Climate-smart spatial planning with social values

Last changed: 03 April 2023

How we plan for the future today affects our future opportunities. This project shed light on the spatial planning process from a climate change mitigation perspective.

The project aimed at a more climate-smart spatial planning by including social values ​​such as public health, gender equality, safety and integration. In the project, the County Administrative Boards of Västmanland, Dalarna, Gävleborg and Uppsala counties collaborated with nine municipalities. Each municipality worked with the issues based on a current plan. In Västmanland the participants were the municipalities of Köping, Sala and Västerås, in Dalarna the municipalities of Smedjebacken, Falu and Borlänge, in Uppsala the municipalities of Knivsta and Håbo, and from the county of Gävleborg the municipality of Ovanåker.

The project supported the participants through seminars, workshops, meetings and individual support from experts. In addition to this, exercises were offered to facilitate learning and to make visible and challenge the taken for granted. Researchers from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences acted as process leader and evaluation support.

As the County Administrative Board was a key player in climate work, a special in-depth study was made of the wide range of different tasks that were highlighted as their responsibilities in relation to climate and municipal planning. In addition, the roles they took to fulfill these tasks and the dilemmas that arose when they were incompatible were further explored.  

The project was to result in the development of good examples and success factors as well as highlight difficulties and possible ways forward. In this way, the project contributed both with tools to better include climate considerations and social value as a whole in the planning work, as well as a situated understanding of what is required for this to happen.

Abstract of the project report

The climate issue requires major changes in society. To get there, we need stories that can convey the seriousness, but also stories that create hope. This project is a story of hope. The story is based on the importance of addressing climate mitigation and added social values as whole in spatial planning. Among other things, it is about planning for people in a way that enriches and facilitates everyday life and promotes lifestyle changes based on common places and reduced transport needs. Above all, the story is about giving more competence areas in municipalities and county administrative boards the opportunity to actively participate in the planning work. About developing working methods that make the participants themselves feel the need for and see the added value of collaborating across sector boundaries. The story also includes stretching officials' space for action and about meeting in new ways. The need for increased collaboration between sectors and organisations in planning is not new insight. The power of the story lies instead in how we with relatively small efforts and with sensitivity to existing processes, organisations and regulations, contributed to the participants' experience that climate can be acted upon in their professional practice, and that their actions are important.

The complete project report as PDF (In Swedish) 


Project leader

Christina Svensson, County Administrative Board of Västmanland County
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Project participants

Mari Kågström, Researcher and Process Leader, Division of Landscape Architecture, SLU

Jakob Ebner, Subproject leader at the County Administrative Board of Dalarna County
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Åsa Eklund Öberg, Subproject leader at the County Administrative Board of Gävleborg County
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Aino Inkinen, Subproject leader at the County Administrative Board of Uppsala County
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Victor Zakrisson, Subproject leader at the County Administrative Board of Västmanland County
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And work groups in the municipalities of: Köping, Sala, Västerås, Smedjebacken, Falu, Borlänge, Ovanåker, Knivsta and Håbo.

Project time


External funding

Swedish Energy Agency