Article

Unbundling Stockholm? The networks, planning and social welfare nexus beyond the unitary city

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Abstract

This paper focuses on the extent to which recent infrastructure-oriented urban developments in Stockholm concord with various aspects of the ‘splintering urbanism’ thesis of Graham and Marvin. This contextualisation allows us to extend their work empirically and conceptually. In the first instance, we study a particular case of the decline of a unitary networked city (in an urban context largely absent from their book). In the second instance, we develop their notion of ‘unbundling’ to capture not just core changes in the organisation of infrastructure provision, but an overarching disjunction of the established nexus between networks, planning and social welfare in the city. This disjunction operates through interlinked transformations concerning, for example, privatisation and outsourcing in network services, separation of infrastructure planning from broader urban planning, contradictions between the environmental and social mandates of infrastructure, and a (prospective) curtailment of the redistributive, social role of essential network service provision. We conclude nonetheless that this ‘destructive’ moment of unbundling has not so far been pursued by more explicitly ‘creative’ urban fragmentation strategies, due largely to the vestiges of a socio-political consensus based around redistribution and equality. In this respect, the Stockholm case pleads for a conception of ‘splintering’ as a dynamic and multi-stage process which is not only always ongoing, unstable and incomplete, but also non-linear and open to resistance/regulation.

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... For instance, Botton and de Gouvello (2008) analyse how the ''political economy" of the water concession contract in Buenos Aires was radically transformed during the first ten years of its existence to cope with its potential or observed segregation effects. Rutherford (2008) discusses the policy instruments employed in Stockholm that have prevented -so far -the actualisation of the potential regressive effects of utility reforms. Even when public regulation is shaky, as in the case of water and telecommunications in Lima (Fernández-Maldonado, 2008), the outcome of reforms may not be altogether regressive. ...
... Nevertheless, the scale of these inequalities and discriminations has remained limited (problems of affordability, debts, and temporary disconnection). It does seem, in effect, socially inconceivable and politically unacceptable that a large number of households be durably (much less permanently) denied access to essential services because they are insolvent (see Rutherford, 2008; see also Coutard et al., 2008). ...
... In closing, however, I would like to emphasise that, putting aside the thesis, Splintering Urbanism offers a fruitful and valuable analytical framework 13 highlighting how an infrastructure perspective is key to the understanding of contemporary urban dynamics (and, for that matter, of territorial dynamics on all geographical scales). In this sense, the narrative developed by Graham and Marvin should be interpreted as prefigurative social theory rather than as 13 For the use of splintering urbanism as an analytical framework, see Zérah, 2008;Rutherford, 2008;and Kooy and Bakker, 2008. I thank S. Jaglin for her help in clarifying the distinction between the two interpretations. ...
Article
This paper introduces a collection of case studies aimed at “Placing Splintering Urbanism”, in reference to the thesis developed by Graham and Marvin [Graham, S., Marvin, S., 2001. Splintering Urbanism. Networked Infractructures, Technoloical Moblilities and the Urban condition. Routledge, London]. Whilst acknowledging the value of the thesis as an analytical framework in opening the way to innovative understandings of contemporary urban dynamics, the paper argues that, taken together, the articles in this themed issue seriously challenge the “splintering urbanism” thesis theoretically, empirically and methodologically. They question in particular the postulated universality of the “modern infrastructural ideal” and of “unbundling” and “bypass” processes — all of which are key elements in Graham and Marvin’s argument — as well as the assertion that reforms in infrastructure sectors should generally result in more discriminatory, socially regressive patterns of provision of essential services and more splintered urban spaces. Based on these fundamental critiques, the paper concludes that one cannot speak of “splintering urbanism in general” — i.e., as a global trend — in any meaningful analytical way.
... The 'splintering urbanism' thesis points to the way the dynamics of liberalization, unbundling and bypassing lead to fragmentation and exclusion (Graham & Marvin, 2001). But extreme 'splintering' tendencies are relatively limited in the North-West European context as they go against a socio-political tradition based on redistribution and equality (Rutherford, 2008). Also in Flanders, the liberalized energy market is regulated, and welfare and solidarity principles have been inscribed in legislation. ...
... Particularly with the emergence of collective heating systems in Flanders' dispersed territory, relations among energy infrastructure configuration, spatial morphology and energy governance are put into question. Several studies have explored these relations, through cases in the UK (Bush, Bale, & Taylor, 2016;Guy & Karvonen, 2016;Hawkey, Webb, & Winskel, 2013;Karvonen & Guy, 2018), France (Hampikian, 2017;Rocher, 2013), Germany (Späth & Rohracher, 2015), Denmark (Chittum & Østergaard, 2014) and Sweden (Rutherford, 2008). Despite the specificity of each context and research perspective, they indicate a number of key characteristics and concerns. ...
... Countries like the UK, France and Belgium are experimenting with heat planning, inspired by Denmark's successful experience with municipal energy planning (Chittum & Østergaard, 2014). Governance models vary in terms of (partnerships between) public, private and citizen ownership and spark concerns about the de facto monopoly of heat supply, affordability and accessibility, social redistribution and consumer participation in decision-making (Hawkey et al., 2013;Rocher, 2013;Rutherford, 2008). ...
Article
Energy networks have supported and reproduced Flanders’ dispersed urbanization, but today this energy-intensive landscape is running into its ecological and societal limits. As part of the energy transition, a pluralization of heating solutions is emerging in the region. Collective heating systems introduce logics of proximity, spatial selectivity and collectivity in this landscape characterised by dispersion, ubiquity of services and individualism. This paper explores what spatial and socio-political questions are at stake in the transition to a fossil-free heating system: can it support proximity-based spatial development and energy democracy or will it contribute to socio-spatial fragmentation and exclusion? These potentials and risks are revealed through an in-depth case study of the city-region of Roeselare, based on scenario and design workshops with stakeholders. The research indicates that spatial planning and design have a key role in visualising the spatial and socio-political potentials of the heat transition, by visualising opportunities for collective solutions at multiple scales, connecting energy strategies with other spatial questions, and imagining more inclusive governance models.
... 50 % občinskih stanovanj in 50 % zasebnih stanovanj, z novo shemo, tj. 70 % : 30 % v korist zasebnih stanovanj (Rutherford 2008;Dahlberg 2015). ...
... Soseska ima danes relativno homogeno socialno strukturo prebivalstva. Povprečni dohodek v soseski je približno 20 odstotkov nad mestnim povprečjem (Rutherford 2008;Fraker 2013). Prejemnikov socialne pomoči v Hammarby Sjöstadu je le od 1,0 % do 1,5 %, kar je bistveno manj kot mestno povprečje (5,7 %) (Rutherford 2008). ...
... Povprečni dohodek v soseski je približno 20 odstotkov nad mestnim povprečjem (Rutherford 2008;Fraker 2013). Prejemnikov socialne pomoči v Hammarby Sjöstadu je le od 1,0 % do 1,5 %, kar je bistveno manj kot mestno povprečje (5,7 %) (Rutherford 2008). 19 % prebivalcev soseske Hammarby Sjöstad ima etnične korenine zunaj Švedske, kar je manj od povprečja Stockholma (31 %) (Mesto Stockholm 2013). ...
