PLANERING FÖR HÅLLBAR UTVECKLING : Dilemman för kommunala översiktsplanerare

Sammanfattning: ABSTRACT Planning for Sustainable Development - Dilemmas for local authority planners This thesis for the degree of licentiate in regional planning at the Royal Institute for Technol-ogy is a study of certain aspects of the profession of comprehensive planners in Sweden. The empirical background of the thesis is an interview study of 15 Swedish local authority plan-ners noted for their professional commitment in working for a more sustainable society. The aim of the thesis is to identify, describe, analyse and evaluate planners’ experiences in using comprehensive planning as an arena for a more sustainable development in society, with new democratic forums. The thesis focuses on how the planners consider and manage the prob-lems they encounter. The empirical findings are based on in semi-structured interviews and have been analysed qualitatively. The findings are construed from theories and conceptions of global justice, ecological modernism, communicative planning, power and the reflective practitioner. An analysis of the planner’s experience as a problematisation in an actor-structure per-spective is the main result. The problems are formulated in four dilemmas frequently con-fronted by the planners in their daily work, as follows. Ecological, economic or social sustainability? The interviewed planners seem to feel deeply for the ecological aspects of their work, which they connect more with urban and regional planning than with economic and social issues. Despite this lesser involvement in social issues, they have experience from methods of citizen participation. Long- or short-term planning, comprehensiveness or components? The planners find it difficult to combine the long-term perspective in comprehensive planning and sustainable development with the short-term decisions of economic planning. The con-version to a more sustainable society is not compatible with the long-lasting physical struc-tures. Top-down or bottom-up perspective? The planners strive to use top-down methods, but at the local authority level there are strong traditions of rational methods for planning and decision-making. The interviewed subjects were disappointed in the weak citizen interest in comprehensive planning. The planner as an expert, co-ordinator or facilitator? Local authority planners are often engaged as experts, co-ordinators and facilitators all at the same time, in the same process of planning. Problems occur in how other actors trust the planners when they change from role to role.