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Integrated economic and environmental planning in Asia: A review of progress and proposals for policy reform

King, P., Annandale, D. and Bailey, J. (2003) Integrated economic and environmental planning in Asia: A review of progress and proposals for policy reform. Progress in Planning, 59 (4). pp. 233-315.

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Governments and development specialists in Asia are publicly committed to the sustainable development concept. However, there is little evidence that Asian nations are making real progress towards sustainable development, despite signing global and regional agreements on the environment, establishing new environmental agencies, preparing national sustainable development plans, and requiring environmental impact assessments for development projects.

This article identifies a missing link in the nested hierarchy of sustainable development plans in Asia, which may be one of the reasons why intentions at the national level are not being translated into sustainable development at the local level (where the social–economic–environmental interactions are most commonly realized). This missing link is integrated economic-cum-environmental (E-c-E) planning at the sub-national level.

The article investigates five case studies of integrated E-c-E planning at the sub-national level, through a process of collaborative action research and the case study method. Findings from the case studies are combined with qualitative data from an analysis of success factors and constraints from the literature on sustainable development planning at other levels (from global to project) and other regions, using an iterative process of pattern matching.

The results of this analysis are used to derive a checklist and decision trees to guide development specialists in deciding whether to proceed with an integrated E-c-E planning study at the sub-national level in Asia. The article also shows how to improve the design of integrated E-c-E studies to increase the probability of successful outcomes. The probable resource implications of these changes are discussed. The article concludes that an improved approach to integrated E-c-E planning at the sub-national level may play a pivotal role in the hierarchy of planning and thus assist in leading Asian nations towards sustainable development, and provides some ideas for further application and investigation.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Environmental Science
Publisher: Pergamon Press
Copyright: 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd.
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