Soft space regional planning as an approach for integrated transport and land use planning in Sweden – challenges and ways forward

Fredrik Pettersson, Hanna Frisk. Urban, Planning and Transport Research: An Open Access Journal Volume 4, Issue 1, 2016.

The paper analyses how soft space planning as spatial strategy making at regional level is influencing local-level planning. The analysis covers 10 municipalities in the Swedish Region of Skåne. The results illustrate that the dialogue-based process has established a broad consensus on the need to consider the regional scale in municipal planning. However, the results also show that the impact on planning is limited since the consensus-based process resulted in strategic objectives with limited influence on prevailing planning practices. Findings also illustrate that key concepts for operationalising the strategies – including densification and public transport accessibility – were defined and used differently in different municipalities. Consequently, a more stringent use, and stricter definitions, of core concepts could be a way to strengthen the capacity of soft space regional planning.

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