The development of windpower at the city mountain Vårdkasen: a turbulent change of land use?
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Development of windpower is a popular measure to meet the international and national goals to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases. On the same time, there are goals to increase citizen participation in decision-making processes. In Sweden, citizens’ right to participate in the planning- and consultation process is regulated by the Planning and Building Act. The rapid increase of windpower turbines in Sweden has been followed by a growing number of conflicts. In this study, conflicts of interest appeared due to the establishment of windpower turbines at the popular city mountain Vårdkasen in Härnösand. By interpreting nine interviews carried out with some of the involved interests, deeper knowledge could be gained of how citizen participation and conflicts of interests are handled in windpower planning. It was the municipality owned company HEMAB who wanted to construct four windpower turbines, but the municipality was responsible for the formal planning and consultation process. A consultant working for HEMAB conducted an informal consultation process using walks, visits and meetings to interact with the interests. This interaction gave the consultant deeper insights on their concerns and that were the reason to why HEMAB strongly proposed a reduction of the planned turbines from four to two. That the consultation process started early made it possible for the different interests to influence the planning process. This long planning process made it possible for the planners to consider the different interests. Local interests could through participation influence the planning process, which prevented an escalating conflict and increased local democracy. This also created an acceptance of the establishment and therefore made the decision sustainable. In addition, the positive social memory of the process will be beneficial for similar projects in the future. These gained insights are useful if the different international and national goals to increase both windpower development and citizen participation shall be reached broadly.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 64 p.
Consultation process, participation, conflict, interest, social memory
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-19335OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-19335DiVA: diva2:634191
Subject / course
2013-06-05, MD236, Södertörns Högskola, 11:30 (English)
UppsokLife Earth Science
Saunders, Fred, Högskolelektor
Loftsson, Elfar, Professor