The RTPI and Land Use Consultants (LUC) have carried out a review of research on sustainability appraisal on behalf of the Sustainable Development Research Network. The final report, published in October 2008, is now available to download here. It includes a literature review to determine
- The extent of existing work on the usability and effectiveness of SA for the delivery of sustainable development outcomes;
- What lessons have been learnt and what issues have been identified through existing research;
- Gaps in the existing research/opportunities for further research to provide potential focus for the rest of the programme.
The results of a workshop of researchers and practitioners, hosted by the Department of Communities and Local Government and facilitated by LUC and RTPI are also incorporated.
Key issues are
- What is emerging good practice in SA of development plans?
- What value is SA adding to spatial planning processes and outcomes?
- What the challenges and problems?
- Is SA achieving integration with other key strategic processes e.g. community strategies, climate change action plans, economic strategies, health impact assessment?
- How can the evidence bases for SA be improved?
- What should SA practice be learning from research?
- How does SA contribute to meeting the UK Sustainable Development Strategy commitment to living within environmental limits?
The Department of Communities and Local Government (CLG) has subsequently commissioned further research to address some of the recommendations discussed at the workshop and set out in the SDRN report, by helping to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of sustainability appraisal and strategic environmental assessment practice in spatial planning in England.