasionally divergent results of the metropolitan “dialogue” survey (dated 2020, n = 375) on the one hand, and a university survey (dated 2020, n = 774) on the other. The results obtained reveal the challenges, difficulties, and limits of a participatory approach, given the high degree of ambivalence and contrast in the way population groups relate to woodland and the representative/participatory systems. The article highlights the complexity involved in the management of woodlands and their use as part of a political process that is both participatory and sustainable.

Keywords:  citizen consultation; city; environment; Normandy; public participation; Rouen; urban forest; woodland



© Charlotte Birks, Damien Féménias, Charly Machemehl. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.