We analysed how an improbable project of building a new river through a suburban area came to fruition after all. The project is called the 'Blue Connection'. We deployed systemic causal diagrams as a tool to visually show the structure of a system. The diagrams were derived and synthesized from interviews with participants. They then reflected upon the results. As such, the diagrams served a dual purpose: to understand why the Blue Connection project gained momentum whilst simultaneously contributing to the momentum by providing a coherent diagram of the systemic whole beyond the bounded mental models of individual actors. We identified the mechanisms that enabled or restrained the project as a complex system.

Complexity management, Consensus building, Eliciting mental models, Mediation, Systems modelling
dx.doi.org/10.1002/sres.2297, hdl.handle.net/1765/87735
Systems Research and Behavioral Science
Department of Public Administration

Vaandrager, D.J.H, Gerrits, L.M, & Bressers, N.E.W. (2014). Reconstructing the Blue Connection. Systems Research and Behavioral Science, 32(6), 689–706. doi:10.1002/sres.2297