Environmental Compensation As a Strategy to Deal with Environmental Risks in Urban Development Projects: Interdisciplinary and Cross – Country Perspectives

Monday, 11 July 2016: 11:15
Location: Hörsaal 46 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Aiste BALZEKIENE, Kaunas University of Technology, Lithuania
Jesper PERSSON, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden
This presentation will address the issue of environmental hazards within urban infrastructure projects from the interdisciplinary and cross country perspective.

The development of urban infrastructure projects (like road infrastructures, water supply infrastructure, recreation facilities etc.) often intrudes into natural environments; however compensation of damage caused by such projects usually takes economic or social measures. Environmental compensation remedies a damage caused to nature, which is often not considered in urban infrastructure projects.

This presentation has several goals. Firstly, we will look at the multi-disciplinarity of the concept of environmental compensation and its perception. The question what values are to be compensated is important for landscape planners and the perception of these values in the communities affected by the projects and by the stakeholders are in the focus of sociological research. Secondly, we will discuss the cases of Sweden and Lithuania looking at selected projects that are related to environmental hazards and we will analyze how the idea of environmental compensation is perceived in these countries and how the responses to the hazards are related to different cultural contexts and policy traditions.

The research is based on project “The Perception and Practices of Environmental Compensation: Urban Infrastructure Projects in Lithuania and Sweden” (EnCom) which is funded by a grant from the Research Council of Lithuania. The research data comes from document analysis, group and individual interviews with stakeholders of urban infrastructure projects and representatives of local communities.