|Title||Shaping tomorrow’s urban environment today : Environmental Policy Integration in urban planning: the challenges of a communicative approach|
|Author(s)||Grift-Simeonova, V.S. van der|
|Source||Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Arnold van der Valk. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462578364 - 215|
Regional Development and Spatial Use
|Publication type||Dissertation, internally prepared|
|Keyword(s)||urban planning - environmental policy - urban areas - ecological network - communication - participation - nature conservation - bulgaria - netherlands - stedelijke planning - milieubeleid - stedelijke gebieden - ecologische hoofdstructuur - communicatie - participatie - natuurbescherming - bulgarije - nederland|
The debate on sustainable development emphasizes the importance of integrating environmental policy into other policy sectors. It is increasingly recognized that such integration is needed at the national, regional and local levels of governance. Hence the Environmental Policy Integration (EPI) principle has been proposed, which is defined as “the incorporation of the environmental objectives into all stages of policy making in non-environmental policy sectors, with the recognition of this goal as the guiding principle for the planning and execution of policy”. Currently EPI is agreed upon in a number of EU commitments and is receiving the attention of urban planning scholars. The achievability of EPI, however, has not yet been well studied, particularly in the urban planning context, while its implementation often seems to be hindered by organizational fragmentation.
This thesis assesses the potential role of EPI as an operational principle for achieving sustainable urban development in Europe. It addresses the scientific premises of EPI and the current knowledge gaps in applying it in the urban planning domain. The research combines theoretical and empirical dimensions. The theoretical dimension includes evidence of the current knowledge gap regarding the integration of environmental aspects into urban planning and the emergence of EPI as a promising perspective in urban sustainability research and planning practice. This includes reflections on EPI’s definitions, interpretations and its different approaches. The empirical dimension of the thesis explores evidence regarding the EPI process in actual planning practices, with an assessment of the relevance of different EPI approaches. Based on the exploration of case studies within different planning contexts, the empirical research provides insights into the key challenges and barriers to achieving EPI in urban planning and identifies key success factors for local governments addressing specific environmental issues in urban land-use plans. The key objective of the thesis is, therefore, to explore the responses of planning systems to the current EPI challenges, with the twin goals of gaining insight into the role of EPI in integrating environmental concerns in urban land-use planning processes and of identifying the most promising approaches for achieving EPI. The thesis provides an answer about the potential benefits of, among other approaches, a communicative approach to achieve EPI in urban planning practice.