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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2013

Green infrastructures and intensive forestry: Need and opportunity for spatial planning in a Swedish rural-urban gradient

Andersson, Kjell; Angelstam, Per; Elbakidze, Marine; Axelsson, Robert; Degerman, Erik


There is a current industrial and societal interest in Europe to further intensify the yield of wood for the forest industry and biomass. At the same time, green infrastructures for ecological and sociocultural values in forest landscapes should be functional. Municipalities have exclusive responsibility for comprehensive planning in Sweden. We modelled the spatial distribution of green infrastructures in terms of three forest types with high ecological values, and three sociotopes with high sociocultural values in 119 municipalities in a ruralurban gradient in Sweden. Forest land without such values should be available for intensive forestry with lower conflict risk. We also estimated the municipalities' potential for physical planning in terms of financial and social capital, and ownership category structure. The area of functional green infrastructures varied considerably among municipalities. Municipalities with a high proportion of functional green infrastructure, thus less available for intensive forestry, were characterised by a stronger tax base, higher population density and lower demographic dependency ratio, and lower proportions of industrial and state forest ownership. We discuss the need for and opportunities of introducing collaborative physical planning to accommodate multiple demands on forest landscapes. We conclude that to accommodate both functional green infrastructures and intensive forestry, a landscape approach including knowledge-based collaboration is needed at multiple-levels of governance and management.


Collaboration; ecosystem services; landscape approach; municipality; physical planning; sociotopes; sustainable forest management

Published in

Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research
2013, volume: 28, number: 2, pages: 143-165

Authors' information

Andersson, Kjell
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, School for Forest Management
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, School for Forest Management
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, School for Forest Management
Axelsson, Robert
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, School for Forest Management
Degerman, Erik
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Aquatic Resources

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG15 Life on land
SDG11 Sustainable cities and communities

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Other Biological Topics

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