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The Planning Process in Sweden: current debate and reform proposals
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Real Estate and Construction Management, Building and Real Estate Economics.
2015 (English)In: Kart og Plan, ISSN 0047-3278, Vol. 75, 249-254 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The housing shortage in the Swedish growth regions, generally believed to originate from limited construction of new housing and the rent regulation, is deemed to be the largest threat to continued economic growth in Sweden, and leads to an unsatisfactory welfare level of many citizens. The center-right government of 2010–2014 emphasized reform of the town planning process as the major means to overcome the housing shortage. The new red-green government has continued reform on their agenda, but to date no concrete reform proposals have been put forward. The article outlines the problems related to municipal housing strategies, the town planning process and municipal land allocation and the reforms that have been implemented or are being investigated. Lastly, possible future town planning reform is discussed in light of recent political development.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 75, 249-254 p.
National Category
Public Administration Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-179406OAI: diva2:882943

QC 20151216

Available from: 2015-12-16 Created: 2015-12-16 Last updated: 2015-12-16Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Institutional Prerequisites for Housing Development: A comparative study of Germany and Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Institutional Prerequisites for Housing Development: A comparative study of Germany and Sweden
2015 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The housing shortage in Swedish growth regions has been heatedly debated for a number of years. Extensive reform proposals have been made by market actors and academics. The former center–right government in power until 2014 emphasized reform of the urban planning process. The current “red–green” government has ongoing planning reform on its agenda, but has instead emphasized investment subsidies. In the debate, the German housing market has been put forward as a positive example.

This licentiate thesis compares the early stages of housing development in Germany and Sweden to find any differences that could provide interesting points of discussion related to further housing market reform in Sweden. As the scope of such an analysis could be very wide, this thesis is restricted to urban planning law and implementation, and to city initiatives to increase housing supply, including the affordable housing segment.

The first step of the research project was to identify the major problems related to Swedish planning law and its implementation and to map the current state of reform. The identified problems encompassed issues related to municipal strategies for housing construction, the urban planning process, the appeal process, areas classified as of national interest, regulations, development agreements, and municipal land allocation. The article “The Planning Process in Sweden: current debate and reform proposals” summarizes the government inquiries, bills, and reforms introduced to date and gives an outlook on possible future urban planning reform in light of recent political developments.

Second, the urban planning and appeal processes in Germany and Sweden were compared. The article “Promoting Planning for Housing Development: what can Sweden learn from Germany?” discusses three alternative processes in German local planning (i.e., private initiative, facilitated procedures in built-up areas, and omission of the local plan under certain circumstances) as well as the organization of planning authorities and city demands for affordable housing. The conclusion includes a proposal for a facilitated local housing plan, the introduction of private initiative in planning, and ways to improve planning authority organization in Sweden. When it comes to planning-related city demands for affordable housing, more research drawing on extensive international experience is required.

Third, city strategies for housing construction were compared in the article “City Strategies for Affordable Housing: the approaches of Berlin, Hamburg, Stockholm and Gothenburg.” Although the housing shortages in these four cities differ somewhat in structure, the tools for implementing housing policy related to construction are similar and address organization, urban planning, land allocation, and subsidies. The German cities have a more active housing policy, cooperating with developers and using tools more consistently, than do their Swedish counterparts. They are also more likely to reach their construction goals.

The overall findings of the research project stress the importance of political incentives in the formation of active housing policy.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2015. 28 p.
, TRITA-FOB-LIC, 2016:1
housing, housing development, affordable housing, housing shortage, housing supply, urban planning, inclusionary zoning
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Research subject
Real Estate and Construction Management
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-179198 (URN)978-91-85783-55-7 (ISBN)
2016-01-14, Sal L1, Drottning Kristinas väg 30, KTH, Stockholm, 09:00 (English)
Security Link, H7863

QC 20151216

Available from: 2015-12-16 Created: 2015-12-11 Last updated: 2016-06-17Bibliographically approved

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