Book
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Koncept trajnostne soseske je izrazito holističen ter upošteva konstantno ravnovesje med okoljskimi, socialnimi in ekonomskimi težnjami. V monografiji je sedem reprezentativnih evropskih trajnostnih sosesk podrobno analiziranih po identificiranih trajnostnih gradnikih, razvrščenih v štiri stebre trajnostnega urbanega razvoja: družbeno-ekonomska uravnoteženost, trajnostna raba naravnih virov, trajnostni promet in urbanistični elementi trajnostnega razvoja. Rezultati obsežne raziskave omogočajo inovativen vpogled v strukturo trajnostne urbane skupnosti in njene manifestacije skozi urbano formo. Podrobna predstavitev in interdisciplinarna analiza najuspešnejših evropskih trajnostnih sosesk razgrinjata nove razsežnosti, nove perspektive trajnostnega urbanizma. Z analizo gradnikov trajnostnega urbanega razvoja, ki se izražajo oz. aktivirajo v vsakdanjem življenju, lahko dobimo nazornejšo predstavo, kako ti zaživijo v urbanem okolju. Trajnostne soseske predstavljajo možen zgled za mesta 21. stoletja. Čeprav so bile v Evropi implementirane številne trajnostne soseske, pa so te specifične urbane tvorbe še vedno skoraj povsem neznane v Sloveniji. Tudi zaradi tega so v monografiji podrobno analizirane in predstavljene, da bi tako omogočili lažji prenos inovativnih trajnostnih urbanih rešitev v slovenska mesta.
... [28], as DH companies were to be run on market principles and pricing rather than previous self-cost price, but without competitive elements. Put bluntly, market pricing in natural monopolies was introduced, and increased prices in Stockholm and Uppsala led to protests and subsequent national investigations [53,55]. Westin and Lagergre [67] argue that: "The lack of comprehensive discussions about the impacts on district heating prior to the reformation of the electricity markets in 1996 is astonishing." ...
... The question of competition through third-party access has been present in the sector since the early 2000s, especially after Fortum bought the energy company in the city of Stockholm and with the sale of Uppsala Energi to Vattenfall, which in both cases led to rapidly increasing prices [53,55]. On two occasions, 2003-2005 and 2009-2011, a third-party access (TPA) to the DH systems in Sweden was subject to national investigations due to the customers' weak positions. ...
... Rutherford [55] showed how the sale of the energy company in the city of Stockholm may not be an extreme case concerning splintering effects [28], although there are signs of a first stage of neoliberalism of space due to the selling off of the energy company, outsourcing of activities not considered core business in the water company, beginning of decreasing affordability of network services, an increasing distance between urban policy and infrastructure policy, and the non-intervention on the increasing prices from the municipal side, despite a 50% financial interest. Magnusson [43] saw changes on a regional level in the Stockholm region, as privatization of DH companies practically ended a rather successful 25-year regional cooperation on energy. ...
Article
District heating in Sweden has undergone changes in recent decades. Parallel with transition towards sustainability, a considerable ownership restructuring has occurred, due to liberalization of energy markets. The aim of this paper is to describe and analyze trends of mergers and acquisitions in the Swedish district heating market. A systematic review of ownership in 290 municipalities has been performed through annual reports, press releases, websites, municipal minutes, newspaper articles and personal contacts. The paper shows a transformation from municipal to diverse ownership, decreased municipal ownership and increased internationalization. The window of opportunity provided by liberalization was used especially by the “big three” (E.ON, Fortum and Vattenfall) in order to strengthen market position early in the wave of acquisitions. The time period 1996–2005 was especially hectic, showing strategies of cherry picking hot spots for acquisitions, with the “big three” being responsible for a large proportion of these. The period after 2006 showed trends of companies selling several district heating businesses at once, through large-scale disinvestment. The paper shows a transformation of the district heating regime, first as a reaction to changes on the electricity market and later in its own right, raising concerns regarding the weak position of customers.
... In order to open this dichotomy up to a more nuanced critique this paper explores the attitudes of a sample of artists towards creative city policy in Stockholm, Sweden. Stockholm has seen a growth in the adoption of instrumental views of culture, art and creativity as part of its increasingly neoliberalised urban policy (Stahre, 2004;Rutherford, 2008;Loit, 2014), and artists have certainly shown an awareness of and opposition to the exploitation of culture in this context (cf. Harvey, 2012;Novy and Colomb, 2013). ...
... For many of these artists, the 'overnight' neoliberalisation of Stockholm (see Stahre, 2004;Rutherford, 2008, Loit, 2014 primarily means 'the loss of a social project' (a viewpoint relating explicitly to Sweden's and Stockholm's long-term social democratic political stance (see Hall, 1998) that many see as having been eroded in the last decades) and that 'Stockholm is no longer for everyone' (Stock-23, M). A frequently expressed view is that the neoliberalisation of the city is having negative social impacts, meaning that not all citizens are included but that Stockholm has become a place only for the wealthy, but also more specifically that policy and current urban development projects, including the use of culture and creativity, create and legitimate divisions and segregation in society. ...
Article
Much of the literature around notions of the ’creative class’ and the ‘creative city’ has placed artists as a central, typical creative group. However, that literature has often placed artists in a conceptual dichotomy - either they are seen as uncritical champions of creative city policy (because it boosts their profile and markets) or they are placed in radical opposition to it. This paper explores the attitudes of a sample of artists in Stockholm, Sweden to open this dichotomy up to a more nuanced critique. The analysis considers the diversity of views, attitudes and perceptions of these artists towards creative city policy. While opposition and resistance to the application of creative city policy can certainly be found, the paper seeks to move beyond this to examine how the lack of accord between creative producers and policy-makers can be the outcome of more mundane, everyday practices. In addition, artists join together in specific projects and loose, ephemeral networks to address the issues surrounding the implementation of creative city policy in ways which oppose it but also seek alternatives through engaging planners and the public. Overall the paper calls for an understanding of artists which goes beyond the enthusiast/opponent dichotomy towards developing an understanding of the diverse range of artist responses and engagement with creative city policy.
... The nascent literature analyzing eco-districts suggests that the publicity they have generated is not supported by actual outcomes. Rutherford (2008) comments that there is more environmental discourse than actual performance measurement of Stockholm's Hammarby Sjöstad. Sussman (2012) evaluates Vancouver's widely acclaimed Southeast False Creek eco-district and suggests that it has made limited progress toward GHG reduction. ...
... He points to the city council dropping a requirement in the South East False Creek eco-district that one-third of the development be designated as low-income. Similarly, Rutherford (2008) points out that a conservative change of government shifted the split in private and municipal housing for Hammarby Sjöstad from 50-50 to 70-30, ensuring that it would be a green middle-class enclave. Critics of Malmö's Western Harbour argue that it has transformed a post-industrial landscape into a middle-class enclave built to meet economic development goals (Baeten, 2012;Sandberg, 2014). ...
Article
Full-text available
Despite signing the Mayors Climate Change Agreement, few US cities have made significant progress in either climate mitigation or adaptation. For the most part, European cities have been more effective, albeit with assistance from the European Union and their national governments. Several of the most successful European cities have implemented eco-districts, which have offered many lessons for overall sustainability planning. Using Malmö, Sweden as a case study, we ask how planners and elected officials learned from implementing an eco-district, focusing on experimentation with new technologies and approaches to planning. We identify how “double-loop learning”, a term coined by Argyris and Shön, was at play in changing planning practice. As eco-districts are catching on in North American cities, there is much to be learned from European practice.
... This was one of several cases where Fortum was reported to the Competition Authority and common to all the reports is the discussion of whether or not Fortum was taking advantage of its monopoly situation. (Palm and Magnusson, 2009) The situation after the selloff has been studied by Jonathan Rutherford (2008), using a Splintering Urbanism perspective. He found that Stockholm, despite large price increases, is not a typical example of splintering, or the transition from a welfare city to a neoliberal city. ...
... Privatisation and decreased affordability to network services because of rising prices are examples of splintering processes, but more extreme examples are not yet apparent. There is a consensus on equality and a social unacceptability of extreme economic measures, which is why we have not seen the same processes with disconnections from networks that have been the case in Great Britain (Rutherford, 2008). Prices have increased, but not to extreme heights, but what has often been criticised is the lack of communication which may be a result of the unbundling of the municipality and the energy company. ...
