Environmental Evaluation in Land Planning: the New Land Planning Act of the Tuscany Region
Professor Vincenzo Bentivegna
Professor at the University of Florence, Italy
Dipartimento di Processi e Metodi della Produzione Edilizia
The 1995 New Land Planning Act of Tuscany is one of the most advanced act in Europe. According to this new law all choices in Tuscany land planning activity must pursuit these goals: sustainable development, transparency in decision process, citizens participation, integration among space organizations and time in life and job. Sustainable development is intended as the development which assures equal possibilities of welfare increasing for all citizens and safeguard the next generations right in the use of land resources.
Land resources are:
natural resources (air, water, soil, fauna and flora),
town and settlements,
cultural heritage (including landscape),
technological and infrastructure systems (art.2).
In order to accomplish these goals all land transformation choices must be evaluated(art.5). Therefore, sustainability evaluation becomes a structural component in the land planning process.
The author, chair in "Land planning and architectural evaluation" at the university of Florence, and regional government adviser in charge for the evaluation aspects of the planning law, has produced the "Tuscany Region evaluation code for land and urban plans" and has been a member of the planning team in several provincial and town master plans. After five years, it is now time for a first critical analysis of this sustainability evaluation experience.
The paper will describe the evaluation code in terms of evaluation procedures and indicators and its application in some leading provincial and urban plans like Siena and Pisa trying to individuate successes and failures, focusing on the following aspects:
* Theoretical problems: what means to evaluate an urban plan from the point of view of sustainability, differences between planning evaluation and Environmental Impact Evaluation, how to validate a planning evaluation, requisites of a reliable evaluation technique, the negotiation aspects, etc.
* Methodological problems: how to transfer general evaluation goals into planners'practical behaviors, what must be evaluated, the use of appropriated evalaution techniques, how reliable evaluation can be guaranteed, etc.
* Political problems: the relevance of evaluation in the decision process, how politicians have reacted and utilised sustainability evaluations, etc.
* Practical problems: the cost of evaluation, the diffusion of technical skill among practitioners, the role of the analyst inside the planning process, etc.
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