Conceptual approaches to assessment of the ecological security of residential areas: Theoretical analysis
This article reviews scientific and literary sources with a view to analysing existing conceptual approaches to assessing the environmental safety of residential areas. Our focus has been on methodological approaches that give quantitative and qualitative expression to the sustainability of ecological systems, with complex interactions of social, economic, technological and natural factors. We paid special attention to the concept of "ecological safety". This allowed us to find out that the concept is closely related to the terms ecological hazard and ecological risk. The content of each of these terms is in the sphere of interaction between society and nature.
The results of scientific research available to us are based on the understanding that residential areas are artificial ecosystems with a high population concentration and man-made load. Their security is therefore less stable than that of natural ecosystems. In different countries of the world there are own methodological developments on the assessment of ecological safety of residential areas. First of all, they include the analysis and search for options to improve the environmental and ecological economic situation, the assessment of pollution levels, the rational use of natural resources, human and technological impact on the environment, and the forecasting of emergencies, aaccidents and catastrophes both within whole countries and in their individual regions.
As a result of our theoretical analysis, it has become clear that, at the present stage, there is no single generally accepted concept for defining the ecological security of territorial units: states, regions, large urban agglomerations and smaller residential areas. We understand that the reason for this is the need to take into account a huge number of factors which, in each individual case, will be given priority according to the nature of the situation, the economic situation or other activities. The only and common feature for all existing conceptual approaches is the presence of mandatory environmental assessment in the environmental safety management system of residential areas.