Regional development and the environment: Theory and policy

Torres, Santiago Augusto (1978) Regional development and the environment: Theory and policy. MLitt(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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In this work we have attempted to present a comprehensive methodological and analytical framework for dealing with regional development within the context of the Latin American countries' reality. The connection between 'environment' and 'development' is essentially established by defining the latter as a process of environmental change, the 'human environment' being defined as a multidimensional concept containing three major interacting dimensions; the social dimension (man, his communities, institutions and values); the technodimension (man-made artifacts and the knowledge on which they are based); and the ecodimansion (physico-natural environment). Based on these definitions, and on the basic features characterizing the Latin American environmental change process, we concluded the need for any development planning attempt at the regional level to deal, in an integrated and simultaneous way, with three fundamental areas; economic growth, income distribution, and ecodimensional change, Additionally, we stated that for this approach to be meaningful, it has to explicitly consider structural and institutional factors, from both the social and spatial points of view. Theoretical and some basic planning and policy issues associated with the stated approach to regional development were considered. In the theoretical side, we reviewed the most fundamental strands, with an economic perspective, connected with regional growth, income distribution and ecodimensional problems, ye concluded that the conventional, optimality-oriented, approach to economic growth should be disregarded and replaced by one that takas into account the fundamental facts of; (i) a community constitutad by socio-economic groups presenting particular and specific behaviour and also facing different problems, and (ii) an ecodimension of the human enironment playing a relevant role in the community's welfare possibilities through a set of multifunctional capital assets which are neither given nor without limits, but assets the services of which are the result of complex and dynamic processes and eventually subjects to depreciation. The essentially conflictive character of the relationship between the ecodimension and the sociodimension (society's attempts to achieve ever increasing welfare levels) is fully recognized. Nevertheless, our theoretical analysis suggests a rich set of options for solving such conflict implying a relatively high degree of harmony between both dimensions and, at the same time, the possibility of achieving more equitative patterns of environmental change. With this outcome in mind, we then attempted the formulation of a general methodological and analytical framework, as a basis for the formulation of an operative planning aid tool, allowing the possibility of evaluating such options. The main characteristics of this framework are: (i) It corresponds to a 'supply and demand' paradigm. As such, it allows compatibility analyses, specially in the areas of labour employment and unemployment, and ecodimensional problems (depletion, pollution and congestion), (ii) It is defined at the level of a particular region and thus, it implies the consideration of space in very concrete terms which, in turn, allows a meaningful definition of the ecodimensional capital, (iii) Although we focussed our attention on the formulation of our framework for a typical, particular, peripheral region, its connection with the regions system is suggested and discussed in general terms by means of the consideration of this framework as a subsystem within a more ample methodology which includes a set of scenarios in relation to which the former has to be operated (on the basis of a conversational or interactive mode). And it is the scenarios-designing activity the one allowing the integration of the (variable) overall spatial structure, (iv) It explicitly distinguishes the rural from the urban sector, and within each, it also distinguishes different relevant socio-economic groups. Therefore, it allowed the inclusion of specific factors influencing each socio-economic group's income-earning capacity and determining their particular connections with the ecodimension (as a source of productive capital and as a source of consumption commodities). (Abstract shortened by ProQuest.).

Item Type: Thesis (MLitt(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Additional Information: Adviser: J Firn
Keywords: Area planning & development, Latin American studies, Environmental economics
Date of Award: 1978
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1978-73910
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2019 08:56
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2019 08:56

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