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Translating Sustainability Rhetoric into Urban Planning Practice: interpreting ideas, finding solutions and dealing with conflicts, cases of Saskatoon and Uppsala.
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Spatial Planning.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This study examines two urban renewal projects in Saskatoon (Canada) and Uppsala (Sweden). The central subject of inquiry is urban planning process and complex dilemmas of sustainable development. What is seen as “a sustainable city”? What are the concerns and conflicts, which planners have to face with? Which arguments are used to justify the planning decisions and how are these arguments constructed?

The study proposes a three-step framework to compare sustainability interpretation processes in urban planning of the two cities: through identification of the ideas, which are associated with the concept of sustainability; through analysis of local objectives of sustainable development;  and, finally, through examination of actions, which are perceived as appropriate to achieve stated goals. Furthermore, the research examines conflicts of interests, values and scale occurring throughout planning process; and analyses arguments, which are used to justify need “to be sustainable” and choices of solutions for urban renewal projects. The arguments are categorised as rational or normative depending on the type of reference planners use to construct them.

The study reveals obvious differences in the interpretation of the sustainability concept in Uppsala and Saskatoon: with reliance on normative considerations in one case and rational ones in another. It also shows, that arguments working well for one type of conflict, do not help in resolving conflict of another type; and that Swedish and Canadian planners, facing pretty close challenges, choose different strategies to respond to them.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 62 p.
Keyword [en]
urban planning, sustainability, sustainable developement, sustainable city, urban renewal, Sweden, Canada
National Category
Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Human Geography
URN: urn:nbn:se:bth-12937OAI: diva2:954928
Subject / course
FM2564 Master's Thesis (120 credits) in Spatial Planning with an emphasis on European Spatial Planning and Regional Development
Educational program
FMAJP Joint Masters Programme in European Spatial Planning, Environmental Policies and Regional Development
Available from: 2016-08-25 Created: 2016-08-23 Last updated: 2016-08-25Bibliographically approved

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Department of Spatial Planning
Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specifiedSocial Sciences InterdisciplinaryHuman Geography

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