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Just Sustainable Futures: Gender and Environmental Justice Considerations in Planning
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Urban Planning and Environment, Environmental Strategies.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3101-5902
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis contributes and deepens knowledge on long-term planning for sustain­able development through exploring environ­mental justice and gender discourses in planning and futures studies. It also suggests ways of working with those issues.

Environmental justice is explored through discussions with planners in Stockholm, Sweden, and through looking at images of future Stockholm and the environmental justice implications of these. These studies show how environ­mental justice issues can be manifested in a Swedish urban context and discuss how sustainable development and environmental justice can be in­creased, operationalised and politicised in planning. One key contri­bution of the thesis is in identifying the need to address proce­dural and outcomes values in both planning and futures studies.

Gender discourses are explored through analysing papers published in the journal Futures and through an examination of Swedish Regional Growth Programmes. The feminist criticism of futures studies mainly relates to the field being male-dominated and male-biased, which means that the future is seen as already colonised by men, that futures studies generally do not work with feminist issues or issues of particular relevance for women, and that they often lack a critical and reflexive perspective. There is therefore a call for feminist futures as a contrast to hegemonic male and Western technology-orientated futures. The case of the Swedish Regional Growth Programmes shows that gender inequality is often viewed as a problem of unequal rights and possibilities. This liberal view on gender equality has made it rather easy for gender equality advocates to voice demands, e.g. for the inclusion of both women and men in decision-making processes, but the traditional male norm is not challenged. If a different response is required, other ways of describing the problem of gender inequalities must be facilitated. One way to open up different ways of describing the problem and to describe desirable futures could be the use of scenarios.

Planning for just, sustainable futures means acknowledging process values, but also content (giving nature a voice!). It also means politicising planning. There are a number of desirable futures, and when this is clarified the political content of planning is revealed. These different images of the future can be evaluated in terms of environmental justice, gender perspective or any specific environmental aspect, e.g. biodiversity, which indicates that different futures are differently good for nature and/or different societal groups.

Abstract [sv]

Den här avhandlingen bidrar till och fördjupar kunskapen om långsiktig planering för hållbar utveckling. Den gör det genom att belysa miljörättvise- och genus­diskurser i planering och framtidsstudier. Den föreslår också sätt att arbeta med dessa frågor.

Miljörättvisa belyses genom diskussioner med planerare i Stockholm och även genom att undersöka framtidsbilder av Stockholms och deras miljö­rätt­vise­konse­kvenser. De här studierna visar både hur miljörättvisefrågor kan mani­festeras i en svensk urban kontext och diskuterar hur hållbar utveckling och miljö­rättvisa kan få ökad betydelse, operationaliseras och politiseras i planeringen. Ett viktigt bidrag med den här avhandlingen är att påpeka behovet av att adressera både process­uella värden och resultat av planering och fram­tids­studier.

Genusdiskurser utforskas genom att analysera artiklar som publicerats i tidskriften Futures och genom en undersökning av de svenska regionala till­växt­programmen. Den feministiska kritiken av framtidsstudier handlar framför­allt om att fältet är mansdominerat och fokuserar traditionellt manliga frågor, fram­tiden ses därför som redan koloniserad av män. Dessutom påpekas att fram­tids­studier i allmänhet inte jobbar med feministiska frågor eller frågor av sär­skild betydelse för kvinnor, att framtidsstudier ofta saknar ett kritiskt och reflexivt perspektiv och att det finns en efterfrågan av feministiska framtider som en kontrast till hegemoniskt manliga, västerländskt och teknologiskt in­riktade framtider. Fallet med de svenska regionala tillväxtprogrammen visar att ojämställdhet ofta ses som ett problem av ojämlika rättigheter och möjlig­heter. Denna liberala syn på jämställdhet har gjort det ganska lätt för jäm­ställd­hets­förespråkare att kräva och ge röst för krav som att både kvinnor och män ska inkluderas i beslutsprocesser, men den traditionella manliga normen ifråga­sätts sällan. Om andra lösningar önskas, måste andra sätt att beskriva problemet med bristande jämställdhet underlättas. Ett sätt att öppna upp för olika sätt att beskriva problemet och även sätt att beskriva önskvärda framtider skulle kunna vara användning av scenarier.

