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Title: Space for action: How practitioners influence environmental assessment

Highlights: • The concept of ‘space for action’ offers an important new lens on EA practice. • Focuses on the relation between practitioner's understanding and their actions • Environmental assessment practice is decisively shaped by practitioners. • Practitioners may underestimate their potential to make a difference. • Contributes to understanding change in the environmental assessment field. This article contributes to understanding of how change occurs in the field of environmental assessment (EA). It argues that the integration of new issues in EA, such as human health, is significantly influenced by how practitioners' understandings shape their actions, and by what happens when those, possibly different, interpretations of appropriate action are acted out. The concept of space for action is developed as a means of investigating this relation between understanding and action. Frame theory is also used, to develop a sharper focus on how ‘potential spaces for action’ are created, what these imply for (individuals') preferred choices and actions in certain situations, and what happens in practice when these are acted out and ‘actual spaces for action’ are created. This novel approach is then applied in a Swedish case study of transport planning. The analysis reveals the important work done by practitioners,more » revealing just how EA practice is decisively shaped by practitioners. Analysis of practice using the lens of spaces for action offers an important new perspective in understanding how the field adapts to new challenges.« less
 [1] ;  [2]
  1. Department of Urban and Rural Development, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (Sweden)
  2. Department of Landscape Architecture and Spatial Planning, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Frederik A Dahls vei 15, KA-bygningen, Ås (Norway)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Environmental Impact Assessment Review; Journal Volume: 54; Other Information: Copyright (c) 2015 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands, All rights reserved.; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States