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Balfors, Berit, ProfessorORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0003-0214-3921
Publications (10 of 98) Show all publications
Manolan Kandy, D., Mörtberg, U., Wretling, V., Kuhlefelt, A., Byström, G., Polatidis, H., . . . Balfors, B. (2024). Spatial multicriteria framework for sustainable wind-farm planning – accounting for conflicts. Renewable & sustainable energy reviews, 189, Article ID 113856.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Spatial multicriteria framework for sustainable wind-farm planning – accounting for conflicts
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2024 (English)In: Renewable & sustainable energy reviews, ISSN 1364-0321, E-ISSN 1879-0690, Vol. 189, article id 113856Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Considerable pressure is placed on wind power in Sweden due to the country’s goal of generating 100 % of its electricity from fossil free resources. The aim was to develop the REWIND methodological framework to support wind power planning, built on spatial multi-criteria analysis (SMCA). In addition, the purpose was to develop a conflict score as a novel component of this framework, for handling goal conflicts. This framework includes the scoping, design and evaluation stages. It was applied in a case study of Västernorrland County with extensive involvement of stakeholders throughout the process. 

The conflict score allows a separate analysis of trade-offs between factors, highlighting potential conflicts across the landscape to increase transparency. Thus, users are allowed to decide on a threshold on how much conflict among factors should be allowed for areas to qualify as planning alternatives. Critical issues that will need further attention concern quality and availability of data, creation of representative spatial indicators for the factors, weighting methods, and uncertainty analysis. The REWIND framework is open-ended and allows for further development to provide planning support that gives more control of factors and conflicts to be acceptable in real-world planning. Capacity building involving stakeholders in the design of planning alternatives are crucial. In Sweden, it can promote a more proactive planning process in the municipalities, supported by the regional actors, leading to a more predictable permitting process for developers. This will be useful for inclusive wind power planning in any country, since it is applicable on different scales.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier BV, 2024
Keywords
Wind power planning, spatial multi-criteria analysis, conflict score, Swedish wind power strategy
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Land and Water Resources Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-337751 (URN)10.1016/j.rser.2023.113856 (DOI)001102911700001 ()2-s2.0-85174742094 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Swedish Energy AgencySwedish Environmental Protection AgencyStandUp
Note

QC 20231129

Available from: 2023-10-08 Created: 2023-10-08 Last updated: 2024-03-18Bibliographically approved
Eckersten, S. & Balfors, B. (2023). Exploring practices for facilitating integrated strategic land use and transport planning in the Nordic countries. Journal of Transport and Land Use, 16(1), 409-435
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Exploring practices for facilitating integrated strategic land use and transport planning in the Nordic countries
2023 (English)In: Journal of Transport and Land Use, E-ISSN 1938-7849, Vol. 16, no 1, p. 409-435Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Drawing on examples from the Nordic countries, this article aims to explore the practical application of strategic policy and planning instruments and approaches that facilitate the integration of land use and transport planning and promote sustainable policy measures through collaboration among stakeholders across various governance levels. This research applies a qualitative research design including literature research, interviews, and workshops involving practitioners from the five Nordic countries. In this paper, we present an overview of the planning structure in the Nordic countries, including institutions that govern land use and transport planning. We identify different approaches to bridge the gap between land use and transport planning, such as the Finger Plan in Denmark, MAL in Finland, Concept Studies in Norway, and Strategic Choice of Measures in Sweden. Many of the examples employ informal collaborative approaches among authorities to form a shared vision and seek consensus on a combination of policy measures and actions. The paper examines collaborative approaches in relation to regulatory planning and discusses the role of these processes in advancing integrated land use and transport planning and fostering sustainable urban development.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Center for Transportation Studies, 2023
Keywords
climate impact, collaboration, environmental goals, policy instrument
National Category
Public Administration Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-340280 (URN)10.5198/jtlu.2023.2350 (DOI)2-s2.0-85177179432 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20231215

