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Strategic Environmental Assessment. “Back to the Future” By Dr Anne F Kerr 18 June 2005. Contents of Talk. SEA concept Ingredients Purpose Communication of the findings and assessments Case studies. Strategic Environmental Assessments. S uitable for E very A pplication ?.

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Strategic Environmental Assessment

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Strategic Environmental Assessment

“Back to the Future”

By Dr Anne F Kerr

18 June 2005

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Contents of Talk

  • SEA concept

  • Ingredients

  • Purpose

  • Communication of the findings and assessments

  • Case studies

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Strategic Environmental Assessments

  • Suitable for Every Application ?

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Essential Ingredients

  • Definition of robust baseline conditions

  • Identification of applicable assessment tools

  • Application of relevant key performance indicators

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Purpose of an SEA

  • Essentially to identify impacts at a macro level

  • To allow rationale decisions to be made whether to take a project or development forward or not

  • To provide a powerful tool to communicate the implications of a development project or strategy in terms of the community at large and specific groups of sensitive receptors.

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Example 1 : SEA for the Relocation of the Airport from Kai Tak

  • Taking a step back into the future – how was the site at Chek Lap Kok selected?

Kai Tak Airport

Chek Lap Kok Airport

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SEA for PADS - The Process

Coarse Screening

Fine Screening

Strategy Evaluation

100’s of options and components

6 Options

Environmental Modelling including:


Water Quality,


Ecological Assessment

3 Strategies


Air Quality and

Water Quality


Environmental (and other) Assessment using performance indicators

Environmental Assessment and testing against performance indicators

Preferred Option

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Processes Involved

  • Integration of the environmental planning aspects into the overall planning, land use, transport and engineering studies.

  • SEA was an integral component in the decision making process.

  • The option ultimately selected was optimal from an environmental perspective, which could be demonstrated through the findings and interpretation of the SEA.

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Solution to All Problems?

  • Location at Chek Lap Kok increased journey time for many to and from the airport

  • Changed the location of the emissions from one airshed to another

  • Required major infrastructure to be constructed, New Towns, Highways, Lantau Link etc.

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Environmental Components incorporated into the Overall Development Plan

  • Natural coastline of Lantau retained by inclusion of “Sea Channel” in overall plan

  • “Sea Channel” also crucial to preservation of water quality in East Tung Chung Bay

  • Mangrove stands and ecological resources flourish in Pak Mong Lake through inclusion of “Sea Bridges” into the NLH design

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Does the SEA model as applied to the Airport apply to other cases?

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  • Ongoing study

  • 4 phased approach

  • Link to the website

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What are the desired outcomes for HK2030?

  • A development plan?

  • A list of proposed infrastructure requirements?

  • Is the outcome fixed or flexible?

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HK2030 Scenarios

  • Must be flexible

  • Able to respond to change

  • Assist in the wider planning context taking account of the influences of the PRD

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  • Need to provide a robust assessment of the implications in terms of air quality etc.

  • Not just comparison of results of modelling with the criteria

  • A real in-depth understanding of the implications of changes to assumptions upon which the scenarios are based

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Back to the Future

  • Need to have robust modelling tools

  • Need also to interpret the data

  • Need to understand the implications of actions – development, assumptions etc.

  • Need to be able to update the assessments given new developments, technology, targets for sustainability etc.

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Back to the Future

  • Don’t forget basic principles of interpreting data

  • Don’t forget to play with the data and results to fully understand the implications – not just pretty illustrations

  • Presentation is essential BUT needs to be totally supported by understanding.

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“Thank You”

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