Environmental impact assessment of housing projects

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<ul><li><p>This article was downloaded by: [Universitaets und Landesbibliothek]On: 24 September 2013, At: 16:50Publisher: RoutledgeInforma Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954Registered office: Mortimer House, 37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UK</p><p>International Journal ofEnvironmental StudiesPublication details, including instructions for authors andsubscription information:http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/genv20</p><p>Environmental impact assessmentof housing projectsSergey M. Govorushko aa Laboratory of Environmental Impact Assessment, PacificInstitute of Geography, USSR Academy of Sciences,Vladivostok, RussiaPublished online: 23 Feb 2007.</p><p>To cite this article: Sergey M. Govorushko (1992) Environmental impact assessment ofhousing projects, International Journal of Environmental Studies, 41:3-4, 293-302, DOI:10.1080/00207239208710769</p><p>To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00207239208710769</p><p>PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLE</p><p>Taylor &amp; Francis makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of all the information(the Content) contained in the publications on our platform. However, Taylor&amp; Francis, our agents, and our licensors make no representations or warrantieswhatsoever as to the accuracy, completeness, or suitability for any purpose of theContent. Any opinions and views expressed in this publication are the opinions andviews of the authors, and are not the views of or endorsed by Taylor &amp; Francis. Theaccuracy of the Content should not be relied upon and should be independentlyverified with primary sources of information. Taylor and Francis shall not be liablefor any losses, actions, claims, proceedings, demands, costs, expenses, damages,and other liabilities whatsoever or howsoever caused arising directly or indirectly inconnection with, in relation to or arising out of the use of the Content.</p><p>This article may be used for research, teaching, and private study purposes. Anysubstantial or systematic reproduction, redistribution, reselling, loan, sub-licensing,systematic supply, or distribution in any form to anyone is expressly forbidden.Terms &amp; Conditions of access and use can be found at http://www.tandfonline.com/page/terms-and-conditions</p></li><li><p>Intern. J. Environmental Studies, 1992, Vol. 41, pp. 293-302 1992 Gordon and Breach Science Publishers S.A.Reprints available directly from the Publisher Printed in the United KingdomPhotocopying permitted by license only</p><p>ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT OFHOUSING PROJECTS</p><p>SERGEY M. GOVORUSHKOLaboratory of Environmental Impact Assessment, Pacific Institute of Geography,</p><p>USSR Academy of Sciences, Vladivostok (Russia)(Received June 20,1991)</p><p>The purposes, tasks and stages of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) practice for housingdevelopment projects have been considered. The implementation of the EIA of these projects is pro-posed in three stages:</p><p>1. Identification of the existing state of the environment.2. Identification of natural and anthropogenic factors which are of significance for designing housing</p><p>developments and the arrangement of recreation facilities.3. EIA of the existing development projects.The approach given is illustrated by the EIA of four development projects in one of the Vladivostok</p><p>"microdistricts", 2,3 km2 in area, designed for 22,000 residents. A set of ten maps has been compiled forthe future construction area which illustrates spatial spreading and significance of each factor for thehousing development. Possibilities are shown for the increase of positive characteristics and the neutral-ization of considerable negative characteristics of the natural environment by means of town planning.Measures are proposed to improve the environment for recreation facilities.KEY WORDS: Housing development, EIA, Vladivostok, town planning.</p><p>The layout and development of residential districts is one of the major problems inmodern town planning. The experience of housing construction in various countriesshowed that, in large-scale town development, resources of the existing natural en-vironment are not employed to a full extent to create favourable conditions for localresidents and the natural environment is not protected from anthropogenic factors.</p><p>In this connection, an EIA of development projects is needed which implies anappraisal of ecologic-geographical conditions in the areas of the development pro-posed in order to review the value of the projects relative to nature and humanbeings.</p><p>EIA of housing development projects has the following objects:1. Mitigation of the environmental damage.2. Reduction of building costs.3. Minimizing detrimental implications for man's environment.To implement EIA of development projects, the following tasks have to be solved:1. To identify the state of the environment.2. To determine the structure and features of the likely damage.3. To identify the factors and measures which eliminate or mitigate environ-</p><p>mental pollution from wastes and effluents.4. To allow for arrangements to ensure natural environment conservation.5. To identify if a project meets environmental requirements of the existing legis-</p><p>lation, sanitary-hygienic norms and environmental standards.293</p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [U</p><p>nivers</p><p>itaets</p><p> und L</p><p>ande</p><p>sbibl</p><p>iothe</p><p>k] at</p><p> 16:50</p><p> 24 Se</p><p>ptemb</p><p>er 20</p><p>13 </p></li><li><p>294 S. M. GOVORUSHKO</p><p>6. To substantiate the environmental changes predicted, taking into accountshort-term and long-term, direct and indirect environmental impacts due to theimplementation of the projects.