Public Participation and EIA Effectiveness: Empirical Case Studies in Hong Kong

Hung, Shiu Fung
(2020) Public Participation and EIA Effectiveness: Empirical Case Studies in Hong Kong. Doctor of Philosophy thesis, University of Liverpool.

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While public participation is now considered a crucial component in Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) practice, many contexts on the role and function of public participation in EIA practices have yet to be explored. There is a need for advancing the theories on the EIA in the light of nowadays challenges. This PhD thesis adopted an inductive approach to seek answers to the research questions of "Does public participation make EIA more effective?" and “How does public participation make EIA more effective?”. The research questions emphasise the substantive effectiveness of EIA, arguing that EIA could only be claimed as effective if it could achieve the substantive objectives behind its design, which include its procedural functionality, normative and legitimacy functions and transformative functions. Empirical case studies were conducted in Hong Kong to examine the public participation in Hong Kong's EIA practices during the preparation of the EIA report, the review of the EIA report, and the post-EIA approval stage. Three distinct EIAs, i.e. Tung Chung New Town Extension, Development of the Integrated Waste Management Facilities Phase 1, and South Island Line (East) were reviewed and analysed. The case studies reveal the public participation outcomes in achieving the substantive objectives of the EIA, with the influence of the unique social-political context in Hong Kong. The case studies found that public participation could play significant roles in the procedural functionality, especially in information circulation and policing; however, the normative and legitimacy functions are mixed, and the transformative functions are limited. The empirical findings suggested that contextual factors have much influence on public participation outcomes. The existing Impact Assessment models could not fully incorporate the implications of contextual factors in practices. Meanwhile, some similar findings were observed in regions with other contexts. Further studies to comprehend the understanding of the influence of context in IA practices are recommended.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Environmental Impact Assessment, Public Participation
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Engineering > School of Environmental Sciences
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 28 Apr 2021 15:26
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2023 22:53
DOI: 10.17638/03119103