SEA and planning: ‘ownership’ of strategic environmental assessment by the planners is the key to its effectiveness
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As the field of SEA has matured, the focus has moved from the development of legislation, guidelines and methodologies towards improving effectiveness of the implementation of SEA. Measuring, and of course achieving, effectiveness is a complex and challenging task. This paper suggests that SEA professionals need to consider 'democratic effectiveness' as well as 'environmental effectiveness' in both 'direct' and 'indirect' outputs. The effectiveness of SEA of plans depends critically on the context within which SEA legislation and guidelines are understood and implemented, and the relationship of the SEA to the planning activity itself. This paper focuses on the influence that planners have in these implementation processes, postulating the hypothesis that planners are key players in achieving effectiveness of SEA of plans. Based upon implementation theory and empirical experience, the paper discusses the role of the planners in SEA implementation, concluding that their 'ownership' of SEA is crucial for both democratic and environmental effectiveness
Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal
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Urban and Regional Planning not elsewhere classified