Environmental assessment and the built environment : a highway engineer's perspective
Mann, P. (1995) Environmental assessment and the built environment : a highway engineer's perspective. In: Interdisciplinary Design for the Built Environment seminars, University of Cambridge. (Unpublished)
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This paper is an engineer's appreciation of environmental assessment with particular reference to highway development. While scheme-related Environmental Assessment for individual development may identify particular potential impacts, and may avoid or minimise some of the problems, in many cases it may be too late to take such actions. Ideally, Environmental Assessment should commence at the Strategic Level to cover policies, plan and programmes, and the scheme-related Environmental Assessments for individual projects should supplement those in the framework of Strategic Level. The utimate target is to assess the policy for their contribution to effecting sustainable development. Whole Life Environmental Impacts should be considered. These are the full impact consideration from planning, design and choice of materials, construction, operation and finally decommission. Most of the Environmental Assessments have not included the Whole Life Environmental Impacts. There is only limited monitoring in the operation stage after the construction of the scheme is complete, therefore, subsequent Environmental Assessments cannot benefit from the feedback of the scheme. No development should cost the Earth, hence Environmental Assessments have to be carried out thoroughly to serve as one of the instruments to meet the need of sustainable development.
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