Article
Full-text available
The Swedish energy sector has gone through a number of major changes over the last 15 years. In 1996, the electricity market was deregulated, and at the same time the prerequisites for district heating were changed, as the heat was now supposed to be sold at market price rather than self-cost price. In this chapter we analyse the process of market transformation in the district heating sector following deregulation, by using case studies on the development in Stockholm and media reports on district heating. As a theoretical framework we use the theories of Large Technical Systems and Splintering Urbanism. We show that after deregulation, a major market transformation occurred, as many municipalities sold their energy companies, either to private actors or larger municipally-owned energy companies. Following this, the price of district heating increased rapidly, especially in Stockholm and Uppsala, where both municipalities sold their energy company. The price increases led to protests and debate in the media, where it became clear that there is a significant disparity in the interpretation of the market for district heating. The protesters argue that the energy companies are taking advantage of the natural monopoly that the district heating systems constitute. The energy companies on the other hand argue that they are acting in a heating market, where they are competing with other heating systems, such as heat pumps. However, the protesters argue that the lockin effects are such that once district heating is chosen, it is almost impossible to change systems because of the high investment costs. It is also clear that customers have not accepted the new market structure. Rather, many are arguing in favor of the "old system", with municipallyowned companies. The protests have also led to two government investigations regarding the possibility of an introduction of obligatory Third Party Access to the district heating systems, as a way to create competition within the market. Some of the energy companies oppose such an introduction, while others are in favor, as they see an opportunity to enter the market and compete for customers. However, there is no clear evidence that prices would actually decrease. Nevertheless, the processes over the last few years have shown how energy has gone from an invisible product that is simply "there" to something that is debated with a higher degree of public awareness.
... [31]; resource supply networks locking technologies to specific fuels (natural gas, coal and oil); established regulatory frameworks and policies in the energy sectors and heat markets [32], e.g. inexpensive electricity in Serbia and natural gas in Ukraine until the geopolitical crisis in 2014; centralisation of municipal energy planning [33]; practices of urban planning and infrastructure planning disjunction [34,35]; and the high maintenance costs for existing heating infrastructure constraining investments in new heating solutions. ...
... The scenarios selected for in-depth analysis stimulated discussions about potential conflicts and possible points of consensus and collaboration within new socio-technical configurations, as well as enabling rethinking of the roles of different stakeholders in the future. The method enabled transparent examination of existing and possible future lock-ins that are typical of infrastructure sector development [6,34]. Furthermore, it leads to the possibility to at least partly meet the short-sightedness typical of infrastructure sector planning [5] by exploring scenarios challenging the existing socio-technical regime and analysing long-term consequences of alternative choices (e.g. ...
Article
The transition to more sustainable heating systems requires socio-technical approaches to strategic planning. Scenario development plays a key role in strategic planning, as the process supports the development of future visions and actions required for their realisation. However, new approaches to scenario development are required to address the limitations of conventional scenario development methods, such as the cognitive barriers of 'groupthink', reluctance to consider 'outside-the-box' options, handling of complexity, and ad hoc scenario selection and general non-transparency of scenario development processes. This paper describes the development and implementation of a novel method for scenario development and selection in the context of participatory strategic planning for sustainable heating in cities. The method is based on the morphological approach and a number of scenario criteria including . transparency, . reliability, . coverage, . completeness, . relevance/. density, . creativity, . interpretability, . consistency, . differentiation and . plausibility. It integrates creativity workshops and interdisciplinary stakeholder participation to enhance the ownership and legitimacy of the scenarios. The approach entails the generation of a complete space of scenarios for heating systems and reduction of this space using cross-consistency analysis and project-specific requirements. Iterative development and implementation of the method is illustrated using two participatory backcasting projects focused on strategic planning for providing a comfortable indoor climate for Bila Tserkva, Ukraine, and Niš, Serbia by the year 2030. The results demonstrate that the method helps overcome the limitations of conventional approaches to scenario development and supports rigorous and transparent selection of a scenario set for participatory analysis. The method fostered the elicitation of consensus-based scenarios for more sustainable heating systems in both cities with regard to the quality of indoor comfort, environmental impact, resource efficiency and energy security.
... Whilst there may be a disconnect between the Sweden of the real world and the "slightly imaginary Sweden" (Heilbroner 1992:46, cited in Christophers 2013 now built firmly into the utopian imaginaries of many on the international left, it remains true that the Swedish model did for many years provide some of the best evidence of a successful welfare state politics in action, with an overwhelming socio-political consensus built over a number of decades based on ideas such as wage solidarity and universalism within welfare, and supported by well-functioning institutions (Rutherford 2008;Schierup and Scarpa 2017;Stahre 2004). However, since the end of the 1980s Sweden has undergone what Schierup and Scarpa (2017:42) have described as "a ground-shattering reimagineering of the nation" along broadly neoliberal lines. ...
... This process has incorporated sweeping restructurings of welfare systems, housing politics (Baeten 2012; Grundstr€ om and Molina 2016; Gustafsson 2019), the privatisation of a number of previously state-run institutions (Stahre 2004) and a novel focus on producing "commodifiable neighbourhoods" within increasingly entrepreneurial cities (Madureira and Baeten 2016:373). A number of scholars working in the Swedish context have however argued that the particular expressions of "actually existing neoliberalism" in Sweden (Brenner and Theodore 2002), produced in the context of a pre-existing discursive and institutional setting provided by years of social democratic consensus, has produced a somewhat fragmented expression of neoliberal ideology (Cele 2015;Rutherford 2008;Stahre 2004). In this sense, processes of neoliberal restructuring stand in tension with a set of distinctly anti-neoliberal values and institutions, producing a fragmented socio-political landscape which Christophers (2013) has described (with regard to Swedish housing politics) as a "monstrous hybrid". ...
Article
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The emergence over the last decade of large numbers of vulnerable EU citizens begging on Swedish streets has led to ambivalent responses from the Swedish state, including from local police forces charged with policing public order. Based on research including interviews with vulnerable EU citizens and with police officials in two socio‐economically divergent areas of Stockholm, this paper seeks to understand how policing practices are motivated and enacted towards this group and how these practices are experienced by those targeted. The results reveal a set of policing practices which, whilst framed within a depoliticised logic of what Nicholas Blomley calls “pedestrianism”, work to produce spatially uneven punitive landscapes for those begging. The paper argues that understanding the role of police as “street‐level bureaucrats” (following Michael Lipsky), with the agency to escalate or soften revanchist landscapes, is fundamental to understanding the contingencies at the heart of punitive urbanisms.
... Thus, integration and immigration are linked to economic growth, but not to environmental issues as in the environmental justice discourse. The shift from welfare provision and socio-economic redistribution to a focus on cities as magnets for economic growth is not unique for Stockholm, but can be seen in many places around the world (Rutherford, 2008).This shift may not even be as strong in Stockholm as in many other places (ibid.: 1882). ...
... This resembles Orrskog and Bradley's (2006) suggestion that there is a need in Sweden for proactive planners working in non-governmental settings devoted to marginalized groups and issues. It is also a way of bringing back some utopianism into planning, instead of only pragmatism (see Rutherford, 2008Rutherford, : 1872. This could help in highlighting conflicting interests in the planning process that are not possible to solve by consensus. ...
