29 May 2012

Paulo Pinho, FEUP - Keynote

EA has become a large umbrella.

Key concerns:

  • Integration into the planning process
  • Not seen just as a support to decision making but that it really influences decision making
  • Overemphasising on methodology
  • Less focus on policy
  • Losing a sense of the long term - politicians don't know what they want to do next week or next month never mind decades from now.
  • A world filled with many worlds of transition
  • Ageing and lifestyle changes
  • Changing geographies of production and consumption
  • Climate change and the rise (and fall?) of the sustainability concept
  • Increasing importance of the urban context

High human development = High ecological footprintLow human development = Low ecological footprint

How we can decouple economic growth and environmental impact?


Challenges for EA:

  • Need to reduce consumption without compromising quality of life
  • Emphasis on benchmarking
  • Move from compliance orientate to performance orientated EA
  • Need to consider both production and consumption
  • ....
ADN20 Project: evidence from N. Portugal

  • Assessed environmental, social and economic trends in the Northern Region of Portugal
  • EIA only captured a small amount of the investment changes that was happening in the last 20 years
  • Moving to urban, consumption and service sector which are not covered by EIA compared to the rural production sector which are covered by EIA.
Started using an old concept called "Urban Metabolism" seeing cities as organisms in terms of how energy is taken in and waste produced.

Developed Metabolic Impact Assessment

  • Evaluate urban development process
  • Focuses on plans and projects as main drivers of urban development process
  • Assess the metabolic efficiency of alternative locations for a development i.e. level of increase in energy use and citywide impacts.
  • ...

EA needs to:

Be responsive to different development stages and patterns

Adapt to new and emerging societal challenges, new lifestyles. Modes of production and consumption



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