Table of Contents

Measuring Environmental Degradation

Measuring Environmental Degradation

Developing Pressure Indicators for Europe

Edited by Anil Markandya and Nick Dale

Measuring Environmental Degradation is a unique book that provides a comprehensive yet concise overview of the key issues of environmental significance addressed as part of the Eurostat ‘Environmental Pressure Indicators Project’. The book is part of the ‘Towards Environmental Pressure Indicators for the EU’ (TEPI) series that has resulted from the project.

Chapter 26: Introduction

A. Markandya and N. Dale

Subjects: environment, environmental sociology


A. Markandya and N. Dale 1. THE URBAN ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS POLICY FIELD The urban environment is both the source of a wide array of interrelated environmental pressures and the principal location of many environmental impacts. There are also great differences in environmental conditions and economic activities between urban areas across regions and countries. For these reasons the Urban Environmental Problems policy field is perhaps the most difficult to define. Furthermore, it is difficult to achieve a balanced set of indicators that adequately represent the many dimensions of the problems of this policy area. In the first-round questionnaire the complexity of pressures on the urban environment was illustrated by the range of suggestions for pressure indicators that were received. These suggestions were screened for specific relevance and the number of experts who proposed them, to arrive at a list of 30 indicators for the second-round questionnaire.1 These were arranged in 15 categories including indicators for land use (total built-up area, derelict area), urban air emissions (SO2, NOx, VOC, PM10), water (water consumption per capita), waste (municipal waste by type), energy (energy consumption by uses and sources), mobility (registered motor vehicles), noise (people exposed to noise) and health (incidence of asthma). 2. RESULTS OF THE SECOND-ROUND QUESTIONNAIRE Figure 26.1 shows the results of the second-round questionnaire for Urban Environmental Problems for the three quality questions and the core-ranking question (given as a percentage of experts including the indicator in their top five core ranking). The top five rankings...