Article
The aim of this article is to see how awareness of sustainable development and environmental justice can be increased and operationalized in planning through the use of scenarios. On scrutinizing four long-term urban development strategies for Stockholm, we found that they all intend to depict a sustainable urban development, but the resultant images are very different. This article underlines the importance of combining environmental justice with an understanding of environmental threats and risks. We see that the carrying capacity of nature is limited, but we also see the need to share resources justly and make sure that environmental degradation does not systematically strike certain groups only. The conceptual elements are applied to four scenarios for a future Stockholm, zooming in to some extent on a suburban shopping node just outside the city. The point of focusing on it is that such shopping areas are sometimes seen as symbols of non-sustainable city development, but, since they are already in place, their function in the future city needs to be discussed. © 2011 The Authors. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research
... Sweden. The Swedish model of Governance is founded on the decentralization of public administration to the municipal scale (Rutherford, 2008). For over 20 years the 290 municipalities of Sweden have the exclusive responsibility of infrastructure planning, including telecommunications, over their territories. ...
... Political-economic processes that are considered negative (most recently neoliberalism) are often understood to produce almost universally adverse trends in infrastructure (eg, Marvin, 1995, 2001). Authors have argued that this predilection stems from a lack of attention to both the contingency of technology (Coutard and Guy, 2007) and to the diversity of experiences and outcomes witnessed across space (Kooy and Bakker, 2008;Rutherford, 2008). Latour, moreover, makes the point that the attribution of expressions of domination (or even efficiency) to technologies overlooks the associated network of social and material relations, the description of which is necessary for any technology to be meaningfully understood (Latour, 1991: 130). ...
Article
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Infrastructure tends to be conceived as stabilized and ‘black-boxed’ with little interaction from users. This fixity is in flux in ways not yet fully considered in either geography or science and technology studies (STS). Driven by environmental and economic concerns, water utilities are increasingly introducing efficiency technologies into infrastructure networks. These, I argue, serve as ‘mediating technologies’ shifting long-accepted socio-technical and environmental relationships in cities. The essay argues for a new approach to infrastructure that, by integrating insights from STS and geography, highlights its malleability and offers conceptual tools to consider how this malleability might be fostered.
... alternativprissättning, som inte minst tillämpas i idag i vissa kommuner (se t.ex. Rutherford, 2008). ...
... Closer to home, the Western Harbour is often compared with Stockholm's Hammarby Sjöstad (see Pandis Iverot and Brandt 2011). This neighbourhood resembles Western Harbour in that it started in the mid-1990s, is primarily built for the well off, is very profiled for its "environmental" solutions, and has been accused of greenwashing (see Rutherford 2008). And as observant reader will notice: these characteristics will not make any of them unique internationally. ...
Article
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As economic and ecological crises evolve in combination, some policy strategies might aim at killing the two birds with one stone. One recent example can be found in Malmö, Sweden, where crisis management has operated, we propose, as a green fix. The district of Västra hamnen (Western Harbour) is at the centre of the reinvention of the city: once the home of a world-leading shipyard, it is now a no less prominent neighbourhood of ecological virtues. Through outlining the history of Malmö in general and the Western Harbour in particular, we identify how the municipality and local capital in concert increasingly used “green” strategies in the urban policies that started as crisis management in the 1990s. Today Malmö is reckoned to be among the world's greenest cities, and we reflect on the importance of this international recognition for the city. Finally, we develop a critique of the green fix as concealing crucial factors of scale, and hence running the risk of myopia.
... From a social justice perspective premium transport networks are seen foremost as fragmented and unbundled infrastructures (Graham 2000) that further disconnect and exclude 'mobility poor' populations and deprived neighbourhoods from network interactions, and produce socially and spatially splintered urban societies (Graham and Marvin 2001). The 6 divergence of high-and low-speed transport networks along with a series of facelifts and deteriorations of connected and disconnected neighbourhoods have been both key expressions and drivers of transformation of unitary cities into "two-track" urban systems in the Anglo-Saxon world (Soja 2010, MacRury 2008, where transport network liberalisation is more apparent, andmore recently -in continental Europe (Trip 2007;Rutherford 2008). ...
Chapter
This chapter investigates the qualities of urban travel time by looking at daily mobilities as time-spaces of social encounter. Following the ‘new mobilities paradigm’, we regard everyday urban mobility not only as a ‘means to an end’ but also as an ‘end in itself’. This implies a move from instrumental, utilitarian and deterministic understandings of travel time towards a holistic conceptualisation of urban mobility that calls for the embedding of social qualities of travel in urban planning and design. We argue that urban public transport networks are political sites of the everyday wherein emancipatory and discriminatory practices are not only enacted but also reshaped through different events, encounters and processes. Hence, we challenge traditional time-saving strategies in transport appraisal and call for a more complex and politicised approach to time in policy-making that would highlight a socially just consideration of speed, efficiency and qualitative aspects of urban travel.
... The upper shaded area shows the monopoly profit. In Sweden we see evidence also of monopolistic pricing strategies in some regions (e.g., Rutherford, 2008), as also highlighted by the Swedish Competition Authority's ongoing investigation of opportunistic pricing behaviour in Stockholm and Uppsala. Thus, the presence of different pricing strategies in different district heating networks provide one important explanation for why the price of district heating services may differ significantly across different Swedish regions. ...
Article
The purpose of this paper is to analyse the possible effects of introducing TPA in district heating networks by identifying and scrutinizing a number of possible scenarios for increased competition. The analysis builds on a theoretical discussion of economic efficiency in district heating operations, and the possible impacts on consumer prices of a market opening. An important conclusion is that regulated TPA may have small positive effects on competition, and at the same time it can have a negative impact on the possibility to run the integrated district heating operations in a cost-effective manner. This conclusion stems in part from the observation that most district heating networks are local in scope. Moreover, district heating operations are highly interdependent in, for instance, that the level of the return temperature of the water will affect the efficiency of combined heat and power plants. For these reasons, the introduction of the so-called single-buyer model or, perhaps even more preferable, an extended and more transparent producer market could represent more efficient market designs. Moreover, in networks with clear natural monopoly characteristics an ex ante price regulation must be considered.
... Par exemple, le modèle des services publics en réseau, ancré dans le paradigme de la croissance (du fait de coûts fixes devant être rentabilisés par des économies d'échelles) atteint ses limites car inadapté lorsque survient la décroissance urbaine ; il est ainsi remis en question au profit d'un modèle flexible prônant des solutions autonomes d'autoproduction des services urbains. Les conséquences socio-spatiales de la généralisation de ce nouveau modèle interrogent (Coutard, 2008cité par Dupuy, 2011Rutherford, 2008;Zepf et al., 2008 La première remise en question de la croissance sur la scène internationale se trouve dans le rapport Meadows (1972) commandé par le Club de Rome : "Limits to Growth". L'équation à résoudre d'une croissance économique sans fin, ajoutée à la croissance démographique, le tout sous contrainte de ressources limitées y est clairement posée, ainsi que lors de la conférence des Nations-Unies sur l'Environnement Humain, à Stockholm (en 1972). ...
... The flow and exchange of information has always been of prime importance for cities. As such, cities have always benefited from information infrastructures linking them to other places, ranging from various forms of postal service to today's 'information superhighways' based on the global Internet (Rutherford, 2008). However, information and knowledge exchanges, it would seem, are now more important for cities than they have ever been. ...
Article
‘Digital’ telecommunication flows and ‘physical’ corporeal flows provide researchers with comprehensive indicators of the economic interactions between cities. However, previous research drawing on telecommunication-based measures of inter-urban connectivity has been hampered by inadequate conceptualizations and data. This paper draws on this observation to devise a new approach for measuring inter-urban connectivity based on a city’s insertion in Internet backbone networks. The straightforward example of air transport flows is thereby used to outline this approach. To investigate telecommunication and air passenger flows, use is made of European statistics on Internet eXchange Points and the MIDT airline database respectively. The approach is illustrated through a systematic comparison of the position of European cities in both types of networks. It is found that European cities assume largely similar hierarchical levels in terms of digital and physical information flows, albeit that the digital connectivity of centrally located European cities is often somewhat higher than that of peripheral cities with a similar levels of physical connectivity.
