Dutch Environmental Issues | Social Policy

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Interactive planning of Dutch infrastructural project

A case-description of Mainport Schiphol and the A12 national expressway

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Interactive Planning of Sustainability

1. Introduction

Since the beginning of the ‘90s, the implementation of new infrastructural projects in The Netherlands became increasingly problematic. Related environmental issues had a lot of societal attention. The Dutch Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management, responsible for maintaining a high quality of mobility in the Netherlands, identified three major problems with earlier attempts to solve the infrastructural problems; little social acceptance for new projects, procedures for realizing new projects took too long, and the proposed solutions were not really original and often ‘more of the same’. For solving these problems, this Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management proposed a change from top-down decision making to a more open and interactive form of policy making for planning, developing, and implementing new infrastructure (Enthoven and de Rooij, 1996). With interactive policy making, the main goal is to make more creative and effective plans, by involving all stakeholders like citizens, (local and/or national) governments and experts.

For this paper, 2 cases are selected, related to a Dutch infrastructure issue and dealt with on an interactive way; Mainport Schiphol near Amsterdam and the A12 national expressway near The Hague. The first one is selected because of its elaborated description in Susskind et al. (1999), its high degree of complexness and the fact the outcomes were fairly positive, the second one is selected also because of its suitable description in Glasbergen en Driessen (2005), but with a more straight-forward problem definition and its positive outcomes. Discussing these two Dutch cases, we will focus on four critical issues, related to interactive planning and often discussed in literature: Participant selection, Power and Access, Roles of facilitators, and Use of knowledge. Although more critical issues can be defined, like Roles op participants, Modes of evaluation and Use of outcomes by policy makers, only these four are chosen because of the fact that these are clearly discussed in the selected case-descriptions and these seemed to be crucial for the success of these cases.

Chapter 2 will discuss each critical issue shortly. Chapter 3 will discuss the two cases in the light of the four different critical issues, and chapter 4 will give a conclusion.

To structure this research the following research question is formulated:

How do the four critical issues (Participant selection, Power and Access, Roles of facilitators, and Use of knowledge) contribute to the rate of success of 2 infrastructural cases in The Netherlands (the Schiphol case and the A12 national expressway)?

2. Critical Issues

This chapter will elaborate a bit more about what is actually meant with the four different critical issues: Participant selection,

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