Environmental planning

Environmental planning

Environmental planning is a field of study that since the 1970s has been sconcerned with a given society's collective stewardship over its resources that ultimately includes those of the entire planet. [p.1, Selman] The aims of environmental planning are to integrate the public sector urban planning with the concerns of environmentalism to ensure sustainable development, notably of air, water, soil and rock resources. [p.1, Selman] Planning seeks to include into consideration for future growth of society factors other than those urban planners have traditionally factored in economic development, such as transportation, sanitation, and other services in legislator decisions, by working with environmental planners to add sustainable (social, ecological & economic) outcomes as important factors in the decision-making process.

Elements of environmental planning

What exactly constitutes the "environment", however, is somewhat open to debate among these practitioners, as is the exact scope of the intended environmental benefits. Chief concerns among environmental planners include the encouragement of sustainable development, green building technologies, and the preservation of environmentally sensitive areas.

The primary concern of environmental planning is expressed in the assessment of three spheres of environmental impact by human economic activity and technological output [p.2, Selman] :
*Biophysical environment
*Socio-economic environment
*Built environment

The environmental planning assessments encompass areas such as land use, socio-economics, transportation, economic and housing characteristics, air pollution, noise pollution, the wetlands, habitat of the endangered species, flood zones susceptibility, coastal zones erosion, and visual studies among others, and is referred to as an Integrated environmental planning assessment. [p.160, Petts]

An objective view of the environmental planning process is often framed in perspectives offered by the integration of assessments of the natural resources, the environment as a system, the scientific perspective, and the social scientific perspective. [p.21, Selman]

As with other forms of planning, the processes in environmental planning include distinct facets of organisational activity such as [for example Environmental planning and assessment act 1979, NSW, Australia] :
*Legislative planning framework
*Administrative planning framework
*Environmental resource management planning
*Landscape ecological planning
*Ecological urban planning
*Environmental planning information dissemination
*Decision making in environmental planning

Environmental planning in the United States

In the United States, for any project, environmental planners deal with a full range of environmental regulations from federal to state and city levels, administered federally by the Environmental Protection Agency. [p.1, Environmental planning for communities] A rigorous environmental process has to be undertaken to examine the impacts and possible mitigation of any construction project. Depending on the scale and impact of the project, an extensive environmental review is known as an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), and the less extensive version is Environmental Assessment (EA). Procedures follow guidelines from National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) and/or City Environmental Quality Review (CEQR), and other related federal or state agencies published regulations.

The Association of Environmental Professionals (AEP) is a non-profit organization of interdisciplinary professionals including environmental science, resource management, environmental planning and other professions contributing to this field. AEP is the first organization of its kind in the USA, and its influence and model have spawned numerous other regional organizations throughout the United States. Its mission is to improve the technical skills of members, and the organization is dedicated to "the enhancement, maintenance and protection of the natural and human environment". From inception in the mid 1970s the organization has been closely linked with the maintenance of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), due to California being one of the first states to adopt a comprehensive legal framework to govern the environmental review of public policy and project review.

Environmental Planning Qualifications

Environmental planning qualifications are offered in a number of forms by various universities throughout the world.

The following are some of the qualifications offered by tertiary education institutions:
* Bachelor of Resource and Environmental Planning
* Bachelor of Environmental Studies
* Bachelor of Planning and Environmental Policy
* Master in Environmental Planning

See also

* Air quality
* Biogeochemistry
* Conservation development
* Eco-sufficiency
* Ecology
* Environmental design
* Environmental studies
* Urban design
* Water Quality
* Environmental noise
* Sustainable habitat
* Smart growth
* The Merton Rule
* Triad (environmental science)
* Urban planning
* Landscape planning
* Timeline of environmental events
* List of environmental issues
* List of environmental organizationsCities
* Curitiba - a Brazilian city noted for its innovative public transit system and environmental planning.
* New York City - considered by many to be the most sustainable U.S. city with a population greater than one million because of its high population density and usage of mass transit.
* Reykjavík - the capital of Iceland known for its use of geothermal power.

Citations and notes


* Selman, Paul H., "Environmental planning: The Conservation and Development of Biophysical Resources", SAGE, 2000
* "Environmental planning for communities: a guide to the environmental visioning process utilizing a geographic information system (GIS)", United States Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, DIANE Publishing, Cincinnati, Ohio, 2000
* Environmental planning and assessment act 1979, NSW, Australia (An Act to institute a system of environmental planning and assessment for the State of New South Wales.), Parliament of NSW, [http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_act/epaaa1979389/]
* Petts, Judith, "Handbook of environmental impact assessment, Volume 2", Blackwell Publishing, 1999

External links

* [http://www.califaep.org Association of Environmental Professionals]

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