'The Journal of Transdisciplinary Environmental Studies' (TES)
Volume 1, Number 2, Dec. 2002

ISSN 1602-2297

Landscape Protection in Environmental Impact Assessment in Poland
The example of a Gdansk fortification system which is threatened by transport investments

Aleksandra Sas-Bojarska, Ph.D.
Department of Architecture, Technical University of Gdansk, Poland
E-mail: asasbo@pg.gda.pl

Abstract: A planned road system may either show the beauty and exceptional features of nature, culture, and landscape, or do them damage, especially when it is located nearby areas of significant cultural and aesthetic value. The specific case-study of potential threat to a historic fortification system in Gdansk, which may be harmed by planned road investments, provides a background for presenting the strengths and weaknesses of landscape protection in Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in Poland. The conclusion is that landscape protection in EIA practice is not sufficiently recognised and used. Moreover, the strategic environmental assessments (SEA) are applied with a limited scope, mostly for local plans, prepared for the implementation of a specific activity. It results in poor management of wider structures, like landscape macro-composition. The examples presented in this paper prove that only the overall assessment of planned road systems, either in terms of an SEA or an EIA reveals, how seriously they may affect another urban system, namely the historical fortifications of the city. Properly conducted SEA/EIAs may result in rapid improvements in the landscape of certain city zones, which are under particular pressure because of investment. So, the assessments may be helpful in the exposure and better access to objects of cultural heritage, as well as being helpful in the improved management of their surroundings, promoting the unusual historical image of Gdansk.

Key words: culture heritage, landscape, road system, threat, environmental impact assessment.

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