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Open AccessArticle

Conditions Influencing Municipal Strategy-Making for Sustainable Urban Water Management: Assessment of Three Swedish Municipalities

Department of Thematic Studies ‒ Environmental Change, Centre for Climate Science and Policy Research, Linköping University, 581 83 Linköping, Sweden
Department for Studies of Social Change and Culture, Centre for Municipality Studies, Linköping University, 581 83 Linköping, Sweden
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2018, 10(8), 1102;
Received: 29 June 2018 / Revised: 15 August 2018 / Accepted: 16 August 2018 / Published: 18 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Urban Water Management)
Strategy-making is key for realizing sustainable urban water management. Though general barriers and factors for change have been identified, fewer studies have assessed how different conditions influence municipalities’ strategy-making ability and, thus, how to plan strategically given these conditions. Healey’s strategy-making notion was applied to delimit a study of how size, finances, development path, and water organization influence Swedish municipalities’ strategy-making ability for urban water. Three municipalities, Laxå, Norrköping, and Skellefteå, with different, yet overlapping, institutional and socio-economic conditions were analyzed using semi-structured interviews, a stakeholder workshop, and document analyses. The study finds that even though key events have filtered urban water issues into the political agenda, this has not induced systemic change, except where the role of water management in urban development has been specified, i.e., has aligned dispersed planning processes. Organizational setup influences the strategy-making ability by prescribing not only when water issues are raised, but also what system perspective should be applied and what actors that should be enrolled. Judging from the three cases, size, finances, and development path do matter for strategy-making ability, but they appear to be less important than the organizational setup. Departures for improving strategy-making under different conditions are discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: municipal; planning; strategy-making; urban; water municipal; planning; strategy-making; urban; water
MDPI and ACS Style

Glaas, E.; Hjerpe, M.; Jonsson, R. Conditions Influencing Municipal Strategy-Making for Sustainable Urban Water Management: Assessment of Three Swedish Municipalities. Water 2018, 10, 1102.

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