This project is meant to explore decision making devices (instruments and procedures) and their role in dealing with conflicts between (incommensurable) values as they arise in the process of public decision-making concerning the sustainability of projects with major impact on environment. With the European Union Directive 2001/42/EC the assessment procedure known as Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) became a major instrument for implementing sustainable territorial development policies in the EU. Public decision is thus called to translate into practice the goal of territorial sustainable development - a guiding principle of public action that requires the composition of different and often contrasting definitions concerning desirable common goods to pursue. However, the way in which this composition may be achieved leaves room for controversies and varied, context-dependent, arrangements. The project combines two different but interwoven explorations. The first is meant to analyse the translation of monistic and pluralistic approaches into “devices of decision” (cost-benefit analysis; integrated and multicriteria approaches). The second axis is devoted to the observation of how these devices have been enacted in controversies concerning large infrastructural projects, specifically: the decision on the location of the new Lisbon airport, the decision of the construction of the Tua dam and the decision on the extension of Milan airport.
Period: 2010 - 2012
Funding Institution: FCT - Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia | PTDC/CS-ECS/099630/2008
Coordination: Laura Centemeri (CES-Coimbra)
External Team: Ana Cristina Santos; João José Tolda; João Rodrigues José Joaquim Reis; José Castro Caldas; Rita Serra; Tiago Santos Pereira e Vítor Neves