Planering för en rättvis hållbar framtid innebär ett erkännande processuella värden, men även av själva resultatet (ge naturen en röst!). Det innebär också att politisera planeringen. Genom att tydliggöra att det finns flera olika önsk­värda framtider kan planeringens politiska innehåll synliggöras. Dessa olika fram­tidsbilder kan utvärderas i termer av miljörättvisa, deras jäm­ställdhets­perspektiv eller någon specifik miljöaspekt som biologisk mångfald. Detta skulle tydliggöra att olika framtider är olika bra för naturen och/eller olika sam­hälls­grupper.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology , 2011. , 51 p.
Series
Trita-SOM , ISSN 1653-6126 ; 2011-07
National Category
Civil Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-33672ISBN: 978-91-7501-000-7OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-33672DiVA: diva2:416981
Public defence
2011-06-10, F2, Lindstedtsvägen 26, KTH, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
QC 20110520Available from: 2011-05-20 Created: 2011-05-13 Last updated: 2011-09-13Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Exploring environmental justice in Sweden: How to improve planning for environmental sustainability and social equity in an “eco-friendly” context
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Exploring environmental justice in Sweden: How to improve planning for environmental sustainability and social equity in an “eco-friendly” context
2008 (English)In: Projections, MIT Journal of Planning, Vol. 8, 68-81 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Environmental challenges, especially climate change, are highly discussed topics in the Swedish public debate, but questions about who is causing the problems and who is affected by them are seldom asked. This also applies to questions of who defines what should be regarded as acute environmental problems and what constitutes high-quality environments. This paper explores how environmental (in)justice issues can be framed in a Swedish social context, drawing from three cases: municipal promotion of eco-friendly lifestyles, large-scale infrastructure planning, and planners’ attitudes towards justice. The three cases deal not only with distributional, procedural, and substantive aspects of justice, as is common within the US environmental justice framework, but also with discursive dimensions of justice. We argue that elucidating such examples of environmental (in)justices is crucial to nuance the mainstream, consensus-oriented sustainability discourse in Sweden.

Keyword
Planning; environmental justice
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-33559 (URN)2-s2.0-79953162006 (ScopusID)
Note
QC 20110520Available from: 2011-05-10 Created: 2011-05-10 Last updated: 2011-05-20Bibliographically approved
2. Climate change scenarios and citizen-participation: Mitigation and adaptation perspectives in constructing sustainable futures
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Climate change scenarios and citizen-participation: Mitigation and adaptation perspectives in constructing sustainable futures
2009 (English)In: Habitat International, ISSN 0197-3975, Vol. 33, no 3, 260-266 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper discusses adaptation and mitigation strategies as outlined in climate change scenarios. The adaptive perspective is closely connected to the concept of resilience understood as different views on nature's capacity to absorb shocks, renewal and re-organization. In constructing normative scenarios images of the future are generated illustrating potential ways of living, travelling and consuming products and services where certain goals such as a reduced climate impact are fulfilled. This paper argues that tension arising from climate strategies relying on either adaptation or mitigation strategies, or combining the two strategies, warrant further examination. In this paper the inter-relationships between adaptation and mitigation are discussed by examining processes of citizen-participation in constructing scenarios and applying the concepts of resilience, vulnerability and adaptive capacity. We discuss this using the concept of deliberative planning processes as a means to achieve legitimate, effective and sustainable futures. As a part of this approach, we argue that methods for citizen-participation applied in exploring different science and technology options also provide useful insight for this type of planning processes. The theoretical arguments are combined with examples from environmental scenario construction in practice. The paper brings attention to tensions between sustainability content values, such as reduced climate impact, and more process-oriented values such as legitimacy, learning and participatory scenario construction. Moreover, the concept of open innovation processes is introduced to the context of participatory scenario construction comparing shared ground in terms of user-involvement in search of novel solutions and also increasing robustness of action plans implemented to reduce climate change.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD, 2009
Keyword
Futures studies, Scenarios, Participation, Stakeholders, Urban development, Climate change, Open innovation process, collective action, technology, decisions
National Category
Civil Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-18441 (URN)10.1016/j.habitatint.2008.10.007 (DOI)000266229600006 ()2-s2.0-64449088743 (ScopusID)
Note
NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Habitat International. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in PUBLICATION, VOL 33, ISSUE 3, 26 November 2008, DOI: 10.1016/j.habitatint.2008.10.007 QC 20100525Available from: 2012-01-20 Created: 2010-08-05 Last updated: 2012-01-20Bibliographically approved
3. Scenario Planning for Sustainability in Stockholm, Sweden: Environmental Justice Considerations
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Scenario Planning for Sustainability in Stockholm, Sweden: Environmental Justice Considerations
2011 (English)In: International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, ISSN 0309-1317, E-ISSN 1468-2427, Vol. 35, no 5, 1048-1067 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of this article is to see how awareness of sustainable development and environmental justice can be increased and operationalized in planning through the use of scenarios. On scrutinizing four long-term urban development strategies for Stockholm, we found that they all intend to depict a sustainable urban development, but the resultant images are very different. This article underlines the importance of combining environmental justice with an understanding of environmental threats and risks. We see that the carrying capacity of nature is limited, but we also see the need to share resources justly and make sure that environmental degradation does not systematically strike certain groups only. The conceptual elements are applied to four scenarios for a future Stockholm, zooming in to some extent on a suburban shopping node just outside the city. The point of focusing on it is that such shopping areas are sometimes seen as symbols of non-sustainable city development, but, since they are already in place, their function in the future city needs to be discussed.

