398 pages, 53 figs
The Netherlands is one of the most prominent and innovative countries in the field of environmental planning. Since the 1990s, its government has introduced such groundbreaking schemes as Integrated Environmental Zoning, the City Environment Project and the Bubble Concept, and new approaches to coping with noise, odours, soil pollution, air pollution and safety issues. These initiatives and policy tools reflect a rapidly changing and decentralizing environmental policy, which contrasts with more conventional environmental ideologies. However, at present, little is know of these policies in the international arena.
In this text, Gert de Roo provides an overview and critical analysis of Dutch environmental planning. He shows how and why the country's planning system has moved away from its traditional "top-down" structure. The resulting changes have had far-reaching consequences for the traditional principles of Dutch Environmental policy. For example, contaminated soil no longer has to be cleaned up completely and national noise legislation is being dismantled in favour of local initiatives. In addition, measures for compensating excessive environmental loads are now open to discussion and environmental quality is a subject of negotiation among stakeholders.
Environmental issues are no longer seen as issues that should be dealt with separately from other issues. It is recognized that environmental issues are often influenced by their local context and that policy must therefore be formulated in coherence with other area-related issues. Shared governance and participative decision-making are seen to be equally important. All these developments mean that environmental policy-making has become more closely integrated with local initiatives that focus on general location-specific qualities.
In this book, this development is referred to as "tailor-made comprehensive planning", which relates closely to the local context, is area-specific, situation-dependent and embraces shared governance. Despite the fact that the e developments in environmental planning in the Netherlands have raised a number of difficult questions, they have also created many interesting possibilities for dealing with environmental issues in complex situations.
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