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Title: Spheres of public conversation: Experiences in strategic environmental assessment

This paper draws on earlier research, a national review of Scottish SEA practice and a survey of practitioners and stakeholders engaged in SEA and spatial planning in one Scottish city-region, to explore claims being made in the academic literature for Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) as a tool for deliberative plan-making. We consider whether there is evidence that Scottish SEA practice is helping create more inclusive plan-making processes in light of recent legislative changes, thereby fulfilling one of the expectations of Scottish Government. The macro analysis found that although there are opportunities for stakeholders to engage in the Scottish SEA process the level in practice is extremely low, a finding which mirrors experience in England and elsewhere. The more detailed micro analysis reveals a more nuanced picture within the spatial planning system, however, suggesting the existence of two distinct spheres of public conversations, one characterised by active dialogue about the environmental effects of alternative strategies amongst public sector stakeholders and the other involving non-governmental stakeholders and community groups in a much more limited way. The paper concludes with a discussion of possible explanations for this outcome, concerning asymmetric incentive structures and the application of power, and a consideration of the implicationsmore » in relation to the competing discourses of SEA. -- Highlights: • We examine the extent to which Scottish SEA is helping promote inclusive plan-making. • Low levels of stakeholder engagement generally in Scottish SEA. • Stronger SEA dialogue amongst public agencies than with the wider community. • Importance of incentive structures and power capture in framing SEA public conversations.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. School of the Environment, University of Dundee, Dundee DD1 1HN, Scotland (United Kingdom)
  2. Scottish Environment Protection Agency, Strathearn House, Lamberkine Drive, Perth PH1 1RX (United Kingdom)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22246920
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Environmental Impact Assessment Review; Journal Volume: 44; Other Information: Copyright (c) 2013 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; ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS; ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY; MARINE SURVEYS; PLANNING; PUBLIC OPINION; REVIEWS; SEAS; UNITED KINGDOM; URBAN AREAS; VISIBLE RADIATION