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Committed to Coordination?: how different forms of commitment complicate the coordination of national and urban planning
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Urban Planning and Environment, Urban and Regional Studies.
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.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 13, no 1, 27-45 p.
Keyword [en]
commitment, coordination, collaboration, transport planning, urban planning
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-49193DOI: 10.1080/14649357.2012.649906ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84859598011OAI: diva2:459375
QC 20120801Available from: 2011-11-25 Created: 2011-11-25 Last updated: 2012-08-01Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Making Sense of Integrated Planning: Challenges to Urban and Transport Planning Processes in Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Making Sense of Integrated Planning: Challenges to Urban and Transport Planning Processes in Sweden
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.
Trita-SOM , ISSN 1653-6126 ; 2011:18
urban planning, transport planning, integrated planning, communicative planning, sensemaking, perspectives, coordination
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-48968 (URN)978-91-7501-171-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2011-12-16, D3, Lindstedtsvägen 5, KTH, Stockholm, 09:00 (English)
QC 20111125Available from: 2011-11-25 Created: 2011-11-24 Last updated: 2011-11-25Bibliographically approved

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