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Methods and strategies to monitor and manage human impact on urbanized protected areas (UPA)


Case 2: Conflicts between new road infrastructure and nature protection

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CASE 2: CONFLICTS BETWEEN NEW ROAD INFRASTRUCTURE AND NATURE PROTECTION

Lead

Faculty of Law  

Mentor

Prof. dr. Bernard Vanheusden
Prof. dr. Stijn Verbist

Case

This case is inspired by the huge discussion in Flanders on the ‘North-South connection’, a new road that would better connect the North of Limburg with the South of Limburg. The current road passes through Houthalen-Helchteren and every day there are serious traffic jams during rush hours. Employers’ as well as employees’ organizations complain that the current situation hampers industrial development and job creation. They claim that there are serious socio-economic impacts. On the downside, the new road would pass through several protected nature areas. Environmental NGOs heavily oppose to that. The alternative is to still go through the city, but with tunnels. Opponents claim that it is too expensive and that there will still be a lot of air pollution. The North-South connection is not located in the National Park, but we could easily relocate the facts to the National Park (building a new road through the national park to better connect parts of land, because of traffic jams, loss of jobs,…). The difficulty is that for the protection of nature there is rather strict European legislation, while for the protection/creation of jobs, or for example a maximum of traffic jams there is no such framework.