Name of the case study
Optimisation of planning procedures to implement transport infrastructure
Description of context
The implementation of large scale infrastructure projects has always created enormous efforts for the technical and administrative personnel involved as well as having effects on the public. The complexity of such projects needs to consider and reflect on numerous national and international legislation. These are: transport / road construction, water management, nature conservation, spatial planning, heritage, forestry, geology, mining, noise, immissions, emissions energy, hunting/fishery, aviation, railways and waste management.
It was the aim to better co-ordinate between those sectors, while including the relevant interest groups which should lead to achieve an environmental sound project in the end.
Description of project - background
The main reason to design this tool has been the complexity of the planning process of large-scale infrastructure projects, where these guidelines were meant to lead through the project. On the other hand it became obvious that certain planning steps are recurring and that efficiency could be improved when these routines and operations are well established within the planning process.
The Styrian Government initiated to develop a concerted structural scheme for transport infrastructure projects with the purpose to assemble an interdisciplinary working group from all relevant governmental departments aiming to
• optimise existing planning procedures,
• achieve an environmental sound project
• improve public participation
Another interesting aspect has been to implicate SEA procedural steps, in order to
• Come after international and national regulations
• Apply evaluation criteria aiming to be more sustainable in decision making
• Set steps for a better public involvement
Description of project - objectives/aims
The main objective has been to increase efficiency in the existing transport planning procedures and with that to achieve a better environmental performance.
Besides the national regulations, there are also some EU directives, e.g. the FFH-Directive or the SEA-Directive which were taken into account when implementing the national regulations and laws. The stated environmental objectives from these regulations set the frame for the new planning approach.
Description of project - time interval and stages
The procedure includes a staged process:
It starts with a preliminary check of the project, referring to different regulations and laws. Followed by screening (gathering different information) and scoping (optimisation) phase. This leads to a recommendation for the further project development, including the frame for a concept for an environmental assessment. The next stage is to submit the planned project and the project itself.
Description of project - financing
The preparation of the tool has been done by the transport department in co-operation with different other departments. There is no information on costs to prepare the tool.
Description of project - other sectors involved
A number of other departments are involved – for example the departments for spatial planning, transport, nature protection, forestry (see description of context), aiming to better co-ordinate the co-operation between those departmental units.
What tools were used to assess sustainability?
Traffic planning - a SEA-based guideline for the regional level
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