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Making Sense of Integrated Planning: Challenges to Urban and Transport Planning Processes in Sweden
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Urban Planning and Environment, Urban and Regional Studies.
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The shaping of spatial structures at the urban, regional and national levels involves numerous kinds of actors and planning activities. In recent years, calls for crosssectoral coordination and integrated planning approaches echo extensively across different fields of planning. However, experiences from planning situations around Sweden and elsewhere reveal great challenges to such ambitions. This thesis explores key conditions for an integrated approach to urban and transport planning, focusing on the relationships between public professional actors and agencies involved in the interface between urban and transport planning and strategy making, at the local and national level in Sweden. The theoretical framework is based on communicative planning theory and theories on sensemaking.

The empirical material emanates from the project The Livable City, a collaboration project between three Swedish municipalities and national authorities responsible for transport and urban planning in Sweden. The aim of The Livable City was to develop knowledge about integrated planning of the built environment and transport systems and to develop integrated processes for coordination of different interests, demands and needs. Case studies were conducted, based on document studies, interviews and observations.

The results from this study illustrate various aspects of how plans and strategies in a multiperspective environment need to make sense to actors with different perspectives on what planning is all about. A sensemaking perspective on planning suggests that plans and strategies to promote an integrated approach to planning will always be partial and selective despite ambitions for these to be comprehensive or holistic. Commitment, reification and participation have in the cases proven to be useful concepts to understand the sensemaking aspect of planning practice. Interactive processes may inform the shaping of perspectives and can therefore be an element in efforts to promote integrated approaches to urban and transport planning, although the extent to which this may be achieved is highly dependent on contextual conditions and will vary from case to case.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology , 2011. , 72 p.
Series
Trita-SOM , ISSN 1653-6126 ; 2011:18
Keyword [en]
urban planning, transport planning, integrated planning, communicative planning, sensemaking, perspectives, coordination
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-48968ISBN: 978-91-7501-171-4 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-48968DiVA: diva2:459001
Public defence
2011-12-16, D3, Lindstedtsvägen 5, KTH, Stockholm, 09:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
QC 20111125Available from: 2011-11-25 Created: 2011-11-24 Last updated: 2011-11-25Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Trafik- och stadsplanering som en integrerad process?: Om perspektiv och kommunikativa processer i stadsutvecklingen
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Trafik- och stadsplanering som en integrerad process?: Om perspektiv och kommunikativa processer i stadsutvecklingen
2009 (Swedish)Licentiate thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Urban planning and transportation planning through an integrated process? On perspectives and communicative processes in urban development

During the last couple of years the need for a better coordination of urban and transportation planning in Sweden has been highlighted at several occasions. In response to this need, the project “The Attractive City” (Den Goda Staden) has been initiated, emphasizing collaboration and communicative processes between actors involved in urban and transportation planning as a means to enhance the potential for an integrated planning. In this study the discussions taking place under the umbrella of The Attractive City are examined in order to illuminate the circumstances enhancing or obstructing the potential for integrated planning processes. The aim is to contribute to the knowledge of the conditions for an integrated planning of transportation systems and cities based on dialogue and collaboration. Through three case studies central challenges for cross-sectoral coordination are identified and used as a basis for a discussion on the potential for consensus based planning processes.

It is concluded that much of the discussions in The Attractive City take a starting point in the ambition for planning to be holistic, an ambition associated with the risk of shadowing a range of underlying tensions between different perspectives among actors involved in the planning processes. The influence of these differences in perspectives on the potential for coordination of parallel planning activities is discussed. With reference to communicative planning theory and the experiences from The Attractive City, it is argued that communicative processes can play a role in sharpening the awareness about the procedural problems that need to be addressed in a planning process. Although consensus, in terms of agreement on solutions, may well be the result of communicative processes, increased understanding of different actors’ motives and conditions to act is seen as the main benefit from this kind of communicative processes, creating a resource to draw upon in future situations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: US-AB, 2009. 118 p.
Series
Trita-SOM , ISSN 1653-6126 ; 2009:03
Keyword
Stadsutveckling, sektorssamordning, trafikplanering, stadsplanering, Den Goda Staden, kommunikativ planeringsteori, helhetssyn, perspektiv, konsensus
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-10081 (URN)978-91-7415-236-4 (ISBN)
Presentation
2009-04-06, L42, KTH, Drottning Kristinas Väg 30, Stockholm, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2009-03-12 Created: 2009-03-11 Last updated: 2011-11-25Bibliographically approved
2. Integration of land use and transportation planning under the canopy of a holistic plan?: An argument for process around plans
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Integration of land use and transportation planning under the canopy of a holistic plan?: An argument for process around plans
2010 (English)In: Journal of Landscape studies, E-ISSN 1802-4416, Vol. 3, 147-157 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Many public authorities in the planning field have brought the challenge of coordination between land use and transportation planning to the top of the current Swedish planning agenda. However, in planning theory, the issue of cross-sectoral integration is not as central as among planning practitioners. This paper examines a recent planning project in Sweden, highlighting the problem of orienting the transformation of a street space around a general strategy expressed in a comprehensive plan. The aim is to deepen the understanding of the conditions for integration of land use planning and transportation planning, by focusing on the relationship between plans and planning processes.

