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Forskningsartikel2007Vetenskapligt granskad

Context awareness and sensitivity in SEA implementation

Hilding-Rydevik, Tuija; Bjamadottir, Holmfridur


The Impact Assessment research community repeatedly asserts that the implementation of Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) should take the issue of context into consideration. The primary aim of this paper then is to attempt to give substance to the concept of "context" in relation to the implementation of SEA. The second aim is to discuss the relevance of context consciousness and sensitivity in relation to one of the main aims given to SEA implementation i.e. to contribute to the "integration" of environmental perspectives in planning processes. Context must be defined in relation to a certain question. In this paper the question in focus is the assumption that SEA implementation will contribute to integration of environmental issues in planning processes. Research results relating to the use of environmental tools, like for example SEA, and experiences of integration efforts, strongly indicate that the use of a single tool like SEA is not enough to achieve this integration. The current "context free" normative and procedural assumptions concerning the aim of SEA implementation and "best practice" in term of SEA can be criticised on the same grounds as normative and procedural planning theories, as being context free. The assumptions behind the current formulations of the aim and best practice of SEA need to be revisited. A firm empirical and theoretical knowledge and discussion is needed, especially in relation to the issue of context and integration. This paper provides a starting point in this direction. (c) 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


strategic environmental assessment; SEA; implementation; context; integration; regional development

Publicerad i

Environmental Impact Assessment Review
2007, Volym: 27, nummer: 7, sidor: 666-684

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