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Forskningsartikel - Refereegranskat, 2007

Managing complex spatial planning processes

Nilsson, KL


This article surveys the way in which the idea of sustainable development is integrated into current spatial planning practice by Swedish local authorities. The Brundtland Report’s definition of sustainable development calls for all dimensions of sustainability to be considered. Given that today’s planning processes deal with large volumes of basic data where epistemological and technical knowledge must be co-ordinated with the actors’ values and views of society, this makes spatial planning a very complex process for local planning authorities. The question is whether these ideals of sustainability are manageable in a complex planning situation. Case histories of the implementation process in Sweden indicate that local authorities seek to limit this complexity by dividing the main topics, i.e. ecological, social and economic, into separate planning processes and planning documents. Furthermore, each of the sustainability dimensions seems to be strengthened by social discourses, which can be recognised in the visions of the local plans. The various modes of planning correspond to and are strengthened by these discourses


Planning processes; planning practice; sustainable development; local authority planning

Publicerad i

Planning Theory and Practice
2007, Volym: 8, nummer: 4, sidor: 431-447

    UKÄ forskningsämne

    Economics and Business
    Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use
    Social Sciences

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