Navigating the evolution of river landscapes towards more sustainable pathways requires transdisciplinary research including diverse stakeholders. A thorough understanding of stakeholder interests, including potential conflicts and options for convergence, is critical for the design and implementation of such transdisciplinary research. So far, only a few studies have conducted in-depth stakeholder analyses. The aim of this paper is to elucidate and characterize the interests of the relevant actors in a case study for sustainable river landscape development in Germany. The research questions concern the (i) commonalities and differences as manifested in the structures of thought and action of the actors, and the (ii) potential points of conflict or convergence of interests, as relevant for further transdisciplinary research. Our methods include participating in observations in three meetings of the actors, and conducting twelve individual interviews, as well as a focus group discussion. Our results identify major conflicts between the actors’ perspectives regarding navigation interests and the demands for nature conservation. Potential issues for convergence are ecological river restoration and enhancing recreation opportunities. The findings shed light on the diversity of the stakeholder perspectives around river landscape development. We recommend that future projects capture this diversity through a triangulation approach.
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