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Impacts of region-wide urban development on biodiversity in strategic environmental assessment
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Land and Water Resources Engineering (moved 20130630), Environmental Management and Assessment.
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Land and Water Resources Engineering (moved 20130630), Environmental Management and Assessment.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1640-8946
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Land and Water Resources Engineering (moved 20130630), Environmental Management and Assessment.
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Urban Planning and Environment, Urban and Regional Studies.
2005 (English)In: Journal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management, ISSN 1464-3332, Vol. 7, no 2, 229-246 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In urbanising regions, urban sprawl and infrastructure cause profound alterations of natural habitats. Initial decisions on urban expansion and major infrastructure investments are often made on a strategic level where the long-term development of a region is determined. For these types of decisions a strategic environmental assessment can be prepared. However, the lack of an adequate conceptual and methodological framework can pose a major problem for the prediction of impacts, not least concerning biodiversity. This paper will highlight the need for effective methods for biodiversity analysis at landscape and regional levels, with reference to the long-term urban development of the Stockholm and Mälaren regions. Problems of habitat loss, fragmentation and other impacts related to large-scale urbanisation and infrastructure developments will be addressed. GIS-based methods focusing on predictive ecological modelling will be discussed in a scenario context. The implementation of such methodologies in the strategic environmental assessment process would allow a better integration of biodiversity in planning and decision-making, further promoting a sustainable planning system.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. Vol. 7, no 2, 229-246 p.
Keyword [en]
Strategic environmental assessment; biodiversity assessment; urbanisation; scenarios; polycentricity
National Category
Other Environmental Engineering Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-8532DOI: 10.1142/S1464333205002006Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-20444373368OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-8532DiVA: diva2:13882
Note

QC 20150731

Available from: 2008-05-27 Created: 2008-05-27 Last updated: 2015-07-31Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Spatial prediction tools for biodiversity in environmental assessment
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Spatial prediction tools for biodiversity in environmental assessment
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

Human activities in the form of land use changes, urbanisation and infrastructure developments are major threats to biodiversity. The loss and fragmentation of natural habitats are great obstacles for the long term preservation of biodiversity and nature protection measures alone may not be sufficient to tackle the problem. Environmental impact assessment (EIA) and strategic environmental assessment (SEA) play a central role in identifying, predicting and managing the impacts of human activities on biodiversity. The review of current practice suggests that the complexity of the task is underestimated and that new methodological approaches encompassing the entire landscape are needed. Spatial aspects of the assessment and the lack of information on scale-related issues are particular problems affecting the appropriate assessment of cumulative effects. In parallel with the development and establishment of EIA and SEA, spatial modelling is an expanding field in ecology and many derived applications could be suitable for the prediction and assessment of biodiversity-related impacts. The diversity of modelling methods suggests that a strategy is needed to identify prediction methods appropriate for EIA and SEA. The relevance and potential limitations of GIS-based species distribution and habitat models in predicting impacts on biodiversity were examined in three studies in the greater Stockholm area. Distinct approaches to habitat suitability modelling were compared from the perspective of environmental assessment needs and requirements. The results showed that model performance, validity and ultimate suitability for planning applications were strongly dependent on empirical data and expert knowledge. The methods allowed visual, qualitative and quantitative assessment of habitat loss, thus improving decision support for assessment of impacts on biodiversity. The proposed methods allowed areas of high ecological value and the surrounding landscape to be considered in the same assessment, thereby contributing to better integration of biodiversity issues in physical planning.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH, 2008. x, 29 p.
Series
Trita-LWR. PHD, ISSN 1650-8602 ; 1041
Keyword
EIA; SEA; Species distribution modelling; Habitat suitability modelling; Impact prediction; GIS; Urbanisation
National Category
Other Environmental Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-4775 (URN)978-91-7178-997-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2008-06-05, E3, Osquarsbacke 14, Stockholm, 10:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
QC 20100727Available from: 2008-05-27 Created: 2008-05-27 Last updated: 2010-07-27Bibliographically approved
2. Biodiversity in environmental assessment: tools for impact prediction
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Biodiversity in environmental assessment: tools for impact prediction
2005 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

Urbanisation and infrastructure developments impact on the surrounding natural environment and threaten biodiversity. The fragmentation of natural habitats in particular is a major obstacle for the preservation of biodiversity in a long-term perspective. In the planning process, both the environmental impact assessment and strategic environmental assessment processes play a central role in the identification and prediction of impacts on biodiversity. At the same time, the devel-opment of GIS technologies and GIS-based ecological models offer new perspectives in the elaboration of predictions. In order to analyse current practices and identify the need for im-provements in the environmental impact process, a review of environmental impact assessment reports was carried out. Further, a review of existing GIS methods and GIS-based ecological models is presented. The results of the review of environmental impact assessment reports show a lack of predictions in current biodiversity assessments. These asssessments often concentrate on impacts at the local scale, failing to consider large-scale and widespread impacts at the ecosys-tem and landscape levels. The review of GIS methods and GIS-based ecological models demon-strate the possibility to generate quantitative predictions for a specific area as well as for it’s sur-rounding environment. At the same time, the flexibility and reproducibility of such methods would allow predictions to be made for different alternatives or scenarios, therefore providing decision makers with relevant information of potential impacts on biodiversity. This would, in turn, result in an improved integration of biodiversity issues in physical planning and contribute to a sustainable development.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH, 2005. ix, 16 p.
Series
Trita-LWR. LIC, ISSN 1650-8629 ; 2025
Keyword
Environmental technology, Environmental impact assessment; Strategic environmental assessment; Biodiversity assessment; Prediction tools; GIS; GIS-base ecological models, Miljöteknik
National Category
Other Environmental Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-278 (URN)91-7178-013-0 (ISBN)
Presentation
2005-04-14, Sal V35, Teknikringen 72, Stockholm, 13:15
Supervisors
Note
QC 20101129Available from: 2005-07-06 Created: 2005-07-06 Last updated: 2010-11-29Bibliographically approved

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