Available from: 2023-12-01 Created: 2023-12-01 Last updated: 2024-05-23Bibliographically approved
Wretling, V., Balfors, B. & Mörtberg, U. (2022). Balancing wind power deployment and sustainability objectives in Swedish planning and permitting. Energy, Sustainability and Society, 12(1), Article ID 48.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Balancing wind power deployment and sustainability objectives in Swedish planning and permitting
2022 (English)In: Energy, Sustainability and Society, E-ISSN 2192-0567, Vol. 12, no 1, article id 48Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Wind power is a critical renewable energy technology in efforts to achieve the global climate targets. However, local impacts do occur, which demands careful consideration in planning and permitting. Sweden has setan ambition to triple land-based wind power by 2040, and municipalities play a key role in both the planning and permitting process, due to a planning monopoly and veto power in the permitting process. This calls for an investigationof Swedish wind power governance, with a particular focus on recent trends in municipal wind power planning, how wind power is balanced in relation to sustainability objectives in planning and permitting, and insights frompractitioners regarding their capacities and drivers.

Results: The results show that about two-thirds of Swedish municipalities have conducted wind power planning in some form, but this basis for decision-making has become outdated due to a lack of institutional capacity at the municipal level. Secondly, the study finds that many municipalities perceive that there are insufficient incentives for a continued wind power expansion. Lastly, the study sheds light on a large heterogeneity within wind power planning practice concerning how trade-offs between wind power deployment and other sustainability aspects are handled, as well as a lack of coherence between planning and permitting.

Conclusions: It is concluded that the current state of municipal wind power planning raises questions regarding the legitimacy of municipal decision-making in terms of perceived justice among local inhabitants and highlights the need for updated wind power plans. Moreover, to promote local acceptance in the future, formalised financial compensation and strategic initiatives that enable the localisation of electricity-intensive industry within municipalities with large-scale wind power production can be two key components. The results also highlight the need for additional support at the municipal level, including access to critical competence and relevant knowledge to enable trade-offs between the different sustainability considerations in an informed and balanced manner. Finally, regional dialogue with key actors, such as the military, Sami representatives and grid operators, would facilitate the handling of inter-municipal issues, in particular by fostering co-operation regarding inter-municipal wind sites.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Nature, 2022
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Land and Water Resources Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-322629 (URN)10.1186/s13705-022-00376-y (DOI)000903252500001 ()2-s2.0-85145009664 (Scopus ID)
Funder
KTH Royal Institute of TechnologySwedish Energy AgencyStandUp
Note

QC 20230201

Available from: 2022-12-22 Created: 2022-12-22 Last updated: 2024-02-23Bibliographically approved
Eckersten, S., Gunnarsson-Östling, U. & Balfors, B. (2022). Inclusion and exclusion of environmental aspects in early-stage planning of transport infrastructure projects: A Swedish case study. International Journal of Sustainable Transportation, 1-13
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Inclusion and exclusion of environmental aspects in early-stage planning of transport infrastructure projects: A Swedish case study
2022 (English)In: International Journal of Sustainable Transportation, ISSN 1556-8318, E-ISSN 1556-8334, p. 1-13Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Informa UK Limited, 2022
National Category
Environmental Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-312035 (URN)10.1080/15568318.2022.2039978 (DOI)000763217000001 ()2-s2.0-85125999872 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20220530

Available from: 2022-05-09 Created: 2022-05-09 Last updated: 2024-05-23Bibliographically approved
Manolan Kandy, D., Wretling, V., Balfors, B. & Mörtberg, U. (2022). Linking multi-criteria approaches to spatial planning for wind energy development in two case studies in Sweden. In: : . Paper presented at Conference on Wind energy and Wildlife impacts, 4-8 April 2022 Egmond aan Zee, Netherlands 2022.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Linking multi-criteria approaches to spatial planning for wind energy development in two case studies in Sweden
2022 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Sweden aims to achieve 100% renewable electricity by year 2040 with a major share expectation from wind. In this context, the national strategy developed for wind power development estimates expected shares from each County. With this increased expectations from each county, Spatial Multi-Criteria Analysis (SMCA) is used as a tool to integrate contributing and conflicting criteria that influence wind energy planning to find sustainable solutions. A majority of studies accommodating larger number of criteria uses Analytical Hierarchical Process (AHP) or OWA to solve wind farm siting problems. By this, weights obtained from the stake-holders indicating importance of the criteria are used to allow trade-off between criteria to reach a negotiated decision when there are areas not available as in an ideal scenario. Through this opinions of stakeholders from diverse expertise are thus meant to be incorporated in a transparent and democratic way. However, these trade-off may disguise conflicts which need to be handled in a controlled way. 

