Framework for integration of urban planning, strategic environmental assessment and ecological planning for urban sustainability within the context of China
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Sustainable development or sustainability has been highlighted as an essential principle in urban master planning, with increasing recognition that uncontrollable urbanization may well give rise to various issues such as overexploitation of natural resources, ecosystem destruction, environmental pollution and large-scale climate change. Thus, it is deemed necessary to modify the existing urban and regional administrative system so as to cope with the challenges urban planning is being confronted with and realize the purpose of urban sustainability. This paper contributed to proposing a mechanism which helps to make urban planning with full consideration of issues with respect to sustainable development. We suggested that the integration of urban planning, SEA and ecological planning be a multi-win strategy to offset deficiency of each mentioned political tool being individually applied. We also proposed a framework where SEA and ecological planning are fully incorporated into urban planning, which forms a two-way constraint mechanism to ascertain environmental quality of urban planning, although in practice, planning and SEA processes may conditionally be unified. Moreover, as shown in the case study, the integration of the three political tools may be constrained due to slow changes in the contextual factors, in particular the political and cultural dimensions. Currently within the context of China, there may be three major elements which facilitate integration of the three political tools, which are (1) regulatory requirement of PEIA on urban planning, (2) the promotion or strong administrative support from government on eco-district building, and (3) the willingness of urban planners to collaborate with SEA experts or ecologists.
Environmental Impact Assessment Review
Environmental Sciences not elsewhere classified