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Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1836;

Changes, Problems, and Challenges in Swedish Spatial Planning—An Analysis of Power Dynamics

Department of Technology and Society, Lund University, Box 118, 221 00 Lund, Sweden
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Stefan Gössling
Received: 30 August 2017 / Revised: 9 October 2017 / Accepted: 11 October 2017 / Published: 12 October 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transport Policy)
Full-Text   |   PDF [232 KB, uploaded 12 October 2017]


During the past few decades, the Swedish spatial planning system has experienced numerous problems and challenges. In particular, there have been changes in legislation and an increased neoliberalisation of planning that gives private actors a larger influence over the planning processes in Sweden. In this article, we analyse these changes through the lenses of collaborative and neoliberal planning in order to illuminate the shifting power relations within spatial planning in Sweden. We analyse the changes of power relations from three dimensions of power based on interviews with different kinds of planners throughout Sweden. We show that power relations in the Swedish spatial planning system have shifted and that neoliberalisation and an increased focus on collaborative planning approaches have made spatial planning more complex in recent decades. This has led to a change of role for planners form actual planners to collaborators. We conclude that market-oriented planning (neoliberal planning) and collaborative planning have made it more difficult for spatial planners in Sweden to work towards sustainable urban futures. View Full-Text
Keywords: spatial planning; power relations; neoliberalisation; Sweden spatial planning; power relations; neoliberalisation; 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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Koglin, T.; Pettersson, F. Changes, Problems, and Challenges in Swedish Spatial Planning—An Analysis of Power Dynamics. Sustainability 2017, 9, 1836.

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