Sustainability Evaluation of Policies, Plans and Projects


1. Understanding of the main SA tools, at strategic (policies, plans and programmes) and project level, in particular Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA), on different aspects: conceptual, ethical, legal, methodological, technical and scientific, administrative and decision-making.

2. Overview of EIA and SEA techniques.

3. Understanding and resolution of practical EIA and SEA problems.  

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Tomás Ramos


Weekly - Available soon

Total - Available soon

Teaching language





BOND, A., MORRISON-SAUNDERS, A., HOWITT, R. (eds.) (2013). Sustainability Assessment: pluralism, practice and progress. New York: Natural and Built Environment Series, Routledge, 276 pp.

FISCHER, T.B. (2007). The Theory and Practice of Strategic Environmental Assessment: Towards a More Systematic Approach. Earthscan, London, 186 pp.

GLASSON, J., THERIVEL, R. (2019). Introduction to Environmental Impact Assessment. University College London (UCL) Press. 5th Edition. London, 496 pp.

GIBSON, R.B. (2005). Sustainability Assessment ? Criteria and Processes. Earthscan, London, 254 pp.

SADLER, B., DUSIK, J., FISCHER, T., PARTIDARIO, M., VERHEEM, R., ASCHEMANN, R. (eds.) (2015). Handbook of Strategic Environmental Assessment. Routledge, New York.

SMITH M, JOÃO E, ALBRECHT E (2005). Implementing Strategic Environmental Assessment (Environmental Protection in the European Union), Springer, Berlin. 

Teaching method

The teaching method includes lectures and practical classes. The teaching methods are mainly conducted to support several aspects: a) individual/group technical and scientific skills; b) debate skills and coherent analysis in the interpretation of the studied subjects. Classes will be complemented with a tutorial system, using e-learning tools.

Evaluation method

Evaluation is based on two evaluation moments.

1) Evaluation Test (40%);

2) Critical analysis of a sustainability assessment "Non-technical Report of SA" (60%), including presentation and discussion

Subject matter

1. Introduction to Sustainability Assessment SA): goals, concepts, history, trends and challenges. Professional ethics.

2. SA approaches and tools, including Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA).

3. Main types of impacts by activity.

4. EIA and SEA process: international and Portuguese legislation; procedures and requirements.

5. Methods in SA, including criteria, case studies, scenarios, models and indicators: Environmental Impact Statement and Environmental Report ? structure and contents; scoping; methods to identify and predict impacts; evaluation of impact significance; mitigation measures and recommendations; follow-up: monitoring and management; decision support.