Perspectives on narrowing the action gap between landscape science and metropolitan governance: Practice in the US and China

Printer-friendly versionPDF version
May 01, 2014
Zhifang Wang, Puay Yok Tan, Tao Zhangc, Joan Iverson Nassauer


While scientific knowledge of urban landscapes is incomplete, it is adequate to inform design, planning, and management of metropolitan regions. Yet, landscape knowledge is seldom employed as fully as it could be, creating an action gap that slows down or prevents effective use of landscape science to improve metropolitan conditions for urban sustainability and livability. We characterize the nature of the action gap through highlighting the differences between governance, science and practice in China and the US. We suggest that amidst such differences, a common thread exists in the application of practice as a catalyst for closing the gap. We then make suggestions for changes in related systems of rewards, innovation, and communication to activate practice as a catalyst in deployment of landscape science. Practice is also suggested to assume differentiated roles (bridging vs. facilitating) under the different governance systems of China and the US.

This resource can be accessed at:

Share: Facebook Icon Twitter Icon Linked Icon