Participant-governed networks as catalysts for sustainable transport and tourism infrastructure: the Northern Rivers Rail Trail, Australia

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Lamont, Matthew
Scherrer, Pascal
Dimmock, Kay
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2021
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Abstract

Converting disused railway corridors into multi-purpose spaces to achieve strategic sustainable mobility, leisure, and/or tourism objectives is an increasingly prevalent public policy issue. Previous literature suggests it is often bottom-up processes driven by networks of community-level actors that generate community support and political will to operationalise rail trail visions, though a lack of understanding of such ‘bottom-up’ advocacy processes exists. This study adopted the concept of participant-governed networks to explore the structure and function of a grassroots, community-based network which secured political support and financial commitment for a regional transport and tourism project encompassing construction of a rail trail in northern New South Wales, Australia. Our analysis shows this network comprised an intuitive core–periphery structure of community-minded actors who contributed an eclectic range of resources to consolidate broader political and community networks to advance the rail trail vision.

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Tourism Recreation Research
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Subject
Transport planning
Transport geography
Transport economics
Social Sciences
Hospitality, Leisure, Sport & Tourism
Social Sciences - Other Topics
Rail trails
social network analysis
participant-governed networks
sustainable mobility
tourism policy
community entrepreneurship
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Lamont, M; Scherrer, P; Dimmock, K, Participant-governed networks as catalysts for sustainable transport and tourism infrastructure: the Northern Rivers Rail Trail, Australia, Tourism Recreation Research, 2021
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