Social Dimensions of Environmental Management
Social dimensions of environmental management have gained increasing importance in the past decade and several initiatives and actions have been established to apply the principles of sustainability to contaminated land management. However, there is still a lack of systematic approaches and theoretical frameworks that are able to support a holistic and context sensitive approach to decision making in the remediation of sites that are contaminated with radioactive material. The purpose of this PhD is to investigate the applicability of the Community Capitals Framework, as an assets-based Community Development framework, to the environmental management of radioactively contaminated sites from ongoing or past activities (including accidents). In fact, recent studies from different fields show that community based approaches, as opposite to needs-based approaches, have great potential for the inclusion of social dimensions to environmental management. The objective of this research is to assess the Community Capitals Framework as a theoretical framework to develop a more comprehensive approach for the management of radioactively contaminated sites, improve community empowerment and foster sustainable growth. Specifically, the PhD will carry out an in-depth study of the social dimensions of environmental remediation projects and their inclusion in policy support tools. The objectives of the study are threefold. First, the Community Capitals Framework will be applied to three case study sites (post-accident, NORM and legacy site). Second, the study will assess the applicability and reliability of this framework for sustainable environmental management, and investigate its potential for long-term community resilience. Finally, it will assess the various capitals’ research methods for their potential application in other fields, and for their compatibility with policy-supporting tools such as multi-criteria decision analysis.