New Directions in Social Impact Assessment
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New Directions in Social Impact Assessment

Conceptual and Methodological Advances

Edited by Frank Vanclay and Ana Maria Esteves

This important new book outlines current developments in thinking in the field of Social Impact Assessment (SIA). It advances the theory and practice of SIA, and argues that a dramatic shift is required in the way socioeconomic studies and community participation is undertaken. The book emphasizes that, much more than the act of predicting impacts in a regulatory context, SIA needs to be the process of managing the social aspects of development and that there needs to be a holistic and integrated approach to impact assessment. It stresses that greater attention needs to be given to ensuring that the goals of development are attained and enhanced.
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Chapter 13: Closure Planning

Robin Evans


Robin Evans Introduction The practice of social impact assessment (SIA) described in this volume has as its central theme the analysis, monitoring and management of the social consequences of development (Vanclay, 2003). The most common applications tend to be associated with the introduction of a new economic development such as new infrastructure, industry or facilities. Conceptually, SIA can also be applied to changes brought about by the closure of projects, industries or other activities, but in practice this is uncommon. There are several reasons for this, primarily that most projects assume a long-term or indefinite future with closure aspects receiving relatively little attention early in a project’s life. Further, many closure events are driven by economic or political change, and are relatively sudden and unplanned, leaving little scope for prior analysis. Notwithstanding these factors, there are a range of studies that address the social impacts of closure. The most common examples tend to fall into certain sectors or industries including military base closures, the closure of natural resource-based industries such as fisheries or logging due to changes in government policy, and manufacturing facility closures associated with changes in market and economic conditions. While the military base examples tend to be more premeditated, closure impacts are not usually considered at the time of base establishment. It is worth noting that most of the literature on this topic tends to be retrospective descriptive analyses of the impacts of closure, rather than attempts to forecast and manage such impacts (e.g. Smith et al...

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