- Current Trends in the Planning System in Sweden    click here to open paper content1286 kb
by    Ptichnikova, Galina | ptichnikova_g@mail.ru   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
This paper focuses primarily on the fundamentals of the Swedish planning system: the legislation, the main planning instruments and authorities and the actors involved on different levels.
Planning has a strong tradition in Sweden. It is based on self-governing municipalities that have a so-called planning monopoly or in other words it is primarily the task of the municipality to plan the use of land and water. However the municipalities must give due consideration to the interests of the State. In other areas too the municipalities have the strong responsibility. This applies to social welfare, the care of children and the elderly, education up to and including upper secondary-school level. The national government‘s part is limited to reviewing issues, but in practice it is much bigger, so it is responsible for the heavy financial investments in infrastructure. Anyway the planning system is basically designed for the municipalities.
All municipalities must have a so-called Comprehensive plan (or Structural plan) which covers their area of responsibility. Other document is a Detailed development plan. This plan is a legally binding, executive planning instrument as a legal agreement between the municipality, the public and landowners. It makes it possible for the intentions of the Comprehensive plan to be implemented. These planning tools are intended for planning of the municipalities’ land and water. The planning processes for both plans are in practice supplemented with different types of investigations and analyses.
Special area regulations are also binding. This form of planning is used within limited areas to guarantee compliance with certain Comprehensive plan aims. A property regulation plan may be used to facilitate implementation of the Detailed development plan.
Today planning needs to respond to increasing complex situations where decisions on the local level often have an impact on regional and national levels and vice versa. Not to mention that the number of actors in the planning arena has increased. In conclusion, it should be noted that the main trend of the Swedish planning system is to change its role from being a method of regulation to being a channel for possibilities in attempting to achieve an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable society.
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