Linking national sustainable development strategy and local implementation: a case study in Sweden

Rowe, J and Fudge, C 2003, 'Linking national sustainable development strategy and local implementation: a case study in Sweden', Local Environment, vol. 8, no. 2, pp. 125-140.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Linking national sustainable development strategy and local implementation: a case study in Sweden
Author(s) Rowe, J
Fudge, C
Year 2003
Journal name Local Environment
Volume number 8
Issue number 2
Start page 125
End page 140
Total pages 16
Publisher Routledge
Abstract Sweden has led the way in Europe in environmental protection, ecologically based technological innovation and social democracy. As new economic and ethnographic realities impact upon it, it faces challenges to its policies and practices long familiar elsewhere in Europe. We report on a study for the Swedish Research Councils in which we examined the national framework and political strategy for sustainable development, and how the strategy is being implemented in Sweden's three major cities and two case-study municipalities. History and tradition, cultural homogeneity and a strong and shared sense between sectors of 'the public good', emerged as very important. Until recently, these have obviated the need for formal links between the environmental, social and economic agendas. They now appear inadequately developed at all levels of governance. Tensions in policy are being played out at the level of the municipality, to which power is highly devolved, and Local Agenda 21, interpreted as project rather than process, seems unequal to the task of integration. We suggest what lessons may be drawn from the Swedish experience if issues of power and trust, leadership and participatory vs representative democracy are to be resolved.
Subject Urban and Regional Planning not elsewhere classified
Keyword(s) agenda 21
local participation
policy implementation
sustainable development
Sweden
DOI - identifier 10.1080/1354983032000048451
ISSN 1354-9839
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