• Helle David Jensen
  • Tine Alrø Christensen
  • Marie Rosenlund Nielsen
4. term, Sustaianable Cities, Master (Master Programme)
The purpose of this thesis is to investigate the implementation and effectiveness of Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEA) in a Danish municipal context. The study is based on data from questionnaires and 11 interviews and applies theories on implementation and effectiveness evaluations. It is argued that the continuous production of SEA can be regarded as an un-going implementation.

The findings of the analysis point to different relevant implications of the implementation process. These are especially collaboration; capacity of the municipalities in terms of financial and human resources; engagement, will and interests of the fieldworkers; and how the decisions made by the Nature and Environmental Appeals Committee work as a feedback to the implementation process. The implementation results are likewise identified and they are the basis for the evaluation.

An evaluation of the substantive effectiveness, focusing on the legislative demands for SEA, reveals that SEA is somewhat effective in changing plans. However, when the legislative objective of promoting sustainability is addressed it is clear that this is not reached effectively.

A discussion of the implication and potentials of SEA proves that the implementation of SEA has been a troublesome process, where especially the policy design, in terms of guidelines and allocated financial resources, has constituted a problem for the municipalities. Furthermore, the potentials of SEA are found to be the flexibility of the screening and its ability to change plans, the systemised and strategic approach to environmental considerations and the possibility to integrate these into the planning process, and SEA’s ability to open up the planning process and communicate the environmental considerations.
Publication date8 Jun 2015
Number of pages115
ID: 213815403