This chapter explores themes related to the differentiation of spaces of regulation, with regard to the river basin/body of water constructs in the EU Water Framework Directive and the landscape construct in the European Landscape Convention. The two spaces of regulation are described and followed by an analysis informed by the sustainability perspective of E. Ostrom. Ostrom provided a scheme for differentiating spaces for sustainable management, ‘action areas’, and emphasized that the general community, biophysical materiality, and instructive rules are variables that need to be considered when differentiating sustainable management units. The analysis indicates that by combining the spaces of regulation in the Water Framework Directive and the Landscape Convention a more sustainable space of regulation can be established that both reflect Ostroms variables and the multiplicity of the social and ecological dimensions. Similar to the Landscape Convention, the general community, as the public concerned, should be eligible to participate in the differentiation of spaces of regulation. Biophysically a site-specific adaptation seems to better fit with both Ostroms reasoning and scientific literature on the subject. Instructive rules, as the focus or objective of the space, are suggested as population self-maintenance as an indication of ecological functionality.

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