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IntergovernmentalEnvironmental Planning: Addressing the Commitment Conundrum

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ABSTRACT Public policies aimed at environmental problems from improper land use typically work through or with the co-operation of local governments. But local governments sometimes fail to appreciate the importance of the environmental issues or programmes announced by higher level governments. In this paper, we use data on mitigation of natural hazards gathered in Florida in the US and New South Wales in Australia to demonstratethat planning mandates can suffer from gaps in local commitment to the environmental goals of higher level governments. Planning mandates must foster higher quality plans and also build supportivelocal political constituencies if they are to overcome this 'commitment conundrum'. We show that the needed improvements in the quality of plans can be fostered through capacity building. Supportive constituencies can be created through programmesthat enhance public awareness of environmental problems and also through provisions of environmental mandates that require local governments to undertake collaborative planning processes with affected stakeholders.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 1998

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