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Is spatial planning a collaborative learning process? A case study from a rural-urban gradient in Sweden
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
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Number of Authors: 9
2015 (English)In: Land use policy, ISSN 0264-8377, E-ISSN 1873-5754, Vol. 48, 270-285 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

International and national policies stress the importance of spatial planning for the long-term sustainability of regions. This paper identifies the extent to which the spatial planning in a Swedish region can be characterised as a collaborative learning process. By combining qualitative interviews and systems thinking methods we analysed the main attributes of public-led spatial (i.e. comprehensive) planning in nine municipalities representing a steep urban-rural gradient in the Bergslagen region of Central Sweden. We show that the attributes of strategic spatial planning needed for collaborative learning were absent or undeveloped. All studied municipalities experienced challenges in coordinating complex issues regarding long-term planning to steer territorial development and help to solve conflicts among competing interests. Stakeholder participation was identified as a basic condition for social learning in planning. Together with stakeholders we identified the causal structure behind stakeholder participation in municipal planning processes, including main drivers and feedback loops. We conclude that there is a need for arenas allowing and promoting stakeholder activity, participation and inclusion that combines both bottom-up and top-down approaches, and where evidence-based collaborative learning can occur.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 48, 270-285 p.
Keyword [en]
Comprehensive planning, System thinking, Stakeholder participation, Causal loop diagram
National Category
Social and Economic Geography
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-122917DOI: 10.1016/j.landusepol.2015.05.001ISI: 000362152800023OAI: diva2:871721
Available from: 2015-11-16 Created: 2015-11-11 Last updated: 2015-11-16Bibliographically approved

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Dawson, LucasStjernquist, IngridSchlyter, Peter
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Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology
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