The REWIND project aims to develop a framework and GIS tools to conduct SMCA for sustainable wind power planning. The study also addresses planning issues that arises when following the standard approach and ways to handle it. 

Two case studies are included in this project with the collaboration of Västernorrland and Västra Götaland Counties. The methodology includes selection of criteria and transformation into a uniform suitability scale. These factors are aggregated through a conflict score, to prevent high trade-offs in later stages.  Secondly, the importance of one factor over the other is obtained from stake-holders through some weighting method. In general, when the number of factors are more than 9, clustering into groups in hierarchical structure (planning tree) is carried out to calculate weights. The basis for the groups varies and the most common way of clustering is based on the three pillars of sustainability. This not only restricts comparison of factors belonging to different clusters, but it also controls the weight distribution indirectly. The symmetricity of the tree and how it impacts final weights are often overlooked by the participants who carry out weighting and their involvement become more or less pointless. To tackle this, the Ranking-Rating (RR) method is developed and used in the framework, where factors are grouped into different level of importance first, then ranked and rated within each group. Finally, the suitability scores of different scenarios are used to identify suitable sites for wind energy planning.

Through this systematic and transparent approach planners are given various options to choose from the decision space with more clear understanding about the trade-offs in a quantified manner.  Moreover rectifying the standard approach where stake-holders can get integrated in the process more effectively can strengthen the strategic planning process and reduce the delays and difficulties during the permitting process. The REWIND methodological framework, also bridges knowledge gaps through integrating and treating diverse factors with stakeholder involvement in useful ways through development the GIS-based tool. The REWIND tool is transferable and can be used for wind power planning on regional and municipal scales. 

National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Land and Water Resources Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-310848 (URN)
Conference
Conference on Wind energy and Wildlife impacts, 4-8 April 2022 Egmond aan Zee, Netherlands 2022
Funder
StandUpSwedish Energy Agency
Note

QC 20220429

Available from: 2022-04-09 Created: 2022-04-09 Last updated: 2024-03-15Bibliographically approved
Bast, S., Mörtberg, U., Högström, J., Balfors, B., Suleiman, L., Cortinovis, C., . . . Albert, C. (2022). (Re)Planning of green infrastructure and nature-based solutions for sustainable urban transition. In: Wolski, Jacek Regulska, Edyta Affek, Andrzej (Ed.), Book of abstracts: . Paper presented at IALE 2022 European Landscape Ecology Congress: Making the fugure, learning from the past, Warsaw, Poland, and digital, 11-15 July 2022 (pp. 338).
Open this publication in new window or tab >>(Re)Planning of green infrastructure and nature-based solutions for sustainable urban transition
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2022 (English)In: Book of abstracts / [ed] Wolski, Jacek Regulska, Edyta Affek, Andrzej, 2022, p. 338-Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Landscape approaches are important for planning of urban sprawl in peri-urban landscapes, continuously emerging in many metropolitan regions. In the case of Stockholm Region, land-take and incremental urbanisation is a continouous process, while the regional development plan has ambitions to steer the overall development in a sustainable direction. This plan contains a green infrastructure effort building on a set of green wedges, mainly serving as support to the needs of the city and suburbs and their citizens. This initiative differ from the later green infrastructure action plan provided by the county administrative board, related to the EU biodiversity strategy and guidelines. The latter has a different approach, mainly targeting biodiversity goals as well as ecosystem services. These approaches differ from each other in several ways while both have unclear roles when it comes to municipal planning on different levels. Furthermore, the municipalities have their own initiatives when it comes to green infrastructure and nature-based solutions and it is not clear how the different planning tiers are linked to each other, to planning and management, and to multifunctional landscapes. The aim of the REPLAN project is to investigate how the different green infrastructure initiatives are linked to planning, to each other on different scales, and whether they can serve multi-functional landscapes when it comes to biodiversity and different ecosystem services. The REPLAN project involves stakeholders and practitioners on different planning levels for co-producing knowledge, methods and strategies for green infrastructure and nature-based solutions to serve as tools for sustainable transition of metropolitan areas and their peri-urban landscapes.

