Environmental impact design

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The theory and practice of Environmental impact assessment developed from the appreciation that development projects can have negative impacts - externalities which harm the environment. This led to the enactment of the US National Environmental Policy Act of 1969.

Environmental impact design is concerned with modifications to the design of development projects to achieve positive impacts - externalities which benefit the environment and raise the stock of public goods. Examples of positive impacts include:

  • Habitat creation as a result of afforestation projects
  • Coastal management projects which contribute to ecological and recreational objectives
  • flood defense projects which create greenways
  • public open space projects which contribute to surface water management objectives
  • bridge designs which enhance the landscape and contribute to non-transportation objectives

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