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Linking river basin management to town and country planning

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The EU Water Framework Directive has been described as a 'sustainability' directive as it broadens the regulation of water resources from a focus on quality standards to an integrated approach that considers how water is affected by, and affects, land use and development. The WFD could fundamentally alter the face of water management in Europe by causing us to examine how the costs and benefits of achieving and maintaining `good ecological status? for all waters are distributed between various stakeholders. However, responsible authorities are struggling to design effective, efficient and equitable processes for implementing the Directive.

The British land use planning system is similarly in transition, driven by European spatial development objectives, greater concern for sustainability and civic engagement, and ongoing efforts to modernize the public sector. In Scotland the planning system is also caught up in the evolving local governance arrangements resulting from devolution.

The land use planning system will undoubtedly have a key role in the development and implementation of Scotland's river basin management plans (RBMPs), as required by the WFD. However, there is confusion over how these two evolving regimes will interact in practice. The purpose of this project is to analyse and inform the development of this relationship, in order to further our understanding of how institutional structures and networks operate with regard to integrated catchment (and rural land) management.

This is an ACES funded PHD being undertaken by Heather Smith and supervised in conjunction with Alister Scott at University of Aberdeen.

This project ended in 2011.

Project Information
Project Type: 
Archived Project


Areas of Interest

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The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.