Alternatives and Assessment in Large-scale Projects: The Öresund Bridge Case

Document type: Conference Presentations
Peer reviewed: Yes
Author(s): Eric Markus
Title: Alternatives and Assessment in Large-scale Projects: The Öresund Bridge Case
Translated title: Alternativ och konsekvensbeskrivning i storskaliga projekt: fallet Öresundsbron
Conference name: IAIA07 Growth Conservation and Responsibility. 27th Annual Conference of the International Association for Impact Assessment
Year: 2007
Pagination: 90
Publisher: IAIA
City: Seoul, Korea
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: The Öresund bridge between Malmö, Sweden and Copenhagen, Denmark is a contested large-scale infrastructure project with significant strategic impacts in a number of fields ranging from transport and regional policy to taxation and welfare issues. A case study focusing on the bridge’s long decision-making history, and especially on the handling of alternatives in decision-making and impact assessment, shows that the ‘reasonable alternatives’ and environmental concerns have changed over time. Several reasons for this can be identified, including: the role and purpose of urban and land-use planning, the perception of ‘the environment’, the role of experts and the public, and (not least) the question of what the purpose of the bridge was.
Large-scale projects can be seen as creating a wider context for further planning and development. Should these contextuating decisions therefore be treated as (EIA) projects or (SEA) plans? How alternatives are handled in a meaningful way in impact assessment is dependent on whether the approach taken is that of the project (EIA) approach, or the planning (SEA) approach. How all these factors are treated in an assessment process will also have wider implications for the effectiveness and outcome of the assessment.
Summary in Swedish: Öresundsbron är ett omstritt storskaligt infrastrukturprojekt med strategiska konsekvenser inom ett stort antal områden från transportplanering till välfärdsfrågor. Fallstudien fokuserar på brons långa beslutshistorik och i synnerhet på hanteringen av alternativ i beslutsfattandet och miljöbedömningen (MKB, SMB). Vad som setts som 'rimliga alternativ' har ändrats över tiden, bl a beroende på vad som setts som den fysiska planeringens roll och innebörd. Hur frågor om alternativ hanteras i miljökonsekvensbeskrivningar och strategiska miljöbedömningar har följder för planeringen och bedömningarnas effektivitet.
Subject: Spatial Planning\Environmental Assessment
Keywords: SEA, EIA, strategic decisions, spatial planning, Öresund bridge, alternatives
Note: www.iaia.org
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