Infrastructure for the third generation mobile telephone system as a sustainability issue in planning and environmental administration.

The MiSt Programme

 The infrastructure for the third generation mobile telphone system ("3G")   is under rapid construction in Sweden. In the space of a few years 4 operators will build competing systems to cover 99,8 % of the population giving the administrative system an extreme challenge. This offers a unique possibility for studying how the planning and environment protection administrations at local and regional level in practice handle a sustainable development issue: on the one hand a national technological growth system and on the other environment protection, resource use, public concern over radiation etc.  The permit system is based on two competing procedures - building permits within the planning system and environmental negotiation. These systems have different professional and organisational cultures, perceptions on sustainability etc. The project will deal with four aspects: 1. Development in time and space of issues. 2. In depth studies of what issues, conflicts etc emerge. 3. Methods for strategic environmental assessment (SEA) esp. testing methods of class assessment,important for implementing the new EU SEA-directive. 4. Legal regulation of SIA/SEA/EIA-systems at central, regional and local level to cope with the problem of assessing the infrastructure as a system rather than as a large number of individual cases. At a later stage in the MiSt-programme the handling of public concern over "radiation" can be studied as a consultation/participation issue. As a compact model of handling of sustainability from national to local level the case has considerable research interest for environmental policy and SEA research.

The concrete sustainability issue is of central interest. The problems of effectiveness in relationships between environment protection and spatial planning and the lack of co-ordination between the two sets of legislation are of direct relevance to present revisions of both environmental and planning legislation. The issue of how different types of environmental assessment at different levels and for different purposes is central to the implementation of EU directive 42/2001/EC.

Project leader: Professor Lars Emmelin, Spatial Planning, Blekinge Institute of Technology, lars.emmelin@bth.se Other researchers: Professor Karsten Åström, Sociology of Law, LundUniversity.

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