Learning through EC directive based SEA in spatial planning? Evidence from the Brunswick Region in Germany

Thomas B. Fischer, Sue Kidd, Urmila Jha-Thakur, Paola Gazzola, Deborah Peel

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    50 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    This paper presents results of an international comparative research project, funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Academy for Sustainable Communities (ASC) on the 'learning potential of appraisal (strategic environmental assessment - SEA) in spatial planning'. In this context, aspects of 'single-loop' and 'double-loop' learning, as well as of individual, organisational and social learning are discussed for emerging post-EC Directive German practice in the planning region (Zweckverband) of Brunswick (Braunschweig), focusing on four spatial plan SEAs from various administrative levels in the region. It is found that whilst SEA is able to lead to plan SEA specific knowledge acquisition, comprehension, application and analysis ('single-loop learning'), it is currently resulting only occasionally in wider synthesis and evaluation ('double-loop learning'). Furthermore, whilst there is evidence that individual and occasionally organisational learning may be enhanced through SEA, most notably in small municipalities, social learning appears to be happening only sporadically.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)421-428
    Number of pages8
    JournalEnvironmental Impact Assessment Review
    Volume29
    Issue number6
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2009

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