Conceptual and Methodological Advances
Edited by Henk A. Becker and Frank Vanclay
Chapter 15: Citizen Values Assessment
Annelies Stolp Introduction Expert opinions of environmental values and impacts – including those of SIA practitioners – can diﬀer from the way citizens feel about the state of their living environment (that is, where they live, work and play) and how intended activities may impact on the various attributes of that environment. Therefore, in environmental impact assessment (EIA), social impact assessment (SIA) and other planning procedures, it is necessary to investigate the way people judge their living environment, and how they think a planned project may aﬀect its qualities. This may provide additional relevant information to decision makers. SIA practitioners are important gatekeepers in gaining access to local knowledge and making it available to others (see Chapter 3). Unfortunately, consideration of citizens’ value judgments is not routinely undertaken in EIA or SIA. Both EIA and SIA tend to remain technocratic in orientation, avoiding any detailed consideration of the ways people are aﬀected (Burningham, 1995; Dale and Lane, 1994, 1995; Gagnon et al., 1993; Ortolano and Shepherd, 1995). Despite awareness within SIA of diﬀerences in perceptions between social groups, and between experts and the aﬀected communities, the SIA literature has very little speciﬁcation of the actual methods used to determine citizen values. In fact, SIA does not have many speciﬁed techniques, despite endorsement of a general procedure in the Interorganizational Committee’s Guidelines and Principles for Social Impact Assessment (ICGP, 1994) and despite the outlines provided by Freudenburg (1986), Taylor et al. (1995), Burdge and Vanclay (1995)...
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