... Beyond the debate about the nature and the scale of neoliberal urban policies, there is agreement that economic globalisation, financialisation, the dismantling of Fordist agreements and the introduction of capitalist systems in previously socialist countries ( Perkins, 2009;Viitanen & Kingston, 2014) mean that market actors are more relevant in the production and provision of urban infrastructure. Trends have been observed of market-driven privatisation and unbundling of urban utilities and infrastructure (Bridge, 2014; O' Brien & Pike, 2017;Rutherford, 2008). Local monopolies have been liberalised with a subsequent multiplication of providers, while mundane affairs such as waste management have become a highly valuable business for global market players ( Coutard, 2010). ...
Article
The water-energy-food nexus has achieved considerable prominence across academic research and policy sectors. The nexus sets an imperative for integrated management and policymaking, centring on the potential trade-offs and complementarities between interdependent water, energy and food systems. Applications of the nexus focus largely on technical or managerial solutions and calls to acknowledge the political dimension of nexus interdependencies have implications for governance at the urban scale. This paper aims to ‘urbanise' the nexus agenda and consider the implications of policy integration for urban governance. This examines the nexus in the context of current approaches to urban governance and power relations shaping the provision of water, energy and food in urban areas. Urban infrastructure networks underpin these resource systems and related management systems, although their management tends to operate in silos, with little joint decision-making and planning. Three hypotheses about the interplay between integrative policy framings and urban governance are explored to reconcile integrative policy framings at the urban scale: the appropriation of the nexus narrative by urban governments; re-establishment of political power through integrated management, and implementation of the nexus through smart city approaches. These hypotheses progress the political dimension of the nexus debate and reflect on the role of urban governance in addressing global challenges.
... Through the debates over the 'zero carbon' imperative and the alternative pathways of design and development that resulted, regulators and the homebuilding industry agreed upon a hierarchy of approaches to reducing to carbon footprint of new houses. In particular, there was a shared 4 See Smith 2007, Rutherford 2008, Coutard and Rutherford 2010, Hodson and Marvin 2010, Coutard and Rutherford 2011, Loorbach and Verbong 2012, Bridge et al 2013, Rydin et al 2013, and Rutherford and Coutard 2014 Note that the CSH covered more than energy efficiency and carbon footprints; it was a holistic regulatory framework that addressed the standard elements of green design, construction, and operation. In this chapter, we focus specifically on energy and carbon. ...
... This flow is aimed at reusing and recycling resources, energy recovery and renewable energy (Williams, 2017). Hammarby, however, continues to face a number of challenges including meeting its car ownership targets (The World Energy Foundation, 2016), reaching energy efficiency goals (Sousanabadi Farahani & Mohammadi, 2013) and overcoming income-segregation (Rutherford, 2008). ...
Book
This book is inspired by teaching on a postgraduate module, the Sustainable Urban Development Project (BPLN0059), within the MSc Sustainable Urbanism programme at the Bartlett School of Planning, University College London. Teaching is delivered by six academic tutors led by Dr Catalina Turcu across two master programmes, MSc Sustainable Urbanism and MSc Transport and City Planning, and runs over eleven weeks during the winter term (January to March). Half-way through the project work, the students undertake one-week fieldtrip to the country and location of the project site. The module’s teaching philosophy rests on the Capstone teaching and learning approach. That means that students work or ‘collaborate’ directly with a ‘client’ (i.e. a municipality or city in this case) while on an academic assignment. Students have to deal with complex urban challenges in the development of a large-scale site and propose 15-20 year long Strategic Sustainable Urban Plans (SSUPs) for the site. This book draws on a selection of student work from the 2016-17 and 2017-18 cohorts and looks at a site in the municipality of Nacka in the Stockholm Region, Nacka City (or Västra Sicklaön in Swedish). The book is developed over four parts: introduction, site analysis, theoretical underpinnings of student work and, finally, an overview of four student projects.
... 3) Enfin, et peut-être est-ce le gage le plus important en termes de viabilité et d'efficacité de la stratégie urbaine engagée à Stockholm, la Suède est caractérisée par une remarquable capacité à planifier à long terme, à « tenir le cap » (en dépit des alternances politiques) et à organiser une gouvernance participative. La planification et l'aménagement du territoire constituent, en effet, une composante essentielle du « modèle social suédois » de l'Après-Guerre (Cars et Von Sydow, 2001 ;Hårsman et Rader Olsson, 2003 ;Vestbro, 2005 ;Orrskog et Bradley, 2006 ;Rutherford, 2008 ;Langlais, 2009 Le développement de ces indications d'origine et signes de qualité permet de proposer une production alternative fondée sur la qualité et la valorisation par des prix élevés. La stratégie d'un certain nombre de territoires est alors de valoriser ces ressources territoriales issues de la spécificité des espaces et des groupes humains et de dégager un « surplus territorial » (Pecqueur, 2007 ;Roux et al., 2006). ...
... In doing so, we make a distinct argument about the changing logics of ecological modernisation and capital accumulation. The process of neoliberalisation of urban resource governance, particularly in 'networked' North American and European cities, has typically been understood as one of infrastructural and institutional unbundling (Graham and Marvin, 2001;Rutherford, 2008). Albeit in a non-linear sense (Coutard, 2008), unbundling denotes a process whereby infrastructures are, broadly speaking, divided and transferred to private ownership in order to encourage the development of competition and market forces in resource allocation. ...
Article
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The ‘resource nexus’ has emerged over the past decade as an important new paradigm of environmental governance, which emphasises the interconnections, tensions and synergies between sectors that have traditionally been managed separately. Nexus thinking presents itself as a radically new approach to integrated governance in response to interconnected socio-environmental challenges and constraints. This paper provides a critical review of nexus thinking. The nexus paradigm, we contend, is part of a broader trend towards integrated environmental governance where previously externalised ‘bad’ nature is increasingly internalised by capital. In general, the nexus discourse has become techno-managerial in style, linear in its analysis and reductionist in its recommendations. Focussing particularly on urban water and energy infrastructure as important political sites in the (re)configuration of resource connectivities, we advance two principal arguments. Firstly, that the current nexus thinking inadequately conceptualises the scalar politics of interconnections between resource sectors. Secondly, we challenge the currently pervasive focus on technological and institutional ‘solutions’, efficiency-oriented ecological modernist vision and the presentation of ‘integration’ as a panacea for unsustainable resource practices.
... These energy planning strategies are the subject of numerous scientific papers that cast light on the issue from the perspective of projects and local action (Rutherford & Coutard, 2014;Bulkeley & Betsill, 2013;Godinot, 2011;Poupeau, 2000Poupeau, , 2013, revealing in particular the tensions that these processes can create (Rutherford, 2008) and the varying degrees of social acceptability arising from them (La Branche, 2009). ...
... In this regard, Fitzgerald and Lenhart (2016) have highlighted the lack of longitudinal studies and the importance of post-occupancy studies that focus on the success of green building in practice as they are being used and inhabited. They argue that publicity and success stories of eco-districts are not necessarily supported by actual outcomes and that more needs to be done to evaluate the long-term sustainability of urban greening initiatives (on Stockholm see also Rutherford 2008). ...
Chapter
Cities have long been seen as important in achieving sustainability. However, conceptions of and approaches to urban sustainability and greening have changed over time from a primary focus of environmental problems as urban problems to cities as leaders in global climate change mitigation. This chapter provides a brief overview over the changes in understandings of and research on urban sustainability over the past few decades with a specific focus on governance and sustainability approaches. The literature review provides the context for situating and understanding green building transitions in the four case study regions where interpretations and implementations of green building have changed over time and need to be understood within the broader spatial and temporal context. The chapter introduces the concept of policy mobility and related work on urban assemblages that emphasise the relational character of local and urban processes. These perspectives understand cities as consisting of both local and global influences and elements. One emphasis of policy mobility is to understand these relationships through processes of learning, adaptation and mutation of knowledge and practises (e.g. green building policies, certification programs, planning approaches and construction techniques) between individuals and actor groups such as policy-makers, consultants, scientists, urban designers and architects. The chapter proposes an analytical framework that utilises the synergies of policy mobility and transition study approaches and that addresses the complexity of sustainability transitions as socio-spatial and socio-technical processes.
