Now showing 1 - 7 of 7
  • Publication
    Quality of life and the environment : final report
    The study examines objective indicators associated with quality of life in Ireland. As noted above, these include indicators of environmental quality, income, house prices, health, education and crime. The analysis then moves on to compare these objective indicators with subjective indicators as revealed through the use of a public survey and further qualitative analysis based on focus-group discussions. The intention, therefore, was to compare the objective measures with peoples perception of these indicators and their own subjective assessment of personal well-being. This comparison is not performed as often as it should be in discussions of quality of life. A factor analysis of subjective indices of quality of life based on public survey data and incorporating measures of income/employment, family status, domestic environment, subjective well-being and planning/infrastructure. This report has been prepared as part of the Environmental Research Technological Development and Innovation (ERTDI) Programme 2000-2006. Available At: Secure Archive For Environmental Research Data managed by Environmental Protection Agency Ireland
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  • Publication
    Impact-based planning evaluation: Advancing normative criteria for policy analysis
    Planning decisions have considerable impacts on both natural and built environments. The impacts of these decisions may remain for many decades and many are irreversible. In order to gain a better understanding of these long-standing impacts, planners require a systematic approach to evaluate the planning policy instruments utilised. The literature on planning evaluation shows that most studies have taken a conformance-based evaluation approach, where the success of a planning policy instrument is based on the degree of conformity between the policy outcomes and its intended objectives. While evaluating such criteria is necessary, it is hardly ever sufficient largely because of unintended effects. This paper proposes an impact-based approach to planning evaluation that incorporates all the impacts, intended and otherwise, that a planning policy instrument may bring about, irrespective of the initial objectives of the policy. Using a number of economic and planning theories, this paper argues that, in addition to conformance and performance, other normative evaluation criteria, such as, efficiency, equity, social and political acceptability, and institutional arrangements, should be included to emphasize the importance of planning decisions and their substantial impacts on quality of life, social justice, and sustainability.
      1451Scopus© Citations 45
  • Publication
    Timing and Distributional Aspects of Transaction Costs in Transferable Development Rights Programmes
    Planners are required to evaluate planning policy instruments to develop a better understanding of how they can improve their policy design and implementation processes. Transferable Development Rights (TDR) programmes are one of the market-based policy instruments that have attracted considerable attention among planners and economists. Given that TDR programmes have been introduced as an alternative to traditional regulatory instruments in several jurisdictions on the basis that their implementation will result in better policy outcomes, evaluation of these alternative programmes is particularly important. Like all policy instruments, the activities concerned with the design and implementation of TDR programmes may involve significant transaction costs. These activities can be considered as a series of transactions from the perspective of Transaction Cost Economics (TCE). While transaction costs are expected to vary across the lifecycle of a policy instrument, up to now there have been no systematic research studies concerned with why, and how, such transaction costs occur and are distributed among parties involved in different phases of TDR programmes. So as to aid better design and implementation of TDR programmes, this paper analyses the effects of transaction costs throughout the life of four TDR programmes (Calvert, Montgomery, St. Mary's, and Charles Counties) in the US state of Maryland in order to gain a better understanding of the timing and distribution of such costs incurred by different parties involved.
      428Scopus© Citations 31
  • Publication
    The (un)common good: diverging justifications for wilderness making in a modified landscape
    (Taylor & Francis, 2019-12-31) ; ;
    Wilderness is most often conceived as comprising large remote areas where evidence of human influence is slight. Little attention has been afforded to the study of wilderness ‘making’ in smaller landscapes that have been heavily modified by human activity. This paper addresses this knowledge deficit by employing the pragmatic sociology of Boltanski and Thévenot to analyse a case study of wilderness making in the west of Ireland. The application of this framework illustrates how contending positions on ‘why’ wilderness making should occur and ‘how’ it should be conducted reflect ethical frameworks rooted in different conceptions of the ‘common good’ presented by the idea of wilderness. The paper demonstrates the difficulties with developing such a new nature-based concept in the absence of conventional (received) ideas of wilderness by revealing how the diverging justifications used suggest incommensurability in the competing notions of wilderness that are formulated and advanced.
      324Scopus© Citations 1
  • Publication
    Urban Design and Adapting to Flood Risk: The Role of Green Infrastructure
    (Taylor and Francis, 2014-09-24) ; ;
    This Practice Paper identifies and critically examines three alternative approaches and associated design philosophies in response to the problem of urban flooding. It traces the reasons why these three approaches have emerged and discusses the attributes of each. Following this, it examines the potential of the green infrastructure approach as a means to realize 'evolutionary resilience' in designing urban environments for enhanced drainage management. The paper then contrasts the three alternative approaches to flood risk management and identifies some implications of advancing the green infrastructure concept in urban design activities.
      485Scopus© Citations 79
  • Publication
    Accounting for transaction costs in planning policy evaluation
    The costs incurred in the design and implementation of planning policy instruments are not always considered sufficiently. In order to increase the efficacy of planning policy instruments, these transaction costs need to be taken into account. While such transaction costs are expected to vary according to their institutional design and arrangements, up to now there has been no systematic research concerned with how planners should consider transaction costs, and other institutional aspects, as evaluation criteria in planning policy analysis. This paper investigates how, and in which stages, these costs can be included in planning policy design and analysis. Using the literature of transaction costs and new institutional economics, this paper proposes a framework for integrating these costs into evaluating planning policy instruments. This framework consists of different factors that influence transaction costs in designing and implementing a planning policy instrument. Although some researchers have discussed the influence of factors concerning the characteristics of transactions and transactors, there has been limited consideration of the importance of factors related to the characteristics of a policy. This paper argues that policy characteristics, such as, simplicity, age of the policy, precision of the policy, policy approach, public involvement and participation, and policy credibility and consistency, can affect transaction costs in any policy. Therefore, the paper concludes that, in addition to transaction and transactor characteristics, a 'policy characteristics' category should be included to emphasise the importance of policy selection and design in transaction costs of a planning policy instrument.
      374Scopus© Citations 41
  • Publication
    The Dynamics of Justification in Policy Reform: Insights from Water Policy Debates in Ireland
    Policy reform can be complex and fraught with contending arguments. Although much research has been conducted into the politics of coalition formation, less attention has been devoted to legitimating logics in policy reform. Drawing on the work of Boltanski and Thévenot, this exploratory study addresses this deficit by examining the influence of justifications deployed in policy debates. The paper analyses the role of shifting reasoning in contentious debates concerning attempts to reform water policy, including the introduction of domestic water charges in Ireland. Employing data from parliamentary deliberations, the paper traces the changing forms of justification used by those favouring and opposing the reforms. This examination suggests the importance of aligning an argument’s content with the shifting context into which it is introduced. The paper highlights the benefits of an investigative approach concerning policy justification for understanding policy reform dynamics at the intersection of politics and environmental communication.
    Scopus© Citations 9  388