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Effective urban air quality management frameworks in large East Asian cities

Peters, Lucinda Jane (2009) Effective urban air quality management frameworks in large East Asian cities. PhD thesis, Murdoch University.

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Abstract

Establishing effective air quality management is a continuing challenge in large East Asian cities for local and national governments. Regional economic development is leading to increasing industrialization, motorization, energy consumption and urbanization within East Asian countries, creating growing sources of urban air pollution.

The policy landscape for air quality management is changing globally, with new policy instruments and programs for air pollution being introduced to operate alongside traditional “command and control” regulation. This is creating an additional challenge for government regulators in the region, as they seek to develop effective air quality management frameworks that contain established and emerging policy instruments. In addition, establishing effective air quality management can be influenced by the surrounding contextual environment that is unique to large East Asian cities, including local and international parties and pressures that can either assist or hinder air quality framework development.

To investigate effective air quality management (AQM) in large East Asian cities, the following research questions guided this project:
• What are the components of effective urban AQM frameworks in large East Asian cities?
• What policy instruments are working or not working towards the success of AQM frameworks in large East Asian cities?
• What is the role of policy instruments in urban AQM frameworks in developing, transitional and developed large East Asian cities?
• How do local and international factors influence AQM frameworks in developing, transitional and developed large East Asian cities?

A qualitative research methodology was designed to investigate effective air quality management in large East Asian cities. Seven case study cities were selected to represent urban centres in economically developing, transitional and developed countries in the region. The cities investigated included Bangkok, Beijing, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Jakarta, Singapore and Tokyo. In-depth interviews with 35 air quality management experts (including mail responses) in these cities, and literature reviews were the primary methods utilised to investigate the project research questions and objectives.

Below are the key findings from this project:
• Developing and transitional East Asian cities can use neighbouring developed city experiences with gradual policy instrument introductions to enhance their own policy instrument selection, and create complementary policy combinations during AQM framework growth with economic development.
• Early introduction of command and control regulation within developing East Asian cities for AQM frameworks accompanied by successful enforcement is an important step towards preparing the public and private sector for the later introduction of less-interventionist policy instruments.
• Developing and transitional East Asian cities are establishing AQM frameworks to successfully control select air pollutant levels at lower levels of economic development than expected.
• Establishing effective AQM in large East Asian cities requires consideration of a broader AQM framework design than traditional prescriptive system models, including a harnessing of contributory aspects of local and international parties and pressures for AQM progress, and understanding local cultural context and values.
• Political will is the “golden keys” for developing effective AQM frameworks in East Asian cities with committed leaders at national and local levels of governance able to provide political leadership and vision for improved air quality, including increased allocation of administrative resources (e.g. Singapore, Bangkok and Tokyo).

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Environmental Science
Notes: Note to the author: If you would like to make your thesis openly available on Murdoch University Library's Research Repository, please contact: repository@murdoch.edu.au. Thank you.
Supervisor(s): Murray, Frank
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/41685
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