Using pragmatism to overcome the perils of monetary valuation: Applying Deliberative Q-method to understand the value of stream ecosystems in Amman, Jordan
MetadataShow full item record
Existing ecosystem service literature is predominated by valuation studies that narrowly ascribe to either positivist or constructionist worldviews; each subject to inherent limitations that make their operationalization in practice limited. Valuation studies are lacking the pragmatism required to adequately integrate the complexity of ecosystem service values into decision-making, specifically as it pertains to sociocultural values, which do not easily translate into measurable metrics. Accordingly, this thesis aims to increase the validity and credibility of sociocultural valuation studies, both theoretically and empirically. Based on a literature review, valuation studies are lacking the concurrent embodiment of three critical themes: 1) deliberation; 2) local ecological knowledge; and 3) explicit trade-off mechanisms. Accordingly, this manuscript describes the theoretical framework that was developed, which simultaneously integrates these themes, and transcends their epistemological origins. To operationalize the theoretical framework, conventional Q-method was adapted into a deliberative process, by combining it with focus group procedures. This combined method was empirically tested in Amman, Jordan by analyzing how experts value urban water features amid severe water scarcity. The results revealed two juxtaposing opinions regarding the conception of urban surface waters in Amman. The predominant perspective is forward-thinking; valuing urban water features for their sociocultural values, supporting the application of nature-based solutions. The second perspective is backwards thinking; preoccupied with ecosystem disservices and unsustainable water management solutions. Accordingly, Amman and other developing metropolises that face rapid urbanization and climate change would benefit from greater international knowledge exchange, disseminating the benefits of iv local nature-based solutions, specifically stream daylighting. The Deliberative Q-method produces easily interpretable results used by decision-makers to identify management priorities and improve the likelihood of policy success by reducing management inefficiencies and stakeholder conflict. The Deliberative Q-method is adaptable for a variety of research topics, within urban planning and beyond, which seek to understand social preferences amid complex urban realities and the diverse values of its citizens.
Cite this version of the work
Megan Peck (2020). Using pragmatism to overcome the perils of monetary valuation: Applying Deliberative Q-method to understand the value of stream ecosystems in Amman, Jordan. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/15761