“Liberating” social knowledges for water management, and more broadly environmental management, through “place-change planning”
In response to the big policy problem of increasing failures of traditional, largely technical, policy approaches to constructively address transformational or radical socio-environmental problems from major facility siting, landscape modification, and/ or new environmental management at the local level, this paper introduces "placechange planning". This concept is applied to recent calls by Australian water scientists and policy-makers "to liberate the knowledge, skills and individual leadership and collaboration of all stakeholders to reflect a more decentralised, disaggregated and localised water world". Local community stakeholders appear the most neglected stakeholder currently in such water management, despite increasing international recognition of their importance for constructive change in transitional sustainability contexts. As such, place-change policy design focuses on the importance of collaborative participatory approaches for better understanding of theunderlying rationalities, and, by association, of better liberating the social knowledges, of place-based local communities for better policy input to realise new visions of sustainable water management, and beyond.