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Sustainable energy and climate strategies: lessons from planning processes in five Swedish municipalities
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Environmental Technology and Management. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9509-8271
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Environmental Technology and Management. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Energy Systems. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
Linköping University, The Tema Institute, Technology and Social Change. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7694-7397
2015 (English)In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786, Vol. 98, 213-221 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Swedish municipalities have traditionally had significant powers and played a major role in implementing national energy strategies. This paper describes the factors influencing development of municipal climate and energy plans in five Swedish municipalities and assesses the relevance and importance of these factors from theoretical and practical perspectives. The questions raised in the paper are: what are the characteristics of municipal climate and energy planning processes in the five municipalities, do these municipalities include stakeholders in the process, if so how, and do the stakeholders influence the content of strategies? Results suggest that a number of factors influence the development of municipal climate and energy strategies and their content. These include the importance of a clear, shared vision and engaged politicians; the size and organisational structure of the municipality and its willingness and capability to act; the organisation of the process and extent to which stakeholders not only have been involved but also felt included; the need for clarity about financial aspects, such as planned financing of implementation; and the need for greater clarity concerning selection of targets and their relevance to global climate and energy trends. The study and its results may be used to inform policy-makers on the national and local levels about factors influencing municipal energy planning and also contribute to a discussion on benefits and problems of involving stakeholders and citizens in the strategic work to reduce climate impacts and energy consumption.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2015. Vol. 98, 213-221 p.
Keyword [en]
Energy and climate strategies, municipalities, stakeholders, planning processes
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-104464DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2014.08.001ISI: 000356194300022OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-104464DiVA: diva2:697131
Projects
HEKSA - Sustainable Energy and Climate Strategies
Funder
Swedish Energy Agency
Available from: 2014-02-17 Created: 2014-02-17 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Five factors for urban sustainability - exploring influences on municipal strategic planning
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Five factors for urban sustainability - exploring influences on municipal strategic planning
2014 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In recent decades, there has been increasing consensus that sustainable urban development is critical to the future of human societies and planetary systems. The effects of population growth and the environmental impacts of human activities are evident around the world, observable not only in the rapid urbanisation of many large cities, but also in small-medium conurbations, rural communities, and even uninhabited areas. For this reason, sustainable urban development is the theme of this licentiate thesis.

The thesis focuses on the role of municipal organisations, the ways in which processes to develop strategies and policies addressing urban sustainability are organised, and how other stakeholders participate in such processes. The thesis concludes by presenting a new conceptual framework that aims to inform such strategic processes - the “five factors” influencing strategic planning processes for urban sustainability in municipalities.

The five factors concern the capacity of municipalities and others to act for urban sustainability; their mandate to do so; the resources available to them; the scope of their processes and intended outcomes; and their will, individually and collectively, to pursue urban sustainability. The “five factors” concept may aid future analysis of urban sustainability processes, both in planning and implementation. The “five factors” are based upon the findings of the three appended papers and the synthesis of their results in this thesis.

The first and second papers present studies of energy and climate strategy planning processes in Swedish municipalities active in a national programme, the Sustainable Municipality (Uthållig kommun). Paper 1 focuses upon the organisation of processes to develop energy and climate strategies, whereas Paper 2 reflects upon the experiences of participating stakeholders in such processes. The two papers build upon existing theoretical frameworks and present empirical data from case studies of five municipalities, based on document studies, interviews and comparative analysis, in order to make conclusions about the advantages and disadvantages of variations in the form and composition of energy and climate planning (e.g. that early involvement of stakeholders results in more comprehensive strategies).

In contrast, Paper 3 presents analysis of a multidisciplinary sample of academic journal articles addressing “urban sustainability” and published during the period 2011-2012. As such, this paper focuses on how urban sustainability is practiced, observed and represented in academic literature, and considers different issues that arise as a consequence (e.g. a lack of analysis of urban sustainability governance processes in municipalities). Whereas Papers 1 and 2 observe practice, making insights with reference to specific theoretical perspectives, Paper 3 provides overview and identifies wider challenges and opportunities for research on the theme of urban sustainability. Together, the three papers highlight a number of issues that influence the development of municipalities’ strategic work for urban sustainability – the five factors.

Abstract [sv]

