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Reflecting on SEA's usefulness. A case-study on Italy

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Paola Gazzola



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


According to the published literature, for SEA to make a meaningful difference, it should be integrated into planning processes. Yet, in situations and contexts where the two processes appear to be disjointed, SEA could be applied upon conclusion of the plan-making process justifying decisions already made, or just before a decision can be made to comply with existing legal requirements. Where this is the case, then what is SEA really for?This paper aims to reflect on the usefulness of SEA, and explore whether a shift of focus from actual effectiveness to perceived effectiveness could help further legitimise the need for SEA. This is done by looking at SEA practice in Italy as a case-study, as the country’s diverse regional set-up presents situations in which SEA may appear to be avoided because perceived as not very useful or where SEA may appear to be functioning and actually effective.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Gazzola P, Rinaldi A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Environmental Assessment Policy and Management

Year: 2016

Volume: 18

Issue: 04

Print publication date: 19/12/2016

Online publication date: 19/12/2016

Acceptance date: 09/09/2016

Date deposited: 07/11/2016

ISSN (print): 1464-3332

ISSN (electronic): 1757-5605

Publisher: Imperial College Press


DOI: 10.1142/S1464333216500216


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