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Sustainability · Strategy · Space – exploring influences on governing for urban sustainability in municipalities
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Environmental Technology and Management. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9509-8271
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 [en]
Actors; Climate Change; Governing; Municipalities; Strategy; Urban Sustainability
National Category
Environmental Sciences Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-129544DOI: 10.3384/diss.diva-129544ISBN: 978-91-7685-743-4 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-129544DiVA: diva2:940450
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
List of papers
1. Sustainable energy and climate strategies: lessons from planning processes in five Swedish municipalities
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Sustainable energy and climate strategies: lessons from planning processes in five Swedish municipalities
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
Keyword
Energy and climate strategies, municipalities, stakeholders, planning processes
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-104464 (URN)10.1016/j.jclepro.2014.08.001 (DOI)000356194300022 ()
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
2. Stakeholder participation in municipal energy and climate planning – experiences from Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Stakeholder participation in municipal energy and climate planning – experiences from Sweden
2016 (English)In: Local Environment: the International Journal of Justice and Sustainability, ISSN 1354-9839, E-ISSN 1469-6711, Vol. 21, no 3, 272-289 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article analyses the factors influencing stakeholder participation in municipal energy and climate planning, together with stakeholder experiences of participation in such processes. The article presents findings from a survey of 60 Swedish municipalities and detailed case studies of energy and climate planning in five Swedish municipalities to explore which stakeholders are involved, how and why they are involved, and the impacts of participation on both stakeholder experiences. The results of this study provide insight into the role of stakeholders in municipal energy and climate planning.The study proceeds as follows: the Introduction is followed by a discussion of theoretical perspectives on stakeholder participation and energy and climate planning. The Methods used to conduct the study are presented, followed by Results and Analysis. In the subsequent Discussion, the authors propose a conceptual approach that may assist municipalities in development of energy and climate strategies. The Analysis and Discussion inform Conclusions in which the authors advocate early and active stakeholder engagement in energy and climate strategy planning and emphasise the possible utility of their conceptual approach in supporting stakeholder participation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2016
Keyword
Energy and climate strategies; municipalities; participation; stakeholders
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-104465 (URN)10.1080/13549839.2014.946400 (DOI)
Projects
HEKSA - Sustainable Energy and Climate Strategies
Funder
Swedish Energy Agency
Note

On the day of the defence date the status of this article was Manuscript.

Available from: 2014-02-17 Created: 2014-02-17 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
3. Contesting sustainability in urban transport — perspectives from a Swedish town
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Contesting sustainability in urban transport — perspectives from a Swedish town
2015 (English)In: Natural resources forum (Print), ISSN 0165-0203, E-ISSN 1477-8947, Vol. 39, no 1, 15-26 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper presents findings from a document study, survey, and workshops held in a Swedish municipality. The empirical focus of the study is on the role of transport in municipal planning and transport's potential contribution to urban sustainability in the municipality. The case study highlights a problem familiar to many municipalities — a transport sector largely dependent on fossil fuel private vehicles that generates significant impacts on the climate and environment, along with other economic and social costs. However, despite awareness of these negative impacts, it is difficult to implement measures to reduce the use of private vehicles and enable a transition towards a sustainable transport sector. In Sweden, municipalities have exclusive planning monopolies and an extensive range of other powers. Despite this, many municipalities are struggling to reduce car dependency and enable sustainable mobility. This paper questions the extent to which the municipality and its governance processes are capable of contributing toward sustainable development, both locally and globally, in the absence of radical measures. In particular, the paper considers why, despite having adopted objectives to promote sustainable mobility, does the municipality struggle with the implementation of measures to enable sustainable mobility? Why is there a difference between words and actions?

