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Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 827; doi:10.3390/su8080827

Striving for Sustainable Development and the Coordinating Role of the Central Government: Lessons from Swedish Housing Policy

1
History of Technology Unit, Luleå University of Technology, SE-971 87 Luleå, Sweden
2
Department of Management and Engineering, Division of Political Science, Linköping University, SE-581 83 Linköping, Sweden
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Tan Yigitcanlar
Received: 1 June 2016 / Revised: 8 August 2016 / Accepted: 11 August 2016 / Published: 22 August 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [210 KB, uploaded 22 August 2016]

Abstract

Housing plays an important role in the development of welfare policies and also often in achieving sustainability goals. There exists, however, implementation gaps between policies and practices in urban development and housing. Here it should be possible to draw lessons from policy implementations in the past. In this article we explore the strategies of the Swedish central government in implementing a social housing policy in the mid-20th century. The policy was successfully implemented in that it resulted in the rapid expansion and modernisation of the Swedish apartment stock in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and acute housingshortages and poor housing standards were overcome. The main lesson learned from the Swedish case study is the critical role of the central government in implementation throughthe strategic coordination of policy aims, instruments, stakeholders and interests throughout the implementation process. Although the central government could have used hard, almost authoritarian policy instruments to force the realisation of the new policy, it mainly used soft policy tools and focused on coordination. In the contemporary networked governance setting, the central government, like no other player, still has the potential to guide and coordinate implementation processes for the realization of sustainable housing visions. View Full-Text
Keywords: housing; central government; policy strategies; sustainability; historical lessons; Sweden housing; central government; policy strategies; sustainability; historical lessons; Sweden
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Söderholm, K.; Wihlborg, E. Striving for Sustainable Development and the Coordinating Role of the Central Government: Lessons from Swedish Housing Policy. Sustainability 2016, 8, 827.

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