På senare år har konsensus att hållbar stadsutveckling är kritisk-för jordens och mänsklighetens framtid vuxit fram. Effekterna av befolkningstillväxten och människors påverkan på miljön syns runt om i världen, och är inte bara märkbar i många stora städer utan även i mindre städer, på landsbygden och till och med i obebodda områden. Därför står i hållbar stadsutveckling i fokus i denna licentiatavhandling.Avhandlingen fokuserar på kommunorganisationens roll i hållbar stadsutveckling och organisering av processerna att utveckla strategier och politik som syftar till hållbar stadsutveckling. Utöver det har även deltagandet av andra aktörer i sådana processer studerats. Avhandlingen avslutas genom att presentera ett nytt begrepp som kan underlätta strategisk planering, nämligen ”de fem faktorerna”.De fem faktorerna är kommuners/aktörers kapacitet att arbeta för hållbar stadsutveckling; deras mandat att driva hållbar stadsutveckling; tillgängliga resurser som får disponeras; processernas omfattning och önskat utfall; och den individuella- och kollektiva viljan att uppnå hållbar stadsutveckling. Femfaktorsbegreppet skulle kunna bidra till framtidsanalys av hållbara stadsutvecklingsprocesser, i såväl planering som genomförande. De fem faktorerna bygger på slutsatser från licenciatsavhandlingens tre artiklar samt en syntes av dessa.Den första och andra artikeln presenterar resultaten från ett forskningsprojekt som granskade processerna kring framtagande av energi- och klimatstrategier i kommuner som deltog i det svenska nationella programmet Uthållig kommun. I första artikeln ligger fokus på organiseringen av processerna, medan erfarenheterna av deltagande intressenter reflekteras över i den andra artikeln. De två artiklarna bygger på befintliga teoretiska ramverk och presenterar en mängd empiri från fem kommuner, som erhållits genom t.ex. dokumentstudier, intervjuer. Utifrån detta harslutsatser dragits kring för- och nackdelar i utformningen av planeringsprocesser för energi- och klimatstrategier, t.ex. att processer som involverar intressenter tidigt även resulterar i strategier som är mer omfattandeI den tredje artikeln presenteras resultaten av en multidisciplinär litteraturundersökning. Vetenskapliga artiklar som handlar om ”hållbar stadsutveckling” och publicerade under perioden 2011-2012 står i fokus. Artikeln syftar till att bättre förstå hur hållbar stadsutveckling tillämpas i praktiken, hur det beaktas, hur det representeras i den akademiska litteraturen, samt vilka effekter som uppstår på grund av denna representation, såsom t.ex. ett brist på analys av governance processer för hållbar stadsutveckling i kommuner. Medan de första artiklarna behandlar praktiken med hänsyn till specifika teoretiska perspektiv, syftar den tredje artikeln till att ge en överblick och identifiera utmaningar och möjligheter inom forskningen för hållbar stadsutveckling. Tillsammans illustrerar de tre artiklarna ett flertal aspekter som påverkar utvecklingen av kommunernas strategiska arbete för hållbar stadsutveckling – de fem faktorerna.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2014. 172 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Thesis, ISSN 0280-7971 ; 1646
Keyword
Energy and climate strategies, municipalities, stakeholders, strategic planning
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-104468 (URN)10.3384/lic.diva-104468 (DOI)978-91-7519-390-8 (ISBN)
Presentation
2014-03-14, A33, Hus A, Campus Valla, Linköping University, Linköping, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Swedish Energy Agency
Available from: 2014-02-25 Created: 2014-02-17 Last updated: 2016-05-04Bibliographically approved
2. Sustainability · Strategy · Space – exploring influences on governing for urban sustainability in municipalities
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Sustainability · Strategy · Space – exploring influences on governing for urban sustainability in municipalities
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The pursuit of urban sustainability is considered central to sustainable development and is a key objective of the global Sustainable Development Goals (2015) and the New Urban Agenda (2016). This thesis aims to contribute to debates on urban sustainability by providing insights as to the role of actors participating in processes of governing for urban sustainability, with particular focus on the municipal organisation.

The thesis employs an interdisciplinary approach to illustrate divergent approaches to governing for urban sustainability, with reference to empirical studies of strategic planning processes in municipalities in selected North-western European countries – Sweden, Switzerland and The Netherlands.

These studies address themes including climate change, sustainable transport and multi-level governance. The thesis provides a broad overview of theoretical discussions related to governing, strategy and planning, the role of actors in governing for urban sustainability, and the particular importance of climate change as a challenge for urban sustainability.

A number of research gaps are identified and addressed in two research questions, focusing on the organisation and practice of processes of governing for urban sustainability, and the factors influencing actors participating in such processes. The thesis responds to these research questions with reference to five appended papers, which illustrate different dimensions of governing for urban sustainability.

The first paper concerns the organisation of processes to develop energy and climate strategies in Swedish municipalities, and the second paper highlights the experiences of actors participating in such processes. The third paper presents results from a survey illustrating the expectations of stakeholders active in governing transport in the city of Norrköping, Sweden.

In the fourth paper, the development and implementation of policies aiming for sustainable transport and urban sustainability in Basel, Switzerland, are discussed. In the final paper, cooperation through transnational municipal networks is explored with reference to the World Ports Climate Declaration, an initiative of the city of Rotterdam.

The thesis confirms the presence of five factors – capacity, mandate, resources, scope and will – that shape the “strategy space” of actors and play an important role in conditioning the form and content of processes of governing for urban sustainability. The thesis suggests that the ways in which a municipal organisation perceive and mobilise the five factors will strongly determine the extent of its sustainability strategy space.

In sum, municipal organisations and other actors participating in processes of governing for urban sustainability need to mobilise the five factors and expand their strategy space, in order to achieve vertical and horizontal alignment of strategic objectives and facilitate implementation that delivers transformative change.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2016. 85 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Dissertations, ISSN 0345-7524 ; 1773
Keyword
Actors; Climate Change; Governing; Municipalities; Strategy; Urban Sustainability
National Category
Environmental Sciences Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-129544 (URN)10.3384/diss.diva-129544 (DOI)978-91-7685-743-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-10-21, ACAS, A-Huset, Campus Valla, Linköping, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2016-06-21 Created: 2016-06-21 Last updated: 2016-06-21Bibliographically approved

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Fenton, Paul DavidGustafsson, SaraIvner, JennyPalm, Jenny

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