While communicative planning theories often address the problem of how to bridge differences in perspectives, this paper focuses on the processes through which such differences occur in the first place. Based on the case and with reference to theories about how meaning is negotiated through a dual process of reification and participation, the paper discusses the role of plans in relation to processes in the evolution of different perspectives.

A comprehensive plan is supposed to guide detailed development planning. But the idea that the comprehensive plan could serve as an overall guiding document rests on the requirement for it to be anchored equally well across sectors. The results of this study suggest that the challenge of coordinating transportation and land use planning cannot merely be seen as a merger of activities from two organizational entities through common plans, but it has to be understood in terms of interaction between people, and their participation in common planning processes.

Keyword
Comprehensive planning, Communicative planning, Cross-sectoral coordination, Negotiation of meaning, perspectives
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-49183 (URN)
Note

QC 20111125

Available from: 2011-11-25 Created: 2011-11-25 Last updated: 2017-05-23Bibliographically approved
3. Committed to Coordination?: how different forms of commitment complicate the coordination of national and urban planning
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Committed to Coordination?: how different forms of commitment complicate the coordination of national and urban planning
2012 (English)In: Planning Theory & Practice, ISSN 1464-9357, E-ISSN 1470-000X, Vol. 13, no 1, 27-45 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article focuses on the coordination of national infrastructure planning and municipal urban planning in Sweden. A case study of a current planning project, where a planned high speed railway meets the centre of a medium sized city, serves as a basis for a discussion about the commitment of the main parties to cooperate for a coordinated planning. The study reveals a gap in terms of the commitment signalled to joint efforts, and thus also the expectations of their respective counterpart. Depending on the definition of commitment, both parties can be seen as highly committed, but while the railway agency has its commitment oriented primarily towards the transport system as such, i.e. the content of the cooperation, the concern of the municipality is more about commitment to the continuity of the cooperative efforts, i.e. the process of cooperating. The paper concludes by pointing at some wider implications of the analysis. In particular, the lack of a coherent spatial perspective in the national planning system, and the prospects for institutional conditions for coordination to be made more explicit, are discussed.

Keyword
commitment, coordination, collaboration, transport planning, urban planning
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-49193 (URN)10.1080/14649357.2012.649906 (DOI)2-s2.0-84859598011 (Scopus ID)
Note
QC 20120801Available from: 2011-11-25 Created: 2011-11-25 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically approved
4. Sensemaking in Swedish national transport planning
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Sensemaking in Swedish national transport planning
(English)In: Transportation, ISSN 0049-4488, E-ISSN 1572-9435Article in journal (Other academic) Submitted
Abstract [en]

Whereas different theoretical perspectives on transport planning often represent demarcated academic strands, transport planners involved in planning practices rely on different kinds of knowledge and procedures to make sense of the situations they find themselves in, on which their subsequent actions are based. The overall aim of this paper is to explore how transport planning practices can be analysed from a sensemaking perspective, a perspective which has not had a salient role in the transport planning literature. The paper is empirically focused on the development of the current Swedish National Plan for Transport Investments, describing the preparatory phases of the prioritization process. It shows how the different elements of the process have contributed to the ways planners have made sense of various regional contexts and the political guidelines for the process. A conclusion of the paper is that a sensemaking perspective opens up the potential for alternative ways to frame particular spatial contexts or situations, and the scope for different approaches is widened. An implication of such a conclusion is that the political dimension of the planning process could be made more explicit. It is therefore suggested that a more prominent role for political visions as tools for sensegiving in the planning process could strengthen the degree to which outcomes of planning processes are grounded in political commitments to approved plans, as well as the democratic legitimacy of these processes.

Keyword
transport investments, planning practice, sensemaking, sensegiving
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-49197 (URN)
Note
QS 20110327Available from: 2011-11-25 Created: 2011-11-25 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically approved

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