Keyword
Municipalities; sustainable development; transport; mobility; decision-making; governance
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-114291 (URN)10.1111/1477-8947.12061 (DOI)000351775600003 ()
Projects
Hållbara Norrköping
Available from: 2015-02-17 Created: 2015-02-17 Last updated: 2017-12-04
4. Sustainable mobility as Swiss cheese?: Exploring influences on urban transport strategy in Basel
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Sustainable mobility as Swiss cheese?: Exploring influences on urban transport strategy in Basel
2016 (English)In: Natural resources forum (Print), ISSN 0165-0203, E-ISSN 1477-8947, Vol. 40, no 4, 143-155 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper explores the development and implementation of strategies for sustainable mobility in Basel, Switzerland. Basel (Bâle, Basilea, Basle) has been identified as a ‘relatively successful’ practitioner of sustainable mobility, with an urban form that is not only conducive to walking and cycling, but also has an extensive public transport system and high levels of commuting using these sustainable modes of transport. With a low share of journeys by motor vehicles compared to many other European cities – combined with a legally-binding objective to reduce vehicle traffic by a further 10% from 2010 to 2020 – Basel appears to be a forerunner with regard to sustainable mobility policy and practice. Five years after this objective was passed into law – following a public vote, as Basel is part of the Swiss confederation and practices direct democracy – this study aims to assess the extent of policy implementation and reflect on challenges and opportunities for the future. The paper presents findings from a series of interviews with stakeholders in Basel on the theme of sustainable mobility. Key questions include: is it possible to develop coherent strategies and policies to further reduce the role of motor vehicles and in doing so, achieve a modal shift? How does participation in a direct democracy influence strategy and policy development and outcomes? Do compromises and trade-offs mean strategies and policies promoting sustainable mobility are, like Swiss cheese, riddled with holes? By illustrating challenges and opportunities when advancing sustainable mobility in a participative culture, the study provides insights for policymakers and researchers in other contexts. Among the conclusions is an emphasis on the importance of committed individuals capable of expanding the ‘strategy space’ of processes. Participation provides one such opportunity, yet may also generate divergent or contradictory trends causing incrementalism. A rapid transition to sustainable mobility is thus likely to require increased politicisation of the topic by both politicians and civil servants.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons, 2016
Keyword
Sustainable mobility, governance, strategy, policy, participation, direct democracy, Canton Basel-Stadt
National Category
Environmental Sciences Transport Systems and Logistics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-129371 (URN)10.1111/1477-8947.12093 (DOI)000393051100002 ()
Note

Funding agencies: Goteborg Energi; Riksbyggens Jubileumsfond Den Goda Staden; Vinnova (Verifiering for Samverkan)

Available from: 2016-06-17 Created: 2016-06-17 Last updated: 2017-11-28
5. The role of port cities and transnational municipal networks in efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on land and at sea from shipping - an assessment of the World Ports Climate Initiative
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The role of port cities and transnational municipal networks in efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on land and at sea from shipping - an assessment of the World Ports Climate Initiative
2017 (English)In: Marine Policy, ISSN 0308-597X, E-ISSN 1872-9460, Vol. 75, 271-277 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In 2008, 55 of the world's largest ports voluntarily adopted the World Ports Climate Declaration (WPCD) and the International Association of Ports and Harbours committed to long-term work on implementation through the World Ports Climate Initiative (WPCI). This article assesses the work of WPCI since 2008 and makes five recommendations that, if implemented, could support efforts to reduce the climate and environmental impacts of port operations and international shipping. In particular, as the impetus for the WPCD came from a port city – Rotterdam – and their engagement with a transnational municipal network – the C40 Large Cities Climate Leadership Group – the paper considers the role of cities and transnational municipal networks in governance, and the potential for cities to play a more active and influential role in the maritime sector. The article presents an overview of literature on the role and function of transnational municipal networks, the background and development of the WPCD, analysis of the work of WPCI, and a discussion concerning the potential of cities and transnational municipal networks to support and add value to WPCI or similar initiatives in the maritime sector. This informs the conclusions and recommendations to marine policy-makers and port stakeholders.

Keyword
Ports; Shipping;Transnational municipal networks; Climate change; Governance
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-123628 (URN)10.1016/j.marpol.2015.12.012 (DOI)000391904500032 ()
Available from: 2016-01-01 Created: 2016-01-01 Last updated: 2017-12-01Bibliographically approved

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