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Environmental citizenship and sustainable development: the case of waste facility siting in Taiwan


  • Mei-Fang Fan

    (Department of Public Administration and Institute of Public Policy, Tamkang University, Tamsui, Taipei, Taiwan)


This paper examines how issues of environmental citizenship play out in the context of an industrial waste facility siting controversy in Taipei, Taiwan, and the implications of this complex predicament for justice and sustainable development generally. It shows the ways in which local activists perceive the adverse effects of a development project that generates industrial waste and incinerator ash in their hometown. Local activists feel excluded from decision-making and frustrated by the lack of recognition by authorities. They complain that their local, contextualized knowledge and experiences are ignored. Local activists are concerned about ecological devastation and feel responsible for future generations. Instead of a NIMBY protest of selfish residents, local activists imagine themselves as active citizens fighting for justice and sustainability on a scale beyond their neighborhood. The case highlights the needs for institutional transparency, the recognition of multiple ways of knowing and new conceptions of the good life. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.

Suggested Citation

  • Mei-Fang Fan, 2008. "Environmental citizenship and sustainable development: the case of waste facility siting in Taiwan," Sustainable Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(6), pages 381-389.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:sustdv:v:16:y:2008:i:6:p:381-389
    DOI: 10.1002/sd.353

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Andy Gouldson, 2004. "Risk, regulation and the right to know: exploring the impacts of access to information on the governance of environmental risk," Sustainable Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(3), pages 136-149.
    2. Andrew Dobson, 2007. "Environmental citizenship: towards sustainable development," Sustainable Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(5), pages 276-285.
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