The Swedish government has commissioned two landscape architects to carry out a feasibility study on national spatial planning

The Swedish government has commissioned two landscape architects to carry out a feasibility study on national spatial planning

Besides looking at what a national planning could entail as well as its possibilities and challenges, the task is also to identify how the state can account for how land and water should be used in the long term, sustainable use of land and water as well as an effective physical planning, propose a structure for how national spatial planning can be designed and which issues and interests should be covered by such planning.

The physical planning is used to control the development of land and water use through trade-offs between various public and private ones interests. The municipalities, through their planning monopoly, have the greatest responsibility for physical planning in Sweden. Furthermore, regional physical planning is carried out according to the Planning and Building Act (2010:900) in Skåne County and Stockholm County.

In Sweden, the state management of physical planning is currently carried out through politically adopted goals that must be taken into account by various actors and activities and through various economic stimulus measures, legislation and sector planning. State planning of marine areas, parts of the territorial sea and the economic zone is done through marine planning and marine plans decided by the government provide guidance for trade-offs between competing interests when these overlap geographically.

There is also government planning at national level for the transport infrastructure in form of a national plan in which the government i.a. decides which ones investment objectives should come to fruition in the coming twelve year period.

The national interest system is an important part of the state’s management of national interests and form part of the formal planning system in Sweden. The system originates from the physical national planning that began in the 1970s century and which later resulted in the provisions on areas of 2 (4) national interest which can be found today in the Environmental Code. The national interest system is regulated in 3 ch. and ch. 4 the environmental code. In ch. 3 there are also regulations in the Environmental Code on interests of national importance.

As society develops, the need to on a national level also changes be able to control and change the claims on land and water areas. The national interest system contains a natural inertia that is important for creating one long-termism and predictability for subsequent planning. The system needs however, also be effective in being able to handle changes in the state’s priorities of how land and water should be used and there needs to be a clarity in the state’s often overlapping priorities national interest claims.

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