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Strategisk miljöbedömning för hållbar samhällsplanering. : Slutrapport från forskningsprogrammet SPEAK

Balfors, Berit ; Antonson, Hans LU ; Faith-Ell, Charlotta; Finnveden, Göran ; Gunnarsson-Östling, Ulrika; Hörnberg, Christina; Isaksson, Karolina; Lundberg, Kristina; Pädam, Sirje and Söderqvist, Tore, et al. (2018)
Abstract (Swedish)
The general aim of the research programme SPEAK (Sustainable Planning and
Environmental Assessment Knowledge, www.speakproject.se) was to generate
knowledge on, and to strengthen the role of strategic environmental assessment
(SEA) in planning as a measure to attain the environmental quality objectives and
to promote sustainable development. The SPEAK programme had a
transdisciplinary point of departure with close interaction between practice and
academy. Within the SPEAK program both quantitative and qualitative methods
were applied. The theoretical framework built on the international debate on SEA
effectiveness.

In the first part of the SPEAK programme a database was developed, which
provided... (More)
The general aim of the research programme SPEAK (Sustainable Planning and
Environmental Assessment Knowledge, www.speakproject.se) was to generate
knowledge on, and to strengthen the role of strategic environmental assessment
(SEA) in planning as a measure to attain the environmental quality objectives and
to promote sustainable development. The SPEAK programme had a
transdisciplinary point of departure with close interaction between practice and
academy. Within the SPEAK program both quantitative and qualitative methods
were applied. The theoretical framework built on the international debate on SEA
effectiveness.

In the first part of the SPEAK programme a database was developed, which
provided an extensive mapping of SEA practice for the period 2004-2014. The
mapping showed that the share of municipal comprehensive plans with an SEA has
increased from 30-45 percent in the beginning of the period to about 90 percent in
the end of the period. For municipal waste plans and energy plans, the
improvement is less significant. Statistical analyses suggest that the municipal
resources and inter-municipal cooperation have a positive impact on the probability
of conducting an SEA. However, the mapping also shows that only half of the SEA
documents specify the aim of the municipal plan and merely one in four include
more than one plan alternative.

In the second part, two in-depth analyses were conducted, one focusing on
municipal planning and one focusing on county transport planning. The former
analysis points out that the development of alternatives is hampered by the lack of
a specific aim of the municipal plan. The Swedish Planning and Building Act does
not require an aim or aims of each comprehensive municipal plan to be specified.
Yet, the absence of an aim is likely to create difficulties in defining alternatives.
Consequently, the low application of more than one plan alternative potentially
follows from the lack of an aim. Moreover, interviews with municipal planners
indicate that the awareness of SEA requirements is low, implying shortcomings of
knowledge and learning effectiveness. The second in-depth study shows that SEAs
for county transport plans have often limited impact on the development of the
transport plans. Since every new plan includes a substantial number of projects that
were identified in previous plans, it is difficult to start SEA from neutral ground.
Moreover, interviews indicate low awareness of SEA both among transport
planners and among officials from the national government responsible for
financing. These observations imply additional shortcomings in knowledge and
learning effectiveness.

