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Strategic environmental assessment in Swedish municipal planning. Trends and challenges
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Sustainability Assessment and Management.
Anthesis Enveco AB, Barnhusgatan 4, S-11123 Stockholm, Sweden..
Ecoloop AB, Katarinavagen 7, S-11646 Stockholm, Sweden..
Anthesis Enveco AB, Barnhusgatan 4, S-11123 Stockholm, Sweden..
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2018 (English)In: Environmental impact assessment review, ISSN 0195-9255, E-ISSN 1873-6432, Vol. 73, p. 152-163Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

More than a decade after the implementation of the EU Directive on Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) into Swedish legislation, a comprehensive study has been conducted to analyze the development of SEA practice in municipal planning. The analysis was based on a nationwide mapping of SEA in Swedish municipal comprehensive plans and municipal sector plans, such as energy plans and waste plans, which were adopted in the period 2004-2014. The mapping was used for obtaining evidence of, and explanations for, the extent to which SEAs have been carried out and to enable an identification of the presence of alternatives and specified purposes of the plan. In this paper, the result of the analysis of the development of SEA practice is presented, which shows that municipal comprehensive plans had an SEA to an increasingly greater extent, up to on average 90% for the period 2010-2014. For waste plans and energy plans, corresponding figures for the same period were significantly lower. In addition, the result shows a decreasing trend between 2006 and 2014 regarding the proportion of SEAs that included more than one plan alternative. The use of a zero alternative, however, increased from 2006 to 2014. A regression analysis was conducted to identify determinants that explain the variation in the degree to which screening and SEAs were conducted. The findings of the study show that a systematic mapping of SEA practice provides empirical basis for the development of policy measures to enhance the use of SEAS in municipal planning. Furthermore, it is argued that strengthening the link between alternatives and the purposes of the plan may foster a more strategic thinking when identifying reasonable alternatives on how to promote sustainable development within the planning. Moreover, it is argued that mandatory SEA should be considered in municipal comprehensive and sector planning.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC , 2018. Vol. 73, p. 152-163
Keywords [en]
Strategic environmental assessment, Municipal comprehensive plans, SEA practice, Altematives, Sweden
National Category
Environmental Management
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-238114DOI: 10.1016/j.eiar.2018.07.003ISI: 000447480100015Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85053017545OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-238114DiVA, id: diva2:1268318
Note

QC 20181205

Available from: 2018-12-05 Created: 2018-12-05 Last updated: 2019-08-28Bibliographically approved

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Balfors, BeritHögstrom, Johan

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