National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Land and Water Resources Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-315595 (URN)
Conference
IALE 2022 European Landscape Ecology Congress: Making the fugure, learning from the past, Warsaw, Poland, and digital, 11-15 July 2022
Funder
Swedish Research Council FormasStandUp
Note

QCR 20220819

Available from: 2022-07-11 Created: 2022-07-11 Last updated: 2024-03-18Bibliographically approved
Manolan Kandy, D., Kuhlefelt, A., Wretling, V., Balfors, B. & Mörtberg, U. (2021). A GIS based integrated participatory approach for wind-farm siting. In: : . Paper presented at 16th Conference on Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems (SDEWES), 10-15 October 2021, Dubrovnik, Croatia.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A GIS based integrated participatory approach for wind-farm siting
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2021 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Wind energy plays a vital role to meet growing energy needs and to replace non-renewable energy sources to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Sweden has set the goal of 100% renewable electricity by 2040 with a major share coming from wind energy. In this context, Sweden has a national strategy for sustainable wind power development, with suggested development shares for each region. However, wind energy development also faces a multitude of ecological and societal impacts that needs consideration. Therefore, wind power planning face major challenges and there is a need for systematic planning support, integrating scientific knowledge and stakeholder valuation. The REWIND project aims to develop GIS-based methods based on multi-criteria analysis (MCA) for sustainable wind power planning.

In the case study of the County of Västernorrland, stakeholders are engaged in the main MCA steps, the design step with factor selection, treatment and aggregation, as well as weighting, and the evaluation step. Preparing this, to gain credibility, we analyse not only scientific literature but also existing planning documents and legal judgments in order to find relevant factors and their treatment and valuation. For the MCA process, we built the REWIND–GIS toolbox in Python for ArcGIS where factor parameters can be easily altered and conflicts in terms of different criteria can be aggregated and scrutinized. Through this a wide array of uncertainties can be tested, such as graded safety distances or conflict areas in varying degrees. Weights of factors from stakeholders are integrated into the model to arrive at different scenarios for suitable sites which are evaluated.

The evaluation and ranking of alternatives can then use the original factors, weights and conflicts while adding also new emerging factors, spatial or non-spatial. In this stage different methods of evaluation are also compared and tested. Through the systematic and transparent approach, planners have various options to choose from the decision space with improved understanding about the trade-offs in a quantified manner. REWIND bridges the knowledge gap in treatment of diverse factors and their performances spatially, through development of the transferable REWIND-GIS tool. This planning support tool will enable sustainable wind power planning on regional level, considering main sustainability aspects and diversified perspectives.

National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Land and Water Resources Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-302988 (URN)
Conference
16th Conference on Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems (SDEWES), 10-15 October 2021, Dubrovnik, Croatia
Funder
Swedish Energy AgencyStandUp
Note

QC 20211102

Available from: 2021-10-03 Created: 2021-10-03 Last updated: 2022-06-25Bibliographically approved
Högström, J., Brokking, P., Balfors, B. & Hammer, M. (2021). Approaching Sustainability in Local Spatial Planning Processes: A Case Study in the Stockholm Region, Sweden. Sustainability, 13(5), Article ID 2601.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Approaching Sustainability in Local Spatial Planning Processes: A Case Study in the Stockholm Region, Sweden
2021 (English)In: Sustainability, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 13, no 5, article id 2601Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The quest for cogent responses to sustainability goals challenges local spatial planning practices across growing metropolitan regions to develop planning approaches that enable transformative capacity in increasingly complex settings. Based on a case study conducted in the Stockholm region, this paper explores the design and organization of local planning processes to provide a basis for a discussion of alternative approaches that may enhance sustainability in plan and project development. More specifically, it aims to analyze the conditions for embedding and consolidating sustainability issues in local planning processes. The results show that the municipalities need to create conditions for an effective interplay between the planning work carried out in individual projects and the organization of resources, knowledge, and skills on which the projects depend to handle sustainability issues. This study contributes to the understanding of the challenges associated with putting sustainability into practice at the local level by identifying and conceptualizing three important barriers. By acknowledging the temporal, locational, and procedural dimensions of knowledge in local planning processes, planning practices may become better at knowing when, and in what ways, different forms of knowledge can become created, introduced, and used in a synergistic manner to aid the realization of sustainability goals.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
MDPI AG, 2021
Keywords
sustainable urban development, local planning, process design, co-production
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-292587 (URN)10.3390/su13052601 (DOI)000628607100001 ()2-s2.0-85102288484 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20210414

