Public participation in infrastructure and construction projects in China: From an EIA-based to a whole-cycle process

Public participation in infrastructure and construction projects in China: From an EIA-based to a... Many governments world-wide are increasingly encouraging the involvement of interested individuals, groups and organisations in their public infrastructure and construction (PIC) projects as a means of improving the openness, transparency and accountability of the decision-making process and help improve the projects’ long-term viability and benefits to the community. In China, however, the current participatory mechanism at the project level exists only as part of the environmental impact assessment (EIA) process. With an increasing demand for PIC projects and social equality in China, this suggests a need to bring the participatory process into line with international practice. The aim of this paper, therefore, is to identify the weaknesses of EIA-based public participation in China and the means by which it may be improved for the whole lifecycle of PIC schemes. To do this, the results of a series of interviews with a diverse group of experts is reported which analyse the nature and extent of existing problems of public participation in EIA and suggestions for improvement. These indicate that the current level of participation in PIC projects is quite limited, particularly in the crucial earlier stages, primarily due to traditional culture and values, uneven progress in the adoption of participatory mechanisms, the risk of not meeting targets and lack of confidence in public competence. Finally, a process flowchart is proposed to guide construction practitioners and the community in general. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Habitat International Elsevier

Public participation in infrastructure and construction projects in China: From an EIA-based to a whole-cycle process

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Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd
ISSN
0197-3975
eISSN
1873-5428
DOI
10.1016/j.habitatint.2011.05.006
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Many governments world-wide are increasingly encouraging the involvement of interested individuals, groups and organisations in their public infrastructure and construction (PIC) projects as a means of improving the openness, transparency and accountability of the decision-making process and help improve the projects’ long-term viability and benefits to the community. In China, however, the current participatory mechanism at the project level exists only as part of the environmental impact assessment (EIA) process. With an increasing demand for PIC projects and social equality in China, this suggests a need to bring the participatory process into line with international practice. The aim of this paper, therefore, is to identify the weaknesses of EIA-based public participation in China and the means by which it may be improved for the whole lifecycle of PIC schemes. To do this, the results of a series of interviews with a diverse group of experts is reported which analyse the nature and extent of existing problems of public participation in EIA and suggestions for improvement. These indicate that the current level of participation in PIC projects is quite limited, particularly in the crucial earlier stages, primarily due to traditional culture and values, uneven progress in the adoption of participatory mechanisms, the risk of not meeting targets and lack of confidence in public competence. Finally, a process flowchart is proposed to guide construction practitioners and the community in general.

Journal

Habitat InternationalElsevier

Published: Jan 1, 2012

References

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