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Elander, I. & Gustavsson, E. (2019). From policy community to issue networks: Implementing social sustainability in a Swedish urban development programme. Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space, 37(6), 1082-1101
Open this publication in new window or tab >>From policy community to issue networks: Implementing social sustainability in a Swedish urban development programme
2019 (English)In: Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space, ISSN 2399-6544, E-ISSN 2399-6552, Vol. 37, no 6, p. 1082-1101Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this article a “sustainable urban development” programme in Sweden (Delegation for Sustainable Cities, 2008–2012) is analysed, with a particular focus on the social dimension, and in the light of a commonly held assumption of a general shift in politics over time “from government to governance”. However, on closer examination the programme comes out as something quite different. Taking “policy community” as our conceptual point of departure the article first portrays how post-war housing policy in Sweden was implemented jointly by a potent central government, strong local governments, public housing companies and major interest organisations. The Delegation for Sustainable Cities, on the other hand, was launched as “a national arena for sustainable urban development” with a multifaceted mission, including the production and dissemination of knowledge through best practice; the promotion of multi-actor dialogue and coordination; and the use and export of green technology. Implementation of the programme was delegated to a small number of projects in selected housing districts. In relation to the narrative “from government to governance”, the Delegation for  Sustainable Cities rather indicates the opposite, i.e. government steering by a combination of structural non-intervention, rhetorical flair and selective fragmentation into project-bound issue networks. The  sustainability discourse thus turned out to be a perfect umbrella for the fragmented implementation structure of the Delegation for Sustainable Cities programme. Instead of a tight, multi-level, national governance structure (policy community) we thus have a case of governing at some distance by a combination of what in recent literature have been labelled the Regulatory State and the Networked Polity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2019
Keywords
Policy community, issue networks, governance, government, sustainable urban development
National Category
Political Science Human Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-71259 (URN)10.1177/2399654418820077 (DOI)000482953100007 ()2-s2.0-85059878756 (Scopus ID)
Note

Funding Agencies:

Delegation for Sustainable Cities  

Swedish Association of Public Housing Companies (SABO)  

Available from: 2019-01-08 Created: 2019-01-08 Last updated: 2019-11-12Bibliographically approved
Gustavsson, E. & Elander, I. (2017). Behaving Clean without Having to Think Green?: Local Eco-Technological and Dialouge-Based, Low-Carbon Projects in Sweden. The Journal of urban technology, 24(1), 93-116
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Behaving Clean without Having to Think Green?: Local Eco-Technological and Dialouge-Based, Low-Carbon Projects in Sweden
2017 (English)In: The Journal of urban technology, ISSN 1063-0732, E-ISSN 1466-1853, Vol. 24, no 1, p. 93-116Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Two kinds of local low-carbon initiatives are the focus in this paper: those initiated under the umbrella of a central government program, and those initiated from below by individuals and municipalities in Sweden. The project studied in the first category was focused on eco-technological innovations undertaken by a municipal housing company. The case in the second category was a dialogue-based program with selected citizens willing to test a climate-friendly lifestyle. The latter approach faced strong barriers when going from words to deeds, lacking the large-scale favors of massive eco-technological investments. Highlighting one particular project in each category, we illustrate the potentials and barriers of each approach. it is concluded that policymakers have to find ways to combine the two, otherwise there is a risk that low-carbon committed individuals will become disillusioned or that eco-technological gains will be spoiled by "rebound consumption".

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2017
Keywords
eco-technological apporach; dialouge-focused approach, low carbon consumer; climate friendly lifestyle; deputy consumer
National Category
Human Geography Political Science
Research subject
Social and Economic Geography; Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-54035 (URN)10.1080/10630732.2016.1175806 (DOI)000401247900006 ()2-s2.0-85002045623 (Scopus ID)
Note

Funding Agencies:

EU LEADER Mellansjölandet Program

Delegation for Sustainable Cities

Municipal housing company Örebro Bostäder AB

Available from: 2016-12-19 Created: 2016-12-19 Last updated: 2017-10-18Bibliographically approved
Gustavsson, E. & Elander, I. (2016). Sustainability potential of a redevelopment initiative in Swedish public housing: The ambiguous role of residents’ participation and place identity. Progress in Planning, 103, 1-25
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Sustainability potential of a redevelopment initiative in Swedish public housing: The ambiguous role of residents’ participation and place identity
2016 (English)In: Progress in Planning, ISSN 0305-9006, E-ISSN 1873-4510, Vol. 103, p. 1-25Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

