Environmental Assessment, Alternatives and Large-Scale Infrastructure Projects – The Öresund Fixed Link Case

Document type: Conference Presentations
Peer reviewed: Yes
Author(s): Eric Markus
Title: Environmental Assessment, Alternatives and Large-Scale Infrastructure Projects – The Öresund Fixed Link Case
Translated title: Miljökonsekvensbeskrivning, alternativ och storskaliga infrastrukturprojekt - fallet Öresundsförbindelsen
Conference name: International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA) 2006
Year: 2006
Publisher: IAIA
City: Stavanger, Norway
Organization: Blekinge Institute of Technology
Department: School of Technoculture, Humanities and Planning (Sektionen för teknokultur, humaniora och samhällsbyggnad)
School of Technoculture, Humanities and Planning S-371 79 Karlskrona
+46 455 38 50 00
http://www.tks.bth.se/
Authors e-mail: eric.markus@bth.se
Language: English
Abstract: Large-scale infrastructure projects – here exemplified by the Öresund fixed link (bridge) between Malmö, Sweden and Copenhagen, Denmark – exhibit several characteristics typical to plans: they have far-reaching impacts beyond the immediate geographical area of the project, they can be seen as ‘contextuating decisions’ for further planning and development, and they often evolve and change over time. This has implications for the impact assessment of these kinds of projects: should they be treated as projects (EIA) or plans (SEA)? Looking at the case study of the Öresund fixed link, its decision-making process and impact assessment, in conjunction with the environmental concerns and arguments raised, it is clear that the issue of alternatives in the impact assessment is largely dependent on whether the approach taken is that of EIA, i.e. the project approach/mode, or SEA, i.e. the planning approach/mode.
Summary in Swedish: Storskaliga infrastrukturprojekt, som Öresundsförbindelsen liknar planer snarare än projekt: deras inverkan sträcker sig geografiskt utanför närområdet, de skapar kontexter för framtida planering och utveckling, och de utvecklas och förändras ofta under projekteringstiden. Detta påverkar hur miljökonsekvensbeskrivningar (MKB) för dessa projekt bör göras: borde de ses som projekt eller som planer i MKB-sammanhang? Fallet Öresundsförbindelsen och dess beslutsprocess, MKB samt miljödebatt visar att frågan om vilka alternativ som behandlas och bedöms beror på vilken approach som tas - om det ses som projekt (dvs MKB) eller som planer (dvs strategisk miljöbedömning, SMB). Nyckelord: strategisk miljöbedömning (SMB), miljökonsekvensbeskrivning (MKB), Öresundsförbindelsen, planer, projekt, alternativ
Subject: Spatial Planning\Environmental Assessment
Keywords: strategic environmental assessment (SEA), environmental impact assessment (EIA), the Öresund fixed link, plans, projects, alternatives
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