Siting decisions and conflicts have been attracting the attention of social scientists since the 1980s, and numerous case studies have been elaborated exploring the characteristics of public opposition against noxious or hazardous facilities. This paper examines the siting conflicts of the last ten years (1998-2007) in Hungary. Most cases in the sample can be related to waste management which resonates with the findings of the Anglo-Saxon literature. However, some service complexes (shopping malls, public garages, etc.) and residential facilities also trigger public opposition. Different types of siting conflicts happen in places with different socio-economic characteristics. Waste disposals and other waste management facilities are usually to be planned in smaller villages with modest or low income and relatively high unemployment rate. Opposition against service complexes generally happens in bigger cities with higher income. Between the two extremes other clusters can be found such as siting conflicts in the mining and energy sector, ones around infrastructural investments (roads, airport, etc.), and other industrial sites. In many cases local referendum was organized in order to decide whether a municipality should host the facility in question or not. Surprisingly an unsuccessful referendum (from the point of view of the investor) does not necessarily lead to a siting fiasco, but the opposite can be true as well: a yes in a referendum does not guarantee that the new facility will be built.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.