During 1965–1974 one million dwellings were built in Sweden, most of these financed by state housing loans and available for renting. Although most of these 850,000 apartments are considered decently maintained about 300,000 are considered in need of thorough refurbishment. This is a great opportunity for technological innovations, contributing to energy saving and climate mitigation on a broad scale. However, many of these estates have also been associated with spatial segregation, social exclusion and related challenges. The empirical focus of this article is on an attempt by a municipal housing company to approach the residents of a multi-family housing estate with a redevelopment scheme expressing a will to combine social, ecological and economic qualities under the brand ‘‘My Green Neighbourhood’’. Drawing upon data describing the initial phase and the dialogue activities undertaken during the planning phase, and the residents’ reactions the study is conceptually framed by an eclectic approach inspired by the spatial triad of Lefebvre, Relph’s notion of place identity, and Arnstein’s ladder of citizen participation, including references to some related, recent works. Considering a common picture of municipal, multi-family housing in Sweden as a ‘‘success story’’ the case study is of relevance in the wider context of coping with the challenges of sustainable urban development. It is concluded that projects like this have a potential to decrease energy consumption substantially, as well as contributing to long-term financially sound management by housing companies. However, when it comes to social aspects of sustainability the picture becomes more complicated. First, most sitting tenants would have preferred a change in terms of proper maintenance and modest improvements. Second, most of them will not return to their apartments after rehabilitation, partly due to rising rents. Third, the position of the tenants was not very strong, instead planning rather had a tokenist bias. Fourth, the local government’s social mix strategy has to be questioned on theoretical as well as empirical grounds. Despite these and other critical observations, My Green Neighbourhood should not be disregarded as just one more in a never-ending parade of low impact ad hoc projects. Up-scaling the experience of this and similar running projects would represent a substantial contribution to urban sustainable development, at least in terms of energy saving. Finally, to understand the complexities of a redevelopment planning process it is concluded that decisionmakers have to be very observant of the different time perspectives linked to the structural positions and interests of the various stakeholders, for example a building company’s desire to make short time profits through major reconstruction, sitting tenants’ demand for sustainable maintenance and cautious refurbishment, local politicians´ wish to create another social mix in the area, and a public housing company’s attempt to reconcile the views of different actors

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2016
Keywords
Public housing retrofit, low carbon refurbishment, neighbourhood renewal, area-based initiatives, multi-dimensional sustainability, Lefebvre's spatial triad, place identity, participatory planning
National Category
Human Geography
Research subject
Social and Economic Geography; Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-45548 (URN)10.1016/j.progress.2014.10.003 (DOI)000370907800001 ()2-s2.0-84934777059 (Scopus ID)
Note

Funding Agencies:

