Informal and formal networks in regional planning in Western Sweden Merritt Polk TransportForum January 2009
Informal and formal networks in Western SwedenInformal networks and task groups• HUR 2050 (dec. 2002- on-going) – K 2020 (2003-2006) – Urban planning (2006- on-going) – Freight 2030 (2008 – on-going)GR formal project• K 2020 (dec. 2006-2008)
Future Challenges –creating a sustainable region
Collaborating partners: 30 representatives from the following 14 organizationsRegional Agency, Västra Göteborgs Harbor Götaland Transit Authority GöteborgGöteborg Regional Environmental AgencyAssociation GöteborgRegion Västra Götaland City Planning GöteborgThe Swedish Road Västtrafikadministration Business Region GöteborgThe Swedish RailAdministration City Planning MölndalThe Swedish Sea The Swedish Airadministration Administration
The initial objectives of the network• To develop a dialogue between stakeholders• To achieve a common understanding regarding how infrastructure in the region can be planned for long term sustainability• To create a platform for collaboration between all relevant actors• To compile high quality data for decision-making in the region• To develop a strategy for the realization of the agreed upon goals.
HUR 2050 StructureLeadership group – 18 supervisors and managers from the 14 organizationsProject, working and task groups – representatives from the 14 organizations focusing of different tasks and issuesVarious reference groups – youth group, under 30 representatives from the 14 organizations
Data collection• Participation in workshops, leadership, task and working group meetings since 2005.• Analysis of written material: meeting minutes and network documentation.• Interviews with network members. Formal (18) Informal meetings (many) Mini workshop (1)
Backcasting steps1. Present conditions (report)2. Dimensions and conditions for sustainable development (3 background reports on ecological, social and economic sustainability)3. The vision (scenario study, fms and Kairos Futures)4. Strategies and plans to meet the vision (Kairos Futures)2 main methods were applied1. Scenario study with fms (Environmental strategies Unit at the Royal Institute of Technology) Backcasting, brainstorming2. Workshops with Kairos Futures, a consulting agency, brainstorming, modified SWOT
Some outcomes of the process thus far• Consensus surrounding the definition of a sustainable transportation system• A future vision for the region• Strategic plans• Task groups: Urban planning, Freight 2030• Concrete projects: K 2020,Carbon dioxide strategy
Overall consensus on sustainabledevelopment in the Göteborg region1. Environmental sustainability Frame - emissions, CO2 reduced by approx. 2/3 by 20502. Economic sustainability Means - diversify the business community - flexibility, high educational levels within the region3. Social sustainability Goal - reduce segregation - adequate accessibility and participation for all
Two main framings of sustainable development in HUR 2050• An alternative framing where the environment is seen as the limit or frame for sustainable development, the economy is the means and social sustainability is the goal. Equal importance is placed on all three dimensions.• A mainstream/hegemonic framing where economic growth is seen as a prerequisite or means for attaining social and environmental sustainability. Economic growth is the overall goal.
The agreed upon vision, viabackcasting - for the year 2050Göteborg region – a strong region in Northern Europe• Compact cities with green areas.• A living, safe, and quiet city.• An accessible, integrated and diverse region.• Lifestyles that promote sustainable development.• Reduction of transport.• More effective and attractive public transit and other private transport.• More effective transport of goods.• Internationally competitive business community.• Sustainable technology for vehicles and fuels.
Strategic plans1. Develop attractive, secure, accessible and compact suburban areas2. Change travel patterns to more sustainable ones3. Carry out collaborative planning of transport, infrastructure and urban growth4. Create a learning environment for sustainable development5. Prioritize social functionality and individual physical and mental health6. Create more effective public and goods transportation7. Promote the development of sustainability via public bidding, planning and decision-making
New task and project groups1. K 2020: Sustainable infrastructure2. Collaborative urban planning3. Freight 2030
GR project: K 2020K 2020 is a daughter project of HUR 2050 that deals with planningsustainable infrastructure for the Göteborg region in the year 2020.K 2020 achieved a political mandate in December 2006,and included 50 people from 6 organizations working fulltime in theproject. The main result of the project was a public transportprogram for the region which is based upon strategic goals andprinciples for infrastructure planning. K 2020 also produced pilotprojects on transit centers, prioritized corridors and commuterparking.The K 2020 public transport program was presented to the GöteborgRegion Association of Local Authorities (GR) in September 2008 . Itis currently under review by the 13 individual municipal councils untilFebruary 2009.
Specific research questions for today’s papersWhat is the role of informal networks in transport planning forsustainable development?What characteristics of multi-stakeholder processes increase thecapacity of political and administrative institutions andorganizations to better incorporate the complexity of sustainabledevelopment in transport and urban planning?Can informal networks promote more adaptive and robustprocesses for regional planning that can better coordinate multi-level actions and act as platforms for collaboration andconsensus?
Theoretical approaches• Institutional capacity building via – Social capital: building trust via personal relationships between network members – Intellectual capital: increasing formal and informal expertise on the complexity surrounding sustainable transport – Political capital: increasing the legitimacy and influence of the members and network in political processes
Summary of results• Increased individual and professional contacts across a wide variety of sectors and levels.• Enhanced intellectual expertise of the members and ability to deal with complex long-term questions.• Both above, have increased the political legitimacy and influence of the members and network.• All together have increased the institutional capacity to attain more sustainable solutions for long term transport planning.
Summary of results cont.• Demonstrated the need for creating a unique niche for the network that does not threaten or intrude upon official processes and organizations. This was the long- term focus on 2050.• Showed both the strengths and weaknesses of informal processes for long-term transport planning. Strengths: innovative, enlightening, open forum for brainstorming, dealing with long-term, complex issues and for creating new projects Weaknesses: unclear focus, threatening, ineffectual, confusing, reduced participation and legitimacy
Recommendations for other regions1. Find a clearly defined niche for the network that is tailored for the specific planning context.2. Create a flexible and adaptive organization that can take advantage of the network process and outcomes.3. Pay special attention to finding a balance between visionary processes, implementation and effectiveness.