In the third part, the application of SEA in planning in a selection of countries was
studied. Representatives from various EU countries were interviewed on the
strengths and weaknesses in their SEA practice related to timing, quality assurance,
alternatives, public participation and monitoring. Public participation was generally
considered as a strength, while monitoring and the development of reasonable
alternatives were described as weaknesses. Countries apply various measures to
overcome weaknesses, for example, annual meetings to exchange knowledge and
experiences and establishment of a review body. In the fourth part, a future vision
of SEA practice in Swedish planning was developed. On basis of this vision
proposals for adjustments of current practice were identified. The proposals include
policy recommendations and legal adjustments to enhance SEA effectiveness.
Finally, SPEAK provides suggestions for further research and development. (Less)
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organization
publishing date
type
Book/Report
publication status
published
subject
pages
92 pages
publisher
Naturvårdsverket
ISBN
978-91-620-6810-3
language
Swedish
LU publication?
yes
id
dba406df-8216-4935-9b3d-15d096baf12c
alternative location
http://www.naturvardsverket.se/Documents/publikationer6400/978-91-620-6810-3.pdf
date added to LUP
2018-12-21 17:00:13
date last changed
2019-04-16 13:37:32
@techreport{dba406df-8216-4935-9b3d-15d096baf12c,
  abstract     = {The general aim of the research programme SPEAK (Sustainable Planning and<br/>Environmental Assessment Knowledge, www.speakproject.se) was to generate<br/>knowledge on, and to strengthen the role of strategic environmental assessment<br/>(SEA) in planning as a measure to attain the environmental quality objectives and<br/>to promote sustainable development. The SPEAK programme had a<br/>transdisciplinary point of departure with close interaction between practice and<br/>academy. Within the SPEAK program both quantitative and qualitative methods<br/>were applied. The theoretical framework built on the international debate on SEA<br/>effectiveness.<br/><br/>In the first part of the SPEAK programme a database was developed, which<br/>provided an extensive mapping of SEA practice for the period 2004-2014. The<br/>mapping showed that the share of municipal comprehensive plans with an SEA has<br/>increased from 30-45 percent in the beginning of the period to about 90 percent in<br/>the end of the period. For municipal waste plans and energy plans, the<br/>improvement is less significant. Statistical analyses suggest that the municipal<br/>resources and inter-municipal cooperation have a positive impact on the probability<br/>of conducting an SEA. However, the mapping also shows that only half of the SEA<br/>documents specify the aim of the municipal plan and merely one in four include<br/>more than one plan alternative.<br/><br/>In the second part, two in-depth analyses were conducted, one focusing on<br/>municipal planning and one focusing on county transport planning. The former<br/>analysis points out that the development of alternatives is hampered by the lack of<br/>a specific aim of the municipal plan. The Swedish Planning and Building Act does<br/>not require an aim or aims of each comprehensive municipal plan to be specified.<br/>Yet, the absence of an aim is likely to create difficulties in defining alternatives.<br/>Consequently, the low application of more than one plan alternative potentially<br/>follows from the lack of an aim. Moreover, interviews with municipal planners<br/>indicate that the awareness of SEA requirements is low, implying shortcomings of<br/>knowledge and learning effectiveness. The second in-depth study shows that SEAs<br/>for county transport plans have often limited impact on the development of the<br/>transport plans. Since every new plan includes a substantial number of projects that<br/>were identified in previous plans, it is difficult to start SEA from neutral ground.<br/>Moreover, interviews indicate low awareness of SEA both among transport<br/>planners and among officials from the national government responsible for<br/>financing. These observations imply additional shortcomings in knowledge and<br/>learning effectiveness.<br/><br/>In the third part, the application of SEA in planning in a selection of countries was<br/>studied. Representatives from various EU countries were interviewed on the<br/>strengths and weaknesses in their SEA practice related to timing, quality assurance, <br/>alternatives, public participation and monitoring. Public participation was generally<br/>considered as a strength, while monitoring and the development of reasonable<br/>alternatives were described as weaknesses. Countries apply various measures to<br/>overcome weaknesses, for example, annual meetings to exchange knowledge and<br/>experiences and establishment of a review body. In the fourth part, a future vision<br/>of SEA practice in Swedish planning was developed. On basis of this vision<br/>proposals for adjustments of current practice were identified. The proposals include<br/>policy recommendations and legal adjustments to enhance SEA effectiveness.<br/>Finally, SPEAK provides suggestions for further research and development.},
  author       = {Balfors, Berit  and Antonson, Hans and Faith-Ell, Charlotta and Finnveden, Göran  and Gunnarsson-Östling, Ulrika and Hörnberg, Christina and Isaksson, Karolina and Lundberg, Kristina and Pädam, Sirje and Söderqvist, Tore and Wärnbäck, Antoienette},
  institution  = {Naturvårdsverket},
  isbn         = {978-91-620-6810-3},
  language     = {swe},
  pages        = {92},
  title        = {Strategisk miljöbedömning för hållbar samhällsplanering. : Slutrapport från forskningsprogrammet SPEAK},
  year         = {2018},
}