</p><p>An EIA for the development projects of one of the Vladivostok "microdistricts"has been conducted. The city is situated in the far south-east of the USSR. The devel-opment area is 2,3 km2 (Figure 1), the size of the population predicted is 22,000inhabitants. In the first stage of the EIA implementation the current environmentstate has been identified, including that of air, soils, vegetation, coastal waters andtheir population levels. A. Y. Brovkin, I. F. Skirina and L.V. Piscun, the research offi-cers of the Pacific Institute of Geography, have been involved in the studies at thisstage. In the second stage, the natural and anthropogenic factors which are of signif-</p><p>Figure 1 Topographic plan of the area for future development.</p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [U</p><p>nivers</p><p>itaets</p><p> und L</p><p>ande</p><p>sbibl</p><p>iothe</p><p>k] at</p><p> 16:50</p><p> 24 Se</p><p>ptemb</p><p>er 20</p><p>13 </p></li><li><p>HOUSING IMPACT 295</p><p>icance for designing housing developments and arrangements for recreation facili-ties (insolation, wind regime, ground nature, hydrologic properties of the area, stateof vegetation, etc.) were identified. The insolation value is mainly determined by theslope exposure. A map of the slope distribution by the exposures has been compiledusing the geomorphologic cartography procedure.1</p><p>The wind regime is of great significance for the design work under the conditionsof Vladivostok. The major factors for determining its properties on the developmentterritory are those of the background locality regime of many years and deviation ofit due to the surface relief. Calculations of wind regime have been carried out bySerebrovsky's technique.2</p><p>The first stage of the calculations included the following:1. Identification of the main and largest relief forms.2. Identification of the slopes orientation by eight principal bearings and division</p><p>of them in the sites according to exposure.3. Division of the hills in sections by height.4. Determination of the correction factors and wind velocity according to the</p><p>table analogues.After the division of hills into sections by height, 95 elementary sites with a uni-</p><p>form wind regime were singled out. The valley bottoms were subdivided into fivesites more depending on their spread (Figure 2). Within each elementary site thewind velocity is about the same and its borders are determined by the high-altitudedisposition and exposure. Wind velocity variation factors in the sites were deter-mined by Romanova's data.3 They were obtained empirically and tabulated. Forexample, for the upper sections of the windward slopes the wind velocity variationfactor is 1.3, and for the lower sections of the lee slopes it is 0.8.</p><p>In the second stage, the mean wind velocity was calculated for every site and themaps of the wind regime in the area were compiled both for all the year round andthe winter season (Figure 3), separately. For example, the sites referring to the firstzone had a mean winter velocity of 3.54-4.05 m/sec, and the sites in the sixth zonehad those of 6.08-6.58 m/sec.</p><p>The zoning of the area was performed in relation to the vegetation state which wasestimated by the expert method according to a five-mark grading system. The triedspecies, quality of locality, aesthetic perception etc., were taken into account. Therewas the aim to conserve the forest sites of high quality by maximally using treelessareas. The sites of the anthropogenic changes of the area (the road-path network,existing development etc.) were map-made. The territory's assessment was done byconsidering unfavourable factors for development (Figure 4). In this case, the siteswere mapped so that their development was no convenient and related to theincreased costs. The suitability of development sites was identified according to cli-matic conditions (Figure 5).</p><p>Natural and anthropogenic factors have to be taken into account in designing to amaximum extent. To estimate natural factors, it is necessary to identify the mostactive elements of the natural landscape (both favourable and unfavourable), as wellas possibilities for intensifying positive characteristics of the natural environmentand neutralizing maximally negative ones with town planning resources. Moveover,methods to improve the use of the environment for recreation (deepening of theexisting pools and basin development, feasible man-made measures to enhance theenvironment, etc.) are proposed.</p><p>The anthropogenic factors include the pollution of separate sites in the territory</p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [U</p><p>nivers</p><p>itaets</p><p> und L</p><p>ande</p><p>sbibl</p><p>iothe</p><p>k] at</p><p> 16:50</p><p> 24 Se</p><p>ptemb</p><p>er 20</p><p>13 </p></li><li><p>296 S. M. GOVORUSHKO</p><p>Figure 2 Picking out the elementary areas having a similar wind regime.