Available from: 2021-04-14 Created: 2021-04-14 Last updated: 2024-03-18Bibliographically approved
Wretling, V. & Balfors, B. (2021). Are Local Authorities Building Their Capacity to Plan for Reduced Climate Impact?: A Longitudinal Analysis of Swedish Comprehensive Plans. Land, 10(6), 652
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Are Local Authorities Building Their Capacity to Plan for Reduced Climate Impact?: A Longitudinal Analysis of Swedish Comprehensive Plans
2021 (English)In: Land, E-ISSN 2073-445X, Vol. 10, no 6, p. 652-Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Spatial planning conducted by the local authorities has been identified as a key part of shaping carbon-neutral societies. Nevertheless, the question of whether local authorities are building their institutional capacity for integrating climate change mitigation aspects into spatial planning remains under-researched. This paper aims to fill this gap while also analysing the role of Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) in facilitating organisational learning. The methods employed were a longitudinal document analysis of Comprehensive Plans belonging to eight municipalities in Stockholm County, complemented by a focus group interview. A significant difference was identified, as the recently adopted Comprehensive Plans included more strategies for climate change mitigation and, to a greater extent, linked these strategies to reduced climate impact or energy efficiency than previously adopted Comprehensive Plans. However, numerous additional strategies could have been given further consideration in each studied Comprehensive Plan. Thus, this calls for more continuous and cyclical comprehensive planning processes to facilitate capacity building, primarily by being a vehicle for mobilising political support. Lastly, the findings indicate that SEA can lead to organisational learning of both single-loop and double-loop nature, where the latter can enable SEA to shape the planning process in a more profound and sustainability-oriented manner.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
MDPI AG, 2021
Keywords
spatial planning, urban planning, local authorities, climate change mitigation, climate policy integration, Strategic Environmental Assessment, institutional capacity building, organisational learning, longitudinal analysis, sustainable development
National Category
Energy Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-298128 (URN)10.3390/land10060652 (DOI)000667053900001 ()2-s2.0-85108867318 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20210629

Available from: 2021-06-29 Created: 2021-06-29 Last updated: 2023-02-06Bibliographically approved
Wretling, V. & Balfors, B. (2021). Building Institutional Capacity to Plan for Climate Neutrality: The Role of Local Co-Operation and Inter-Municipal Networks at the Regional Level. Sustainability, 13(4), Article ID 2173.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Building Institutional Capacity to Plan for Climate Neutrality: The Role of Local Co-Operation and Inter-Municipal Networks at the Regional Level
2021 (English)In: Sustainability, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 13, no 4, article id 2173Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The institutional capacity of local authorities to integrate climate change mitigation aspects into spatial planning is of vital importance. This paper sets out to investigate this capacity in the county of Stockholm, Sweden, by surveying 26 municipalities and analysing two case study municipalities through participation in workshops and interviews. The study shows the need both for a local energy and climate policy domain that can be integrated into spatial planning as well as dedicated personnel to maintain this policy, thereby securing knowledge resources within the organisation. Additionally, the importance of relations to and repertoires for interacting with politicians is highlighted. Lastly, the study demonstrates the complementary added value of a regional-local network administered by the County Administrative Board, spreading learning examples and diffusing theoretical knowledge, as well as sub-regional, inter-municipal networks that enable the transfer of more practical knowledge and provide a platform for concrete action.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
MDPI, 2021
Keywords
spatial planning, comprehensive planning, institutional capacity building, governance networks, climate change
National Category
Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-291916 (URN)10.3390/su13042173 (DOI)000624799100001 ()2-s2.0-85101643606 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20210323

Available from: 2021-03-23 Created: 2021-03-23 Last updated: 2022-12-07Bibliographically approved
Projects
Transforming cultural landscapes in expansive peri-urban areas implications for ecosystem services in local planning [2017-01078_Formas]; Södertörn University
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0003-0214-3921

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