... Only 17 per cent of privately-owned Swedish utilities now consider energy supply as their main objective, as opposed to 38 per cent for municipally owned utilities (Åberg et al. 2016). This change in mission in part explains the significant increase in district heating rates for Swedish apartment buildings during the 2000s (Åberg et al. 2016;Swedish Energy Agency 2012), in Stockholm in particular (Rutherford 2008) ( Table 5). The restructuring that has led to the recoupling of CHP and DH has promoted greater energy efficiency and biomass use, but may also pose a significant financial burden on those who struggle to meet basic needs. ...
Article
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District heating (DH) and combined heat and power (CHP) are often considered complementary green technologies (DH-CHP) that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions. They are, however, complex given their operation at the intersection of shifting socio-spatial relations and political power struggles. We investigate the political processes behind the diffusion (and blocked diffusion) of DH and CHP in Sweden from 1945 until 2011, considered through the lens of Jessop, Brenner and Jones' (2008) Territory, Place, Scale and Networks (TPSN) framework. Foregrounding the socio-spatial constitution of policy decisions, we examine Sweden's changing patterns of DH and CHP adoption. First, we present the TPSN framework that considers space as simultaneously a structuring principle, enabling and constraining action, as well as a field of operation in which agency is exercised. Second, we examine the socio-spatial structuration of energy systems. Third, we analyse how the changing socio-spatial constitution of each socio-technical system affects key actors' interests and actions, including the spatial strategies they develop to advance their interests. District heating rapidly diffused across Swedish municipalities in large part because it was considered to be urban infrastructure aligned with the mission of municipalities and was not in direct competition with other actors supplying heat. CHP electricity generation, on the other hand, was initially seen as a benefit to municipal utilities, but was later considered a threat to the interests of large-scale utilities and blocked, only to gain favour again when changing socio-spatial conditions made CHP an asset to large-scale utilities. Our analysis suggests that technological diffusion and blockage is far from a straightforward matter. It requires examination of the dynamics of multi-level governance and overlapping socio-technical systems. Socio-technical regimes are in constant evolution and actors struggle to adapt to new circumstances. Socio-technical systems are not merely material systems, but an expression of dynamic power relations and adaptation strategies. Zusammenfassung Fernwärme und Kraft-Wärme-Koppelung werden oft als komplementäre grüne Technologien betrachtet, die ei-nen Beitrag zur Reduzierung von Treibhausgasen in der Atmosphäre leisten können. Sie sind jedoch komplex, da ihr Betrieb mit einem Wandel sozio-räumlicher Beziehungen und mit Machtkämpfen der politischen Aushand-lung verbunden ist. Im vorliegenden Beitrag untersuchen wir die politischen Prozesse, die mit der räumlichen Ausbreitung (und mit der Verhinderung) beider Technologien in Schweden zwischen 1945 und 2011 einher-gingen, aus dem Blickwinkel des von Jessop, Brenner and Jones (2008) formulierten Territory, Place, Scale and
... The range of activities that occur in response to inadequate piped water provision has led some researchers to call for new infrastructural models that take seriously the integration of other types of supply or of other more sustainable approaches (Pieterse, 2008;Furlong, 2014;Jaglin, 2014;Meehan, 2014). Such thinking is likewise relevant for Northern cities, increasingly concerned with energy consumption and waste cycling (Rutherford, 2008;Coutard, 2010). ...
Article
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This article draws on scholarship in Southern theory to ‘world’ the study of water’s urbanization. This means complicating scholarship by widening the focus beyond the application of Northern norms to engage with complex and diverse practices in Southern cities. For water’s urbanization, this means focusing on what water supply is for the majority: neither the centralized piped-water network nor its absence, but the range of practices and technologies that unite people, nature and artefacts in a complex socio-ecological politics of water. Drawing on scholarship from Southern urbanisms, urban political ecology, and science and technology studies, we illustrate how expanding water’s urbanization to include more than networked infrastructure in Jakarta draws attention to the importance of ecological connections between piped water, groundwater, wastewater and floodwater. Thinking beyond the network requires deeper engagement with the ecological connections between the diverse flows of water in and around urban environments. These produce distinct forms of fragmentation that are missed when analysis is limited to piped-water supply. The emphasis on ecological connections between flows of water and power seeks to draw attention back to the importance of the uneven exposure to environmental hazards in cities in which neither water nor nature are wholly contained by infrastructure.
... To apply the framework of strategic functions as described above, we conducted a deductive case study of experimental governance in Stockholm. Swedish municipalities have an explicit and strong mandate for selfgovernance with significant responsibilities for urban planning that include a planning monopoly and extensive land ownership (Montin & Granberg, 2007;Rutherford, 2008). Stockholm is the largest city in Sweden and actively participates in global networks such as C40 and ICLEI to realise their sustainability ambitions. ...
Article
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Experimental governance is increasingly being implemented in cities around the world through laboratories, testbeds, platforms, and innovation districts to address a wide range of complex sustainability challenges. Experiments often involve public-private partnerships and triple helix collaborations with the municipality as a key stakeholder. This stretches the responsibilities of local authorities beyond conventional practices of policymaking and regulation to engage in more applied, collaborative, and recursive forms of planning. In this article, we examine how local authorities are involved in experimental governance and how this is influencing their approach to urban development. We are specifically interested in the multiple strategic functions that municipalities play in experimental governance and the broader implications to existing urban planning practices and norms. We begin the article by developing an analytic framework of the most common strategic functions of municipalities in experimental governance and then apply this framework to Stockholm, a city that has embraced experimental governance as a means to realise its sustainability ambitions. Our findings reveal how the strategic functions of visioning, facilitating, supporting, amplifying, and guarding are producing new opportunities and challenges to urban planning practices in twenty-first century cities.
Article
Compared with the rapid progress of urbanization in China, rural development is being hampered by a series of problems, including the destruction of cultivated land, the decline of villages, and ecological pollution. One of the reasons for this is flawed land use planning at the village level, which often ignores the risks inherent in changes to land use when such planning is implemented, as well as possible future risks associated with the implementation process. These risks can be called village land use planning risks (VLUPRs). Neglecting VLUPRs can cause serious land use problems, such as low efficiency, conflict, and ecological damage. These factors prevent village-level land use planning from meeting the green requirements of efficiency, harmony, and sustainability. However, current research has focused on the specific risks related to land use planning and it lacks systematic consideration of risks inherent to the integral process of land use planning. This implies that in current research, more attention is being paid to maximizing the benefits rather than minimizing the risks in planning optimization. To bridge this gap, we introduced a green concept, which includes efficiency, harmony, and sustainability, as well as developing an evaluation framework for selecting an optimal program of land use planning with minimum VLUPRs at the village level. We used Qiwangfen Village in Beijing as a case study to demonstrate the empirical implementation of this framework. Our analysis showed that the model could help to limit the risks and provide guidance in selecting the most secure land use planning approach. As the proposed framework balances efficiency, harmony, and sustainability, it can be considered a useful tool for local governments to implement the “Rural Vitalization Strategy” while ensuring that green development is realized in rural areas, particularly with respect to rural land use.
