Submit a Manuscript to the Journal

Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal

For a Special Issue on

Exploring the role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the future of Impact Assessment (IA)

Abstract deadline
15 June 2024

Manuscript deadline
30 September 2024

Cover image - Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal

Special Issue Editor(s)

Urmila Jha-Thakur, Environmental Assessment and Management Centre, Department of Geography and Planning, University of Liverpool
[email protected]

Alexandra Jiricka-Pürrer , Institute of Landscape Development, Recreation and Conservation Planning, Department of Landscape, Spatial and Infrastructure Sciences University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU University)
[email protected]

Gesa Geissler, Environmental Assessments Research Group, Faculty Planning Building Environment, Technische Universitaet Berlin
[email protected]

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Exploring the role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the future of Impact Assessment (IA)

We would like to invite you to contribute to a roundtable issue of Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal (IAPA) which discusses the ‘Emerging Role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the future of Impact Assessment (IA)’. We want to critically discuss major directions of AI application in IA such as the support in text generation (e.g. for drafting of environmental reports) or the support in data generation and analysis, which can affect several procedural steps such as the generation of baseline data, the assessment of alternatives or the environmental monitoring. Related topics span from implications for planning quality, efficiency and effectiveness, transparency for decision making as well as IA related research, knowledge and novel responsibilities.

To this aim two thought-provoking initializing paper start discussion: The first paper is titled as ‘Using an Artificial Intelligence chatbot to critically review the scientific literature on the use of Artificial Intelligence in Environmental Impact Assessment’ (see ). This piece is authored by Alan Bond, Dirk Cilliers, Francois Retief, Reece Alberts, Claudine Roos and Hans Jurie Moolman. In this intriguing piece, the authors have actually deployed the use of AI tools in conducting a literature review. This process has enabled them to critically review emerging issues that rise as a result of using AI in Environmental Impact Assessment.
The second piece which is in the format of a letter to the editor is titled as 'AI will change EA practice – but are we ready for it? An interdisciplinary call for discussion based on developments in collecting and processing biodiversity data’ (see ) . This letter has been authored by Robin Sandfort, Birthe Uhlhorn, Gesa Geißler, Ivar Lyhne and Alexandra Jiricka-Pürrer. In this thought-provoking piece the authors investigate and explore both opportunities and risks associated with the role that AI is likely to play in the collection of biodiversity related data.

IAPA has employed roundtable approaches in previous years as well (See Benson 2003; Ross et al.2006; Morrison-Saunders and Retief, 2014), which has helped in initiating provocative discussions and debates on emerging issues and challenges within the field. In initiating this roundtable issue, we present to you two contributions written by a total of 9 authors which have been published in issue 42(2). By making the discussion papers available before hand as published pieces, we do take a departure from former roundtable approaches in IAPA. This allows more time and wider dissemination of the discussion papers (which are open accessed) allowing IAPA audience to reflect and form opinions.

Considering that there is uncertainty as to how the role of AI will emerge in the field of IA and the certainty that the growth of AI is imminent in the future, it is pertinent for us as IA community to investigate the implications of the emerging developments in the field. This is also aligning to our 2025 IAIA Conference which is based on the theme of ‘Impact Assessment in the Age of Artificial Intelligence’. Furthermore, we see the strong need for involvement of colleagues outside the IA community to enable an interdisciplinary perspective. Therefore, we encourage letters and articles involving perspectives from conservation and wildlife biology, meteorology, soil sciences and many more.

We would now like to invite you to comment and reflect on either or both of the beforementioned contributions and share your own insight and concerns regarding the role that AI is likely to play in the future of IA. Your responses can be in the format of letters, which are short pieces usually ranging between 1500-4000 words. However, we are also open to submission of research articles on this subject as long as they do address either or both of the core discussion papers. All response papers received will be considered for publication in their own right. In the Special Issue a Riposte will be published by the authors of the original discussion papers to wrap up the formal suite of publications.

Submission Instructions


Time-table for SI

  1. Submission of interest/ abstracts until June 15th 2024 (notification of acceptance until end of June);
  2. Submission of full letters/ papers until September 30th 2024;
  3. First round of Revision end of November 2024;
  4. Revised submissions until end of January 2025;
  5. Second round of reviews end of March 2025;
  6. Second round of revisions May 2025;
  7. Online publications by August 2025

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