Municipal housing company Örebro Bostäder AB

Swedish Government Delegation for Sustainable Cities

Available from: 2015-08-12 Created: 2015-08-12 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved
Fröding, K., Elander, I. & Eriksson, C. (2015). A community-based participatory research process in a poor Swedish neighbourhood. Systemic Practice and Action Research, 28(1), 19-36
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A community-based participatory research process in a poor Swedish neighbourhood
2015 (English)In: Systemic Practice and Action Research, ISSN 1094-429X, E-ISSN 1573-9295, Vol. 28, no 1, p. 19-36Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Health is not equally distributed and various neighbourhoods differ from each other in terms of people’s health and other social and economic variables. Numerous efforts are undertaken to develop healthier and more sustainable neighbourhoods, and a key concern in the process is citizen participation. Due to the challenge of conducting research in poor neighbourhood’s complementary research approaches with a more practice-based and democratic knowledge development are needed. Community-based participatory research (CBPR) is a partnership pproach that aims to conduct collaborative knowledge production and to use the research indings for public health interventions. This paper sets out to describe and analyse a community-academic partnership and a CBPR process within a poor neighbourhood in Sweden. Two years of fieldwork were conducted at 26 meetings comprising 84 h in a CBPR group including a researcher, and lay and professional stakeholders. Participatory observation and detailed meeting process-notes were used when doing a qualitative thematic analysis. Eight different developmental phases was identified in the implementation of a CBPR process and four key lessons were found to be important. These were that a community-academic partnership should (1) accept different levels of participation in different phases; (2) openly discuss mutual expectations and individual prerequisites; (3) unmask power and authority; and (4) allow the work to take the time it needs. The design, process, and result of the CBPR project are relevant for local community-academic partnerships using a CBPR approach with the goal of increasing participation as a means of improving people’s health and well-being in poor neighbourhoods.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
New York, USA: Springer, 2015
Keywords
Community-based participatory research, community-academic partnership, health inequality, neighbourhood
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Research subject
Public health
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-41706 (URN)10.1007/s11213-014-9319-y (DOI)000349325800002 ()2-s2.0-84901568301 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas
Available from: 2015-01-15 Created: 2015-01-15 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
Kristianssen, A.-C., Gustavsson, E. & Elander, I. (2015). Citizen-centred innovations between responsive and inclusive democracy.: Examples from a Swedish city.. In: : . Paper presented at Local Government and Urban governance: Citizen Responsive Innovations in Europe and in Africa. Institute of Geography and Spatial Planning, University of Lisbon, Portugal, 9-10 April 2015.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Citizen-centred innovations between responsive and inclusive democracy.: Examples from a Swedish city.
2015 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Representing all citizens, as well as their needs and interests within its territory, municipalities have a unique role in setting a legitimate policy agenda. In times of economic recession, fiscal austerity becomes a huge challenge for local governments to tackle. This challenge has triggered experiments with new forms of citizen-local government interaction.

In some of these experiments citizens have been invited to participate in decision-making or implementation, and new forms of “participatory engineering” have become commonplace, including dialogue forums in social media and elsewhere (Zittel & Fuchs 2007). Citizen participation has been loudly praised by decision-making authorities when it comes to area based interventions and broader programs. There is a belief that including citizens will increase efficiency and legitimacy of government as well as social capital among citizens.

Other experiments are focusing on providing the best possible service with a focus on quality and citizen needs rather than participation or on institutional innovations (Graham, 2009) for alleviating citizen-government interaction.

The prospects, aims and outcomes of these experiments raise a range of normative, theoretical and empirical questions. In the light of recent literature on social and democratic innovations, the purpose of this paper is to scrutinize two cases of citizen-focused innovations in the mid-size Swedish city of Örebro. The first case is the establishment of a citizen service center where all local government citizen interaction is gathered in one location both physically and virtually. The second is a case of neighborhood renewal, where the municipal housing company plays a vital role, involving residents in the planning process, and offering opportunities of employment. The study contributes to the broader conceptual discussion about citizen-focused innovations and critically discusses the prospects of applying these with regard to citizens with limited resources. To put it brief, are they tools for democracy or rather cases of tokenism?

References

Smith, Graham (2009) Democratic Innovations: Designing Institutions for Citizen

Participation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Zittel, Thomas and Fuchs, Dieter (2007) Can Participatory Engineering Bring Citizens Back

In? NewYork: Routledge.