</p><p>(soil, air, water), urbanization of the territory and its implications (noise regime,vibration, electromagnetic background, etc.).</p><p>The significance and degree of variability of each natural factor are different. Forexample, geologic conditions of the area change insignificantly, while microclimaticconditions and state of the vegetation change considerably.</p><p>To design recreation facilities, a maximum use of existing resources is alsorequired, e.g. the pool in the south-eastern part of the area. The present site of thelocality is most suitable for the arrangement of recreation facilities due to its loca-tion, as it is the warmest and windless in winter and cool in summer. Water sports ornear-water recreation are extremely popular, despite the fact that the developmentterritory is actually situated on the seashore; an extensive use of this lake as a recre-</p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [U</p><p>nivers</p><p>itaets</p><p> und L</p><p>ande</p><p>sbibl</p><p>iothe</p><p>k] at</p><p> 16:50</p><p> 24 Se</p><p>ptemb</p><p>er 20</p><p>13 </p></li><li><p>HOUSING IMPACT 297</p><p>1 2 3 4</p><p>Figure 3 Division into districts according to mean winter speeds of wind. Symbols: a ratio of the windspeed change: (1) 0.7-0.8; (2) 0.8-0.9; (3) 0.9-1.0; (4) 1.0-1.1; (5) 1.1-1.2; (6) 1.2-1.3.</p><p>ation facility is likely. The pool may be used to bathe, particularly to train childrento swim, owing to its more rapid warming in summer and presence of shallows.Another part of the pool needs to be deepened and stocked with fish (only a crucianis found there now). Shore improvement (ground banking, tree planting) is required.'Micropreserve' in the near-shore zone of the lake may be established by plantingvegetation unsuitable for walking. Zones of this kind may be used for nesting of</p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [U</p><p>nivers</p><p>itaets</p><p> und L</p><p>ande</p><p>sbibl</p><p>iothe</p><p>k] at</p><p> 16:50</p><p> 24 Se</p><p>ptemb</p><p>er 20</p><p>13 </p></li><li><p>298 S. M. GOVORUSHKO</p><p>* 4 TFigure 4 Assessment of territory according to unfavourable factors of development. Symbols:(1) unfavourable land for building; (2) conditionally advantageous land for building; (3) unfavourablesites due to microclimatic conditions; (4) waterlogged sites; (5) spring; (6) power lines; (7) telephonelines; (8) brook.</p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [U</p><p>nivers</p><p>itaets</p><p> und L</p><p>ande</p><p>sbibl</p><p>iothe</p><p>k] at</p><p> 16:50</p><p> 24 Se</p><p>ptemb</p><p>er 20</p><p>13 </p></li><li><p>HOUSING IMPACT 299</p><p>1 2 3 m4 MFisure 5 Suitability of sites according to the degree of comfort of climatic conditions. Symbols: (1)S K t a b l ' suitaWe sites; (2) suitable, wind protection is desired; (3) conditionally suitable, wmdprotection is necessary; (4) unsuitable; (5) excluded due to insolation conditions.</p><p>aquatic birds. If required, a detailed scenario for the lake use with the recreation pur-poses may be drawn up rapidly and without any difficulties. , , , </p><p>The variability of the anthropogenic factors, which have an impact on designing,changes over a wide range. The pollution level of the particular sites in the areastudied (soil, air, water) varies insignificantly and may be taken into account only</p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [U</p><p>nivers</p><p>itaets</p><p> und L</p><p>ande</p><p>sbibl</p><p>iothe</p><p>k] at</p><p> 16:50</p><p> 24 Se</p><p>ptemb</p><p>er 20</p><p>13 </p></li><li><p>300 S. M. GOVORUSHKO</p><p>with other equal conditions, while other anthropogenic factors (noise regime, elec-tromagnetic background, etc.) vary over a wide range.</p><p>The primary objective of the assessment for development projects is to analyseand predict the environmental changes which may occur after their implementation.The management of the interaction process of the natural environment and towndevelopment is intended to create good living conditions and to seek resources bothfor their improvement and enhancement and nature conservation. The followingtasks need to be solved to attain this:</p><p>to ensure the optimal arrangement of the residential districts and originality oftheir architectural appearance;</p><p>to attain the rationality of decisions directed to the conservation and enrich-ment of the natural landscape;</p><p>to ensure the convenience and economic efficiency of the proposals.</p><p>To evaluate development projects, quantitative, semi-quantitative and qualitativeimpact assessments are undertaken. The example of a quantitative assessment isgiven by Matthey;4 however, this study does not consider the ecologic balance of adwelling house but of a canning factory. The examples of ecological semi-quantita-tive assessments are more numerous. The basis of the assessment proposed byRomaya5 are formed by factors, such as the identification of environmental criteria,their weighting,8 evaluation of each criterion by a five-mark grading system (from"very bad" to "very good"). A suitable number of residents are questioned, more-over, depending on their category (traffic travellers, tourists, local residents, etc.);each category is given its own weight factor. The public inquiry provides for theassessment of environmental criterion changes when implementing each project.The total assessment of the project impacts is calculated allowing for the relativeweights of the environmental criteria and participant's...</p></li></ul>