Article
Many national energy policies envisage residual and renewable heat sources with district heating (DH) as a component of sustainable energy systems. There is however limited empirical evidence about facilitation of development in the context of liberalised markets and diminished local government control over direct service provision. Recent attempts to stimulate DH have had variable outcomes in different countries. Using five case studies, we ask why heat network development in the UK takes a relatively piecemeal and fragmented form in comparison with the Netherlands and Norway, countries whose heating sectors are comparable with the UK and where DH provision is limited. We argue that energy market liberalisation has been enacted differentially, resulting in different political and economic governance structures: in comparison with the UK liberal market economy, the more coordinated market economies of the Netherlands and Norway retain greater capacity for collaboration between energy utilities, localities and states, resulting in stronger foundations for district energy. Implications for UK governance are considered.
Article
District heating (DH) is an important part of the Swedish energy system and one of the most important climate measures at the municipal level. The Swedish planning system gives a large amount of power to municipalities, thus leaving the regional level weak. Despite this, the DH systems in Stockholm have developed into regional systems; how has this development occurred and what made it possible? Regional and municipal strategies concerning DH and energy from 1978 to 2010 have been studied through Regional plans and comprehensive plans. The conclusions show that the municipal DH systems have grown and become interconnected, thus fulfilling one of the most important regional strategies: to expand and interconnect the systems to be able to build combined heat and power plants. This is not entirely due to the regional strategies, however; the local importance of the system, economic reasons and supply security are other explanations. The study shows that regional importance generally has grown, and thus also the regional focus on DH. As environmental and climate issues have risen on the agenda, the importance of DH from the municipal perspective has become more evident, as well as a shift from supply orientation to more focus on energy efficiency.
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Abstract How prepared are the Scottish public to respond to the major social and economic innovations required by the ambitious Climate Change (Scotland) Act? Secondary analysis of data from the Scottish Environmental Attitudes and Behaviours Survey 2008 is used to appraise levels of awareness and knowledge of climate change, as well as views on personal responsibility, consumption, energy and car use, and willingness to change. Although climate change is a concern shared by the majority, in everyday life it typically remains a back of the mind issue, and there is little evidence of broad practical engagement,withthe emissions reduction targets. It is argued that social values are critical to public responses to the legislation, but core values of individualism, consumerism and unregulated economic growth are obstacles to the major changes envisaged. Implementing Scotland’s Climate Change legislation will require a transformational politics grounded in civil society, which can challenge
Article
The ways in which green neighbourhoods have developed over recent decades has become increasingly globalized, driven by the challenges of climate change and the globalization of knowledge exchange including a shift towards quantified approaches of carbon control. As a result, cities do not only share knowledge, experiences and practices but also compare and compete with each other in their pursuit of sustainability leadership. To understand the emergence and establishment of certain approaches over others, policy mobilities research has emphasized the role of certain actors and institutions in promoting, mobilizing, adapting and mutating policy models, practices and knowledge. This paper extends the policy mobility literature by emphasizing the temporal dimension of green neighbourhood development. We reconstruct and compare trajectories of four green neighbourhood developments in Freiburg, Vancouver and Luxembourg in terms of 'extroverted' dimensions that focus beyond the city, and 'introverted' dimensions that are more localized in nature. Findings highlight the relational character of the role and meaning of these green neighbourhoods over time that reflect a global shift in how green urbanism is conceptualized and put into practice.
Chapter
This chapter explores the complex and contested processes and practices involved in rebundling infrastructure systems as part of ecological urbanism objectives in Stockholm. Focusing on the well-known eco-district of Hammarby Sjöstad, it traces some of the important disjunctures between vision, discourse, practice and material politics in and around the reconfiguring and integration of energy, waste and water systems, within the context of wider debates and tensions over future urban planning in the city. Across model and conception, limits and deviations in practice, and evaluation and transfer, eco-city integration and circularity is exposed as a struggle to contain and control systems, flows and engagements which are often intractable.
Article
District heating infrastructure could contribute to the UK's energy policy goals of decarbonisation, renewable energy deployment, tackling fuel poverty and ensuring energy security. However, while a number of schemes have been developed over the last decade, deployment of the technology remains limited. This paper adopts a Technological Innovation Systems framework to ask what the principal challenges are to significantly scaling up the deployment of DH in the UK. While district heating networks are inherently local infrastructures, they are positioned in regulatory and market contexts organised at larger spatial scales, making geography an important factor and coordination across spatial scales an important policy area for accelerated deployment.
Article
A number of UK urban authorities are developing combined heat and power (CHP) with district heating and cooling (DHC) networks as a means to achieve local sustainable and affordable energy, and to contribute to economic regeneration. Findings from case study research in three UK cities are used to explore the local energy governance and organisation (LEGO) models adopted in the context of privatised, centralised energy markets. Local developers are reliant on sources of social capital to make systems work, given limited support from public policy and limited access to finance. Local actors, drawing on non-local community energy and commercial and technical networks of expertise, work to: introduce the technology into strategic planning; establish its legitimacy and the legitimacy of a form of multi-organisation suited to numerous stakeholders; secure finance; negotiate risks and responsibilities; and engage with energy markets designed for large-scale centralised provision. For DHC to make a fully effective contribution to UK sustainable urban energy, a more supportive government policy framework, offsetting the difficulties of a centralised energy market, will be needed. To maximise the benefit of locally knowledgeable action, the policy framework must be responsive to the specificity of locally appropriate configurations of actors and material infrastructure.
Article
Through the analysis of energy supply choices, this article explores the way in which energy priorities and their climate-related features are incorporated into urban public policy. These choices must take account of different factors, as is the case with district heating, which is justified as a vehicle of renewable energy while subject to pressure in eco-districts because its techno-economic balances are destabilised by falls in demand. Our study focuses particularly on the city of Metz (France), which has chosen district heating as the primary source for provision for the municipal area and for its first eco-district. We analyse the tensions within these choices, with particular attention to the way in which they are negotiated inside municipal departments and with the local energy operator. This enables us to explore the tensions in defining the scale that governs decisions and the linkages between energy-related and urban priorities.
Article
Through analysis of the orientations, conflicts and challenges of recent energy–climate policy in Stockholm, this paper interrogates how energy and climate become (translated as) a set of issues which come to matter in the local urban arena for different social and political interests. Drawing in particular on recent theoretical work on urban materiality, it is argued that ongoing, ‘everyday’ local struggles over the processes and practices of transformation of the urban fabric constitute repoliticised settings through and in which the orientations of urban energy transition are materially understood, experienced and performed in diverging ways. In ‘mapping’ the undulating politics of energy–climate matters, the paper outlines an alternative way of following and/or measuring energy and carbon flows through the urban environment.
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Städer förändras av kriser och vi lever i en krisernas tid. Ekonomisk och social turbulens i stor skala och globala miljö-och klimatproblem kommer att påverka städernas manöverutrymme på både kort och långt sikt. I Malmö fortsätter man emellertid bygga som om också framtiden kommer att handla om shopping, turism, kongresser och oupphörligt stigande bostadspriser. Den nyliberala agendan ligger kort sagt fast. Tanken är att man genom att attrahera entrepenörer och kapital ska få pengar att sippra ner genom inkomstskikten och gynna alla stadens invånare. Men i själva verket har arbetslöshet och fattigdom bara fortsatt växa i skuggan av skrytbyggena Turning Torso och Malmö Live. Ståle Holgersens Staden och kapitalet stiger ned i Malmös sociala och ekonomiska historia sedan mitten på artonhundra-talet och närgranskar fenomen som tillväxt, segregation, polarisering och nyliberal politik i ett marxistiskt perspektiv. Vilken verklighet döljer sig under dessa? Och hur ekologiskt hållbar är egentligen staden trots alla vackra ord om hållbarhet? Boken gör ekonomisk teori lättillgänglig och tankeväckande och stadshistoria politiskt relevant. Men den pekar också framåt i det stora och det lilla och ställer den viktiga frågan hur våra städer bäst ska kunna hantera nuvarande och kommande kriser.
