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Urban environmental challenges in developing countries—A stakeholder perspective

Ameen, Raed Fawzi Mohammed and Mourshed, Monjur 2017. Urban environmental challenges in developing countries—A stakeholder perspective. Habitat International 64 , pp. 1-10. 10.1016/j.habitatint.2017.04.002

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Developing countries face significant urban environmental challenges due to rapid urbanisation, population growth, inability to effectively tackle climate and environmental risks, inefficient governance and environmental management, the prevalence of corruption and a chronic shortage of investment. Environmental degradation is often acute in politically unstable countries such as Iraq. Several post-war urban development and regeneration projects are currently underway in Iraq, but without evident participation from the wider public in decision-making. This study investigated stakeholders’ perception of urban environmental challenges—their level of importance and priority in the Iraqi context. A nationwide survey (n=643) was conducted using a 25-item structured questionnaire where respondents’ views were gathered on a 5-point Likert-type scale, in addition to demographic information. Principal component analysis (PCA) and statistical tests were applied to investigate the relationship between the perceptions of urban environmental challenges and demographic factors. Five principal components were identified, namely: water, waste, and materials; environmental impact; natural hazard; personal mobility; and transport. The results showed that about 70% of the respondents considered ‘water conservation’ as the most important urban environmental challenge, followed by ‘increase choice of transport modes’. 67.2% of the respondents rated ‘efficient infrastructure and utilities’ as a very important factor, and was ranked the third. All demographic characteristics except location showed statistically significant differences in perception. The relatively high importance placed by the respondents on infrastructure related items such as water, transport and utilities demonstrate a possible link between the perceptions and: (a) the citizens’ day to day experience and hardship, and (b) the lack of adequate infrastructure and service provisions in Iraq, due to political instability in the recent decades.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Engineering
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
T Technology > TD Environmental technology. Sanitary engineering
Uncontrolled Keywords: Urban sustainability, Urban environmental challenges, Public participation in development, Stakeholder perception
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0197-3975
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 9 May 2017
Date of Acceptance: 7 April 2017
Last Modified: 27 Apr 2018 08:42

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