The being and becoming of Danish national and nature parks: A land use perspective

Janne Liburd, Kristof Tomej*, Birthe Menke

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conference without publisher/journalConference abstract for conferenceResearchpeer-review


National parks in Denmark have only been introduced after the turn of the millennium. The contemporary political and economic realities thus shaped a distinct land ownership structure, where the parks do not own or govern land. Nature parks, which are enabled through a certification scheme of the Danish Outdoor Council since 2013, face a similar situation. Guided by an inductive approach, we visited four national parks and seven nature parks, where we engaged in situ with park employees and diverse stakeholders in April – May 2021 to explore histories, interdependencies and complexities of tourism and sustainability. In addition, workshops in each of these parks contribute to the overarching project aim of facilitating dialogue about socio-cultural values to initiate transformations for sustainable tourism development in Danish national and nature parks.
The designation of a park offers ground for identifying latent values of a continuous landscape owned by multiple individuals and entities. Initially, the park landowners’ differing interests may complicate the development of this potential. Deliberating values generated by tourists and tourism, however, helps (re-)discover local natural and other resources as “valuable”. Working with these and other mutually shared values over time helps cultivate trust, which is necessary for leveraging the multiple landowners’ and users’ interpretations for developing alternate uses of the park area for its sustainable development. This process is driven by dynamic stakeholder alliances, which form upon interdependencies between the various land uses, business interests, personal wellbeing and shared values, whether as a result of crises or other urgencies.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2021
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Event29th Nordic Symposium on Tourism and Hospitality Research: Shaping mobile futures: Challenges and possibilities in precarious times - University of Akureyri, Akureyri, Iceland
Duration: 21. Sept 202123. Sept 2021
Conference number: 29


Conference29th Nordic Symposium on Tourism and Hospitality Research
LocationUniversity of Akureyri
Internet address


  • national parks
  • nature parks
  • sustainable tourism development
  • tourism
  • recreation
  • tourism co-design
  • land-use


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