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Title: Environmental assessment of spatial plan policies through land use scenarios

This paper presents a method based on scenario analysis to compare the environmental effects of different spatial plan policies in a range of possible futures. The study aimed at contributing to overcome two limitations encountered in Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) for spatial planning: poor exploration of how the future might unfold, and poor consideration of alternative plan policies. Scenarios were developed through what-if functions and spatial modeling in a Geographical Information System (GIS), and consisted in maps that represent future land uses under different assumptions on key driving forces. The use of land use scenarios provided a representation of how the different policies will look like on the ground. This allowed gaining a better understanding of the policies' implications on the environment, which could be measured through a set of indicators. The research undertook a case-study approach by developing and assessing land use scenarios for the future growth of Caia, a strategically-located and fast-developing town in rural Mozambique. The effects of alternative spatial plan policies were assessed against a set of environmental performance indicators, including deforestation, loss of agricultural land, encroachment of flood-prone areas and wetlands and access to water sources. In this way, critical environmental effects related to themore » implementation of each policy were identified and discussed, suggesting possible strategies to address them. - Graphical abstract: Display Omitted Research Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The method contributes to two critical issues in SEA: exploration of the future and consideration of alternatives. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Future scenarios are used to test the environmental performance of different spatial plan policies in uncertainty conditions. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Spatially-explicit land use scenarios provide a representation of how different policies will look like on the ground.« less
Authors:
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22058821
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Environmental Impact Assessment Review; Journal Volume: 32; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Copyright (c) 2011 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands, All rights reserved.; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; CHARGES; DEFORESTATION; ENVIRONMENT; ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS; ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY; FRESH WATER; GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS; HAZARDS; LAND USE; MOZAMBIQUE; URBAN AREAS; WATER RESOURCES; WETLANDS