IMPLEMENTING COLLABORATIVE PLANNING IN THE SWEDISH MOUNTAINS – THE CASE OF VILHELMINA
Free (open access)
781 - 795
THERESE BJÄRSTIG, CAMILLA THELLBRO, ANNA ZACHRISSON, JOHAN SVENSSON
Critical appraisals have stressed the need for participation and social learning in spatial planning, and planning is now seen as a process of innovative collaboration by multiple actors. During such “collaborative planning”, various parties try to develop new inclusive strategies through dialog. Collaborative planning is a major strand of current planning theory and highlights the need for new methods that involve citizen participation. In Sweden, the realization of collaborative planning in practice remains elusive, and research on the subject is limited, so further studies are needed. Thus, in the project “Green planning: Vilhelmina as a testbed for innovative land use planning in the mountain region”, we tested and implemented methods for involving citizens and other land-use stakeholders in the process of developing Vilhelmina municipality’s comprehensive plan (MCP). This paper presents lessons learned from that process and data obtained from a set of focus groups, a workshop, surveys, and personal communication. From these activities in the Swedish mountain region, we learned that collaborative practices have both pros and cons that must be addressed for practical realization of the widely embraced ideal of collaborative planning.
collaborative planning, focus groups, stakeholder participation, participatory GIS, comprehensive planning, sustainability, landscape, Sweden