Using an experiential approach to improve EIA application in transport practice

Status: This talk is in preparation - details may change

The effectiveness of Environmental impact assessment (EIA) for evaluating transport projects is increasingly being questioned by practitioners, institutions and scholars. The academic literature has traditionally focused more on solving content-related problems with EIA (i.e. the measurement of environmental effects) than on process-related issues (i.e. the role of EIA in the planning process and the interaction between key actors). However, focusing only on content-related improvements does not seem to be sufficient for rectifying the effectiveness problems of EIA in the transport sector. In order to address this knowledge gap, EXPERIENTIAL aimed at studying the three following objectives: (i) It was assessed the importance of EIA process-related barriers in Spanish transport practice by using a web-survey to practitioners; (ii) It was developed a set of specific interventions and mechanisms to improve the most important process-related barrier indicated by practitioners: “the knowledge integration during the scoping phase of EIA”; (iii) The developed interventions and mechanisms were tested in an experiential study with two sequential cases, representing “close-to-real-life” conditions, in the context of two cities in Andalusia, Spain.

It will be presented the main results from the research project “EXPERIENTIAL. Using an experiential approach to improve EIA in transport planning. Application to the context in Spanish practice”. The project was carried out at the University of Amsterdam (Netherlands, 2013-2015).