Postprint of: Laing, JH, Wegner, A, Moore, S & Weiler, B 2008, 'Identifying success factors behind partnerships for managing recreation and tourism in urban fringe parks', Annals of Leisure Research, vol. 11, no. 1/2, pp. 101-122.
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Research has found that urban fringe parks are particularly sensitive to population growth and rising demands for recreation and tourism. High visitor levels, a more sophisticated and demanding visitor, and park budgetary pressures have demanded a rethink of management approaches, including the benefits of partnerships. This paper describes two current partnerships in Australia where the managers of urban fringe parks and other government agencies, the tourism industry, and community groups share management responsibility. The study was informed by theoretical perspectives from sociology and environmental management, particularly social capital, environmental dispute resolution, and institutional analysis and development. Qualitative data regarding the success factors of these partnerships revealed that for both partnerships, important features were support and leadership provided by the park agency, a commitment to power sharing, and the willingness to adapt to changing conditions. These findings may have broader relevance for managing urban fringe parks elsewhere and may also be worthwhile pursuing in protected area partnerships beyond the urban fringe context in Australia and internationally.