"What can integrated environmental management do for urban environments?"
According to the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology and the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, more attention needs to be paid to the integrated development of sustainable urban environments as there is significant risk to the New Zealand economy if these environments cannot be efficiently managed. In response, an environmental management approach called Integrated Environmental Management (IEM) has been evaluated both in theory and in practice to see what it can do for urban environments in order to advance urban environmental goals. For the purposes of this report, IEM has been conceptualised as an analytical approach that takes into account the economic, social and ecological dimensions of an issue in a comprehensive, inter-connective, strategic and co-ordinated manner, and embodies a mindset or way of thinking that takes into account political, practical and strategic concerns. The primary conclusions of this report established the nature of urban management in New Zealand is a complex mix of political and economic influences: a system that is perhaps not ideally placed to address urban concerns in a comprehensively integrated manner. Analysis and evaluation of IEM in theory (with the development of an urban problem resolution strategy) and in practice (by way of questionnaire responses) established that IEM does have both theoretical and practical potential as an urban environmental management approach. In sum, IEM would be a useful tool for the improvement of urban management in the New Zealand context. As a result, the overall recommendations of this report were developed as follows: 1. Encourage the adoption of an IEM approach for urban environmental issues; and 2. Utilise the recommendations derived from the IEM analysis (amended) as a basis for future action. These are: • Formulate an urban research agenda and take action to compile an urban information database. • Define the urban environment and urban environmental issues. • Take action to formulate a National Policy Statement on urban management issues.... [Show full abstract]