National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies) Human Geography
Research subject
Political Science; Social and Economic Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-44248 (URN)
Conference
Local Government and Urban governance: Citizen Responsive Innovations in Europe and in Africa. Institute of Geography and Spatial Planning, University of Lisbon, Portugal, 9-10 April 2015
Projects
Örebro kommuns servicecenterMitt gröna kvarter - utvärdering
Available from: 2015-04-14 Created: 2015-04-14 Last updated: 2018-06-29Bibliographically approved
Gustavsson, E. & Elander, I. (2015). Greenest of them all?: climate change mitigation and place branding in three Swedish towns. In: Marco Eimermann & Anders Trumberg (Ed.), Place and identity: a new landscape of social and political change in Sweden (pp. 76-96). Stockholm: Santérus Academic Press Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Greenest of them all?: climate change mitigation and place branding in three Swedish towns
2015 (English)In: Place and identity: a new landscape of social and political change in Sweden / [ed] Marco Eimermann & Anders Trumberg, Stockholm: Santérus Academic Press Sweden, 2015, p. 76-96Chapter in book (Refereed)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Santérus Academic Press Sweden, 2015
Keywords
Place, identity, place branding, climate change mitigation
National Category
Human Geography
Research subject
Social and Economic Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-42612 (URN)978-91-7335-044-0 (ISBN)
Available from: 2015-02-13 Created: 2015-02-13 Last updated: 2017-10-17Bibliographically approved
Elander, I. & Gustavsson, E. (2015). Nyanser av grönt i den urbana hållbarhetskören: några aktuella exempel. Biodiverse (2), 5-7
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Nyanser av grönt i den urbana hållbarhetskören: några aktuella exempel
2015 (Swedish)In: Biodiverse, ISSN 1401-5064, no 2, p. 5-7Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.)) Published
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Centrum för biologisk mångfald (CBM), 2015
Keywords
hållbar utveckling, stadsförnyelse, urbana förnyelseprojekt
National Category
Human Geography Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Research subject
Social and Economic Geography; Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-44621 (URN)
Available from: 2015-05-13 Created: 2015-05-13 Last updated: 2018-01-11Bibliographically approved
Fridolfsson, C. & Elander, I. (2015). Place and religion: Swedish Muslim identity formation (1ed.). In: Marco Eimermann & Anders Trumberg (Ed.), Place and identity: a new landscape of social and political change in Sweden (pp. 118-140). Stockholm: Santérus Academic Press Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Place and religion: Swedish Muslim identity formation
2015 (English)In: Place and identity: a new landscape of social and political change in Sweden / [ed] Marco Eimermann & Anders Trumberg, Stockholm: Santérus Academic Press Sweden, 2015, 1, p. 118-140Chapter in book (Refereed)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Santérus Academic Press Sweden, 2015 Edition: 1
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-42874 (URN)978-91-7335-044-0 (ISBN)
Available from: 2015-02-22 Created: 2015-02-22 Last updated: 2017-10-17Bibliographically approved
Elander, I., Fridolfsson, C. & Gustavsson, E. (2015). Swedish muslims and secular society: faith-based engagement and place. Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations, 26(2), 145-163
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Swedish muslims and secular society: faith-based engagement and place
2015 (English)In: Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations, ISSN 0959-6410, E-ISSN 1469-9311, Vol. 26, no 2, p. 145-163Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article sets out to explore how Muslims in Sweden identify with and create social life in the place where they live, that is, in their neighbourhood, in their town/city and in Swedish society at large. In a paradoxical religious landscape that includes a strong Lutheran state church heritage and a Christian free-church tradition, in what is, nevertheless, a very secular society, Muslims may choose different strategies to express their faith, here roughly described as “retreatist,” “engaged” or “essentialist/antagonistic.” Focusing on a non-antagonistic, engaged stance, and drawing upon a combination of authors' interviews, and materials published in newspapers and on the Internet, we first bring to the fore arguments by Muslim leaders in favour of creating a Muslim identity with a Swedish brand, and second give some examples of local Muslim individuals, acting as everyday makers in their neighbourhood, town or city. Third, we also give attention to an aggressively negative Islamophobic stance expressed both in words and in physical violence in parts of Swedish society. In conclusion, we reflect upon the challenges and potentialities of an emotionally engaged, dialogue-orientated Muslim position facing antagonistic interpretations of Islam, and an ignorant, sometimes Islamophobic, environment.

Keywords
faith and place; faith-based engagement; Islam in Sweden; Muslim everyday makers; Muslims facing Islamophobia; Muslims in Sweden
National Category
Religious Studies
Research subject
Political Science; Social and Economic Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-43813 (URN)10.1080/09596410.2015.1013324 (DOI)000352355200003 ()2-s2.0-84926406909 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2015-03-24 Created: 2015-03-24 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved
Gustavsson, E. & Elander, I. (2014). Social hållbarhet i stadsutveckling?: Uppföljning av tio projekt i svenska städer. Örebro: Örebro Universitet
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Social hållbarhet i stadsutveckling?: Uppföljning av tio projekt i svenska städer
2014 (Swedish)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [sv]

Boverket med flera myndigheter och organisationer har på senare tid starkt argumenterat för ökad satsning på åtgärder i syfte att stärka den sociala dimensionen av hållbar stadsutveckling. Delegationen för hållbara städer (DHS) ger under perioden 2009 - 2014 ekonomiskt stöd till 98 projekt som ska främja hållbar stadsutveckling. Rapporten redovisar ett uppdrag från Boverket att ”följa upp sociala effekter” i 7 investerings- och 3 planeringsprojekt. I studien undersöks hur man i dessa projekt närmat sig frågan om social hållbarhet.

