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Can environmental appraisal be truly interdisciplinary?


  • Paola Gazzola


Environmental appraisal is a multidisciplinary decision-making support tool, which aims to promote sustainable development through policies of environmental management and planning. It does so by relying on skills and knowledge that come from the social sciences, natural sciences and applied sciences. Within this context, many recognise that to strengthen and improve practice, environmental appraisal needs to evolve into a more interdisciplinary tool, with greater cross-fertilisation between disciplines and closer collaborations between practice traditions and communities of professionals. This paper suggests that, to date, environmental appraisal is far from being truly interdisciplinary. It argues that ‘gate-keepers’ are ensuring that the boundaries, traditions and cultural assumptions between disciplines and professions are maintained, setting the frame of reference that guides the practice of environmental appraisal, and influencing professional views in terms of the way in which things are/should be done. Therefore, this paper attempts to explore the cultural assumptions through which environmental appraisal is practised in competent planning organisations, using a cultural filters approach.

Suggested Citation

  • Paola Gazzola, 2011. "Can environmental appraisal be truly interdisciplinary?," Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 54(9), pages 1189-1208, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jenpmg:v:54:y:2011:i:9:p:1189-1208 DOI: 10.1080/09640568.2011.562074

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Frances Ruane & Xiaoheng Zhang, 2007. "Location Choices of the Pharmaceutical Industry in Europe after 1992," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp220, IIIS.
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    1. Paola Gazzola & Alessandro Rinaldi, 2016. "Reflecting on SEA’s Usefulness: A Case Study on Italy," Journal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management (JEAPM), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 18(04), pages 1-24, December.

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