Environmental Economics and Sustainable Development
The broad objective of land-use planning is to regulate and control development in the public interest. This means that it is not just the interests of the developers and users of buildings that have to be considered, but those of a wider community. In the case of a housing development that is proposed in the countryside, the interests of all those affected by the development might ideally be considered, including those who currently walk near the site and enjoy views over green fields. If natural habitats are to be destroyed and the vitality of flora and fauna affected, should the development proceed? If the value of species is considered not just for current but for future generations, the scope of the public interest and the community that is to be considered becomes extremely broad. We might extend our considerations not only to those in the locality of the development now and in the future, but consider the national and global impacts of developments. With this line of thought we may be concerned with the materials that are used in the construction of dwellings and the disposal of waste as a byproduct of the building process. What contributions do these make to the depletion of natural resources and to the amenity value of the localities that receive the waste? What will be the energy efficiency of the completed dwellings? The geographical distribution of development will have important implications for transportation and the energy used in moving people and goods between places of dwelling, work, recreation and consumption. All of these are examples of the environmental impact of development.
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