Föreställningen om ”social hållbarhet” är en vision och ett övergripande värde som kan preciseras i olika riktningar och med olika fokus, något som tydligt framgår av de tio projekt vi studerat. Social hållbarhet framstår här sammantaget som en positivt laddad etikett som klistras på ett brett spektrum av åtgärder. Med hjälp av en teoretiskt förankrad, men pragmatiskt konstruerad tankeram har vi stegvis närmat oss de aspekter projekten själva explicit förknippat med eller implicit verkar se som uttryck för social håll-barhet. Strategin finns beskriven i en tidigare rapport till Boverket (Gustavsson & Elan-der 2013b). Den rapporten utmynnar i en ”hållbarhetspyramid” med åtföljande frågor och förklarande resonemang som i urval har använts i den aktuella uppföljningen.

Eftersom projekten avslutas först i och med utgången av 2014 är det inte möjligt att nu dra bestämda slutsatser om effekter och resultat. Dessutom pågår i projektområdena parallella och delvis sammanvävda processer som gör det svårt att urskilja vilket specifikt bidrag som kan härledas till ett visst projekt. Däremot finns ett överflöd av material som ger kunskap om mål, påbörjade och delvis genomförda åtgärder. Källmaterialet är i huvudsak begränsat till projektledningarnas bilder, berättelser och självvärderingar som de framgår av projektrapporter, enkätsvar och samtal på plats. Forskarnas roll har i huvudsak varit att observera och dokumentera vad som sker, men också att i samtal tillföra erfarenheter och reflektioner baserade på annan forskning om sociala perspektiv på stadsutveckling.

Studien visar att projekten har en potential att efter projekttidens slut införlivas med långsiktig och samordnad planering och verksamhet i en etablerad struktur med kommuner och/eller bostadsföretag, ofta i samverkan med näringsliv och/eller aktörer i det civila samhället. I några projekt finns dock en oro för att de mervärden som utvunnits under projekttiden kan komma att ebba ut, därför att personella resurser som tillförts tack vare projektstödet inte får någon alternativ finansiering. Några garantier för en fortsättning på den verksamhet projekten initierat finns alltså inte.

En uttalad tanke har varit att projekten ska fungera som ”goda exempel” för kommuner, bostadsföretag och andra relevanta aktörer. Studien visar att projekten genomgående varit bra på att exponera sig via kanaler för information och kommunikation såsom del-tagande i nätverk, hemsidor på internet, studiebesök, utställningar, projekttävlingar etc.

I rapporten ges exempel på hur projekt gjort insatser för att skapa praktikplatser och jobb, att engagera barn, ungdomar och andra boende för gemenskap i sin stadsdel, att lära vuxna cykla, med flera åtgärder för social inkludering. Flera projekt har satsat på att skapa nya mötesplatser och stråk för cykling, promenader och kollektivtrafik med potential att bidra till integration mellan människor i olika delar av staden. Platsidentitet är ett tema som aktualiserats i flera projekt, där man både inåt och utåt vill skapa en mer positiv bild av tidigare stigmatiserade områden. I några fall har det varit ett sätt för en stadsledning att använda en viss stadsdel som varumärke för hela staden i nationella och internationella sammanhang. Ett genomgående tema har varit åtgärder för att genom olika former av dialog försöka skapa delaktighet och deltagande från boende och medborgare, bland annat genom kreativa komplement till traditionella planprocesser. Sammantaget ger studien bilden av ett myllrande projektliv vars bestående effekter påkallar nya, fördjupade studier om några år.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro Universitet, 2014. p. 74
Series
Centrum för urbana och regionala studiers skriftserie, ISSN 1653-1531 ; 70
Keywords
social hållbarhet, stadspolitik
National Category
Social and Economic Geography
Research subject
Social and Economic Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-57605 (URN)978-91-7668-995-0 (ISBN)
Funder
National Board of Housing, Building and Planning
Available from: 2017-05-09 Created: 2017-05-09 Last updated: 2019-02-28Bibliographically approved
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0002-7737-5850

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