A research agenda for data and scale issues in strategic environmental assessment (SEA)

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The way in which Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) succeeds in its key aim - to integrate the environment into strategic decision-making - is affected by the choice of both data and scale. The data and scale used within SEA fundamentally shape the process. However, in the past, these issues were often not discussed in an explicit or in-depth way. This article proposes a research agenda, and recommendations for future practice, on data and scale issues in SEA. Future research on data issues, spatial and temporal scales (both in terms of detail and extent), tiering, data quality and links to decision-making are recommended. The article concludes that questions of data and scale in SEA are not just technical, they are essential to identifying and understanding the issues that SEA should be addressing, and therefore are a core element of SEA.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)479-491
Number of pages12
JournalEnvironmental Impact Assessment Review
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2007


  • strategic environmental assessment (SEA)
  • data
  • spatial scale
  • temporal scale
  • research agenda
  • tiering
  • scale effects
  • data quality

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