A1 Journal article – refereed

Ympäristölliset naapuruuskiistat ja kuntien ympäristöviranomaisten rooli




List of Authors: Haverinen Risto, Heinonen Hilkka

Publisher: Itä-Suomen yliopiston LYY-instituutti, Itä-Suomen yliopisto oikeustieteiden laitos

Place: Joensuu

Publication year: 2013

Journal: Ympäristöpolitiikan ja -oikeuden vuosikirja

Book title *: Ympäristöpolitiikan ja -oikeuden vuosikirja VI 2012

Volume number: VI

ISSN: 1797-206X

eISSN: 1797-206X


Abstract
ENVIRONMENTAL NEIGHBOUR DISPUTES AND THE ROLE OF MUNICIPAL ENVIRONMENTAL AUTHORITIES
This article discusses neighbour disputes that municipal environmental, health
and building authorities process as a part of their public duties. Environmental
authorities are confronted with problems how to effectively deal with challenging
neighbour disputes, for example, how to take neighbours’ needs and viewpoints,
environmental quality and the burden of environmental authorities into account
in a fair and equitable manner. Furthermore, also the practise on the terminology
used has not been established as of yet.
The objective of the research is to: 1) outline the “grey area” between the private
environmental neighbour disputes and the municipal authority’s competence in
minor environmental damages, and 2) explore the social dynamics of neighbour
disputes, for example patterns of neighbouring and modes of intervention, by
analysing interaction of residents in cases of dispute. The article combines two
approaches; sociological approach to neighbouring as well as legal approach
(sociology of law) to understand the transformation of neighbour disputes from
grievances into litigation and court cases.
The research data consists of a) focus group discussions of municipal
environmental authorities, and b) focused (semi-structured) interviews of the
opposite sides of disputes in six different cases. The data was collected in five
municipalities in Eastern Finland between autumn 2011 and spring 2012. The
nature and frequency of the neighbour disputes, as well as the differences and
similarities between cases, was analysed on the basis of the group discussions.
In addition, parties’ interviews were also studied in order to analyse initial
stages and social dynamics of the disputes. This study used frame analysis as
the method.
The most important finding of the research was that neighbour disputes have
the tendency to accumulate; same disputants turn frequently to environmental
authorities trying to find resolutions to the disputes they are involved with.
However, the key problem still remains – in most cases, the environmental
authorities do not have any concrete tools or resources to intervene the dispute.
On the other hand, analysis of the social dynamics of the neighbour disputes
showed that disputants’ conception of the situation were often not only very
different from each other, but also that they were colliding. The views between
the environmental authorities and the parties could differ as well.
Based on the outcome of the research, a typology of accumulated and
expanding environmental neighbour disputes was developed. Furthermore,
also two models in relation to the types of disputing neighbours and the social
dynamics of the disputes were developed. The first model is based on social
control and the second one on adaptation to dissimilarities (differences of
neighbours) in the neighbourhood.
To conclude, this research notes that the views of the different parties – the
juridical views represented by the environmental authorities as well as views
emphasising neighbouring and interaction between disputing residents’ – should
be brought together more efficiently.


Last updated on 2021-24-06 at 08:16