Table of contents
About this book
Neglect of the relation between the socio-economic system and its natural environment has had detrimental consequences in the past, for example - the pollution of the natural environment (water, air and soil) by producing, using and consuming the products of our industrialized economy, - the forseeable exhaustion of natural resources by continuing the increase of industrial production. Most of the recent activities, both in research and in adminis tration, against these impacts have been technically oriented, with the aim of stimulating and introducing new technologies of produc tion and new products to diminish the environmental pollution. But these efforts, which are of course necessary, cannot be successful in approaching the aim - which should and must in the long-term view be defined as the development of society in balance with the natural environment. Therefore, in addition to an assess ment of technologies, emphasis should be put on an assessment of socio-economic systems. On di~~erent levels, individual and social preferences determine quantities and qualities of production and consumption using economical values, e.g., market prices as regula tors. Following this argumentation, an environment assessment of activities against pollution has especially to consider the social response to environmental impacts. Of course, this topic must be a subject of interdisciplinary research. The challenge concerned in this context is to increase the knowledge of the relationship between social, economic and tech nical subsets.
air development environmental planning production research soil