Abstract [fr]

Cet article étudie comment la sensibilisation au développement durable et à la justice environnementale peut être renforcée et mise en æuvre grâce à des scénarios utilisés dans le cadre de la planification. L’examen de quatre stratégies d’urbanisme à long terme pour Stockholm révèle que celles-ci visent toutes à refléter un aménagement urbain durable, mais que les images obtenues sont très différentes. Il paraît indispensable de combiner la justice environnementale à la compréhension des menaces et risques pour l’environnement. La capacité de charge de la nature est limitée, mais il faut aussi opérer un juste partage des ressources, en s’assurant que la dégradation de l’environnement n’affecte pas systématiquement et uniquement certains groupes. La cadre conceptuel est appliqué aux quatre scénarios d’une future Stockholm, en détaillant dans une certaine mesure un pôle commerçant suburbain situé juste en-dehors de la capitale. Ce point de focalisation tient au fait que les zones commerçantes de ce type symbolisent parfois un urbanisme non durable. Toutefois, comme elles existent déjà, il convient d’analyser leur fonction dans la ville future.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2011
Keyword
Planning, futures studies, environmental justice
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-33558 (URN)10.1111/j.1468-2427.2010.01002.x (DOI)000294180100009 ()2-s2.0-80051934220 (ScopusID)
Projects
Suburban nodes
Note
QC 20120104Available from: 2011-05-10 Created: 2011-05-10 Last updated: 2012-01-04Bibliographically approved
4. Gender in futures: A study of gender and feminist papers published in Futures, 1969-2009
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Gender in futures: A study of gender and feminist papers published in Futures, 1969-2009
2011 (English)In: Futures: The journal of policy, planning and futures studies, ISSN 0016-3287, E-ISSN 1873-6378, Vol. 43, no 9, 1029-1039 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper reviews and discusses papers related to women's studies, gender or feminist perspectives, published in the scientific journal Futures. The aim is to provide new understandings and remapping of futures studies by capturing how gender is created and understood in this field. The gender/feminist criticism of futures studies mainly relates to the field being male-dominated and male biased, which means that the future is seen as already colonised by men. When synthesising the insights from all 78 papers focusing on futures studies and feminism, gender or women, four conclusions are especially striking: (1) Women and non-Westerners are generally excluded from professional futures studies activities and so are feminist issues or issues of particular relevance for women. (2) Futures studies usually make no attempts to reveal underlying assumptions, i.e. often lack a critical and reflexive perspective, which is needed in order to add a critical feminist perspective and envision feminist futures. (3) Feminist futures are needed as a contrast to hegemonic male and Western technology-orientated futures. Feminist futures are diverse, but focus the well-being of all humans. (4) Futures studies often view women as victims, rather than as drivers for change, which means that their alternative futures are often ignored.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2011
Keyword
futures studies, feminism, gender
National Category
Civil Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-33670 (URN)10.1016/j.futures.2011.07.002 (DOI)000295566200012 ()2-s2.0-80052021357 (ScopusID)
Projects
FramKoM
Note
NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Futures: The journal of policy, planning and futures studies. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in PUBLICATION, VOL 43, ISSUE 9, 19 July 2011, DOI:10.1016/j.futures.2011.07.002 QC 20120117Available from: 2012-01-17 Created: 2011-05-13 Last updated: 2012-01-17Bibliographically approved
5. Gendered development and possibilities for alternative feminist futures
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Gendered development and possibilities for alternative feminist futures
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Since the future is not disconnected, but rooted in the past and the present, images of futures will inevitable bear traces of yesterday as well as today’s zeitgeist. There is a risk of institutions, such as gender perceptions, being selfreinforcing. This paper looks closer at three Swedish regional growth programs to see whether those future oriented documents are gendered, in what ways and also if there are ways of working with futures studies that could enhance the possibility for a gender perspective on the future. Futures studies have a history of facilitating discussions about what future is wanted, but most often without a gender perspective. Feminist studies on the other hand belong to a critical tradition and do most often not suggest solutions. By discussing the possibility of integrating a gender perspective on the future this paper can give fuel to planning and futures studies as well as feminist research.

Keyword
planning, regional development, gender, feminism, futures studies, scenarios
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-33671 (URN)
Projects
FramKoM
Available from: 2011-05-13 Created: 2011-05-13 Last updated: 2011-05-20Bibliographically approved

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