Chapter
This chapter is focused on the material politics of low carbon agendas in Stockholm, the first Green Capital of Europe. There has been significant debate over proposed visions for Stockholm’s future ‘green’ development. This debate was captured by the question of whether the city was concretely aiming to be both or either ‘fossil fuel free’ by 2050 and/or ‘world class’ in 2030, and by the different means and resources which were attributed to working concretely and materially towards these objectives. The chapter tracks ongoing struggles over urban energy–climate issues through a number of material settings of transition around policy trajectories, resources for environmental work, district heating infrastructure and mobility politics. This highlights how socio-technical change is understood, negotiated, experienced and practised through the multiple arrangements and mobilizations of urban materiality by particular interests and groups.
Article
The UK has seen periodic attempts to develop large district heating (DH) networks to make use of residual heat from industry and power generation. Under concerns about climate change and energy security, DH has recently re-emerged in policy visions for future heat systems with small decentralised combined heat and power (CHP) generators playing a key role in the establishment of such networks. This paper draws on Stewart Russell's accounts of earlier DH programmes, asking to what extent the reasons he concluded CHP and DH were systematically excluded continue to marginalise the technologies. In spite of governance changes which ostensibly open new opportunities for experimentation, key structural issues challenge the development of decentralised energy, particularly the alignment of the electricity sector to a centralised system and the dependency of local governments with limited capacity on central government. The reluctance of central government to engage in system planning and the failure to integrate policies related to energy production and energy consumption limit the effectiveness of support for DH.
Article
This article addresses how neoliberalism as a utopian ideal of the urban affects the practices of planners and parents, drawing on Stockholm, Sweden, as an example and foregrounding how these adult conceptions of the city are manifested, both socially and physically, and shape children's geographies. Through an analysis of planning documents and interviews with planners and parents, this study shows how Stockholm's planning is clearly conditioned by neoliberal beliefs, but rather than being linked with political sympathies, neoliberalism is expressed as a contemporary urbanism. This specific urbanism is not compatible with children's independent mobility and easy access to nature and play spaces, but demands, as expressed by planners and parents, certain “sacrifices” in order to be achieved. The study shows that age is an organizing norm in terms of spatial justice in the city and that ideological beliefs about the urban development affect how this (in)justice is organized. The planning documents reflect utopian neoliberal ideas about a specific urban identity, and when private actors are given more influence over what is being built and which spaces are developed, there is a deliberate transition from welfare-planning values and the belief that children and adults have equal rights to urban neighbourhoods. This is expressed as a necessary transformation to a more urban and globally competitive city but given the extent to which welfare values are taken for granted in Sweden it is unlikely that the effect this transition will have on social and spatial justice in the city is recognized.
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Suburban infrastructure holds a position of increasing geographic, political and conceptual importance in a rapidly urbanizing world. However, the analytical significance of ‘suburban infrastructure’ risks becoming bogged down as a chaotic concept amidst the maelstrom of contemporary peripheral urban growth and the explosion of interest in infrastructure in critical urban studies. This paper develops an open and flexible comparative theory of suburban infrastructure. I eschew concerns with definitional bounding to focus analytical attention on the relations between ‘the suburban’ (broadly considered) and multiple hard and soft infrastructures. These relations are captured in two ‘three-dimensional’ dialectical triads: the first unpacks the modalities of infrastructure in, for, and of suburbs; the second discloses the political economic processes (suburbanization), lived experience (suburbanism), and dynamics of mediation internalized by particular suburban infrastructures. Bringing these conceptual frames together constructs a nine-cell matrix that: (1) functions as a heuristic device providing conceptual clarity when discussing the suburbanity of infrastructures; (2) promotes comparative analysis across diverse global suburban contexts; and (3) develops tools to foreground the dialectical relations internalized in the concrete sociospatial modalities of suburban infrastructure. The paper shows that suburban infrastructure can only ever be partially suburban as a result of it co-constituted and over-determined production. I conclude by suggesting how the proposed approach may be mobilized to reimagine and reclaim suburban infrastructure as a crucial context and vital mechanism underpinning a progressive polycentric suburban spatial polity.
Chapter
Climate change requires the urgent adoption of low-carbon practices to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. Nowhere is this more relevant than in cities, which hold over half of the world’s population and produce 70 % of all GHGs. This chapter examines whether eco-districts, a growing urban development phenomenon, can serve as a transition pathway to enable low-carbon practices. Using the case of Malmö, Sweden, we assess what role eco-districts can play to enable cities to achieve their climate goals, including whether the lessons of eco-district development are applied to other parts of the city. We also observe how planners and elected officials in Malmö enacted a deliberative process of organisational learning when implementing their eco-district, namely their openness to experimentation with new technologies and planning approaches. We identify how double-loop learning served as a mechanism to support Malmö’s eco-district development, in particular when addressing unforeseen barriers to new planning practices. This chapter is based on “Eco-districts: Can they accelerate urban climate planning”, published in Environment and Planning C in December 2015.
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City-level climate action plans are often designed to address specific issues such as to cut GHG emissions from traffic congestion. The benefits from such plans would include the direct effects of reducing contributions by cities to global atmospheric GHG concentrations. Additional benefits may be present in the form of energy savings, reduced air pollution, improved public health, and many more. The presence of such co-benefits (and of co-costs) may affect the rank-ordering of particular actions when they are compared against each other. This chapter provides a structured approach to the assessment of co-benefits and co-costs, and their implications for selection among climate actions. Using network analysis we assess existing urban climate action plans from around the world, focusing on the notion of co-benefits and co-costs. We find notable similarities and differences in the way co-benefits and co-costs guide urban climate plans, and we offer guidance for the social discourse on prioritization of strategies.
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Stockholm-like the rest of Sweden-suffered from a severe recession at the beginning of the l 990s, but since then its economy has been expanding st�dily. Its infrastructure is of a high standard and well maintained, recreational opportunities abound and its environment is healthy. However, Stockholm's popularity has strained its resources and has exacerbated inherent spatial challenges. Every year, 15,000 more people move to the Stockholm region and most want to live in the inner city, which has an acute housing shortage. Major transport corridors are jammed with traflic during peak hours and the region's northern and southern halves are becoming increasingly segregated. This chapter describes the current regional policies and challenges in the Stockholm region, as well as recent attempts to unite the metropolitan region's municipalities in a new municipal association. The fi rst section describes the region's structure, economy and land use. The second section reviews the current government structure. The third and fourth sections describe the nature and coordination ofpolicies shaping the region's current and future spatial structure. The fi fth section discusses the pros and eons of various metropolitan governance institutions in terms of addressing regional goals. The fi nal sections offer refl ections on the future governance of the region and how to meet its challenges.
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This paper describes the development of ethnic segregation and ethnic diversity in the Stockholm region from 1991 to 2001, a period characterised by a rapid increase in the population share with foreign background and in ethnic variety. The population is cross-classified into 13 ethnic groups, 16 age and income groups and 240 planning districts and various entropy measures are used to quantify the ethnic diversity and residential segregation by ethnicity. Light is also shed upon the ethnic segregation process by means of the 'shift-and-share' technique. In the discussion, the quantitative results are related to important policy changes that have taken place since the 1970s. The cementation of ethnic diversity in some planning districts and the increasing overall segregation in the region contrast sharply with the longstanding political rhetoric concerning the importance of fighting segregation and fostering spatial diversity. It is perhaps even more worrying that some of the policy measures imbedded in the Swedish model of social welfare might have contributed to this development.
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This study utilises Swedish longitudinal data from the 'golden era' of Swedish welfare policy to evaluate the impact of neighbourhood poverty during adolescence on a wide range of social exclusion outcomes (including but not limited to educational and employment status) within a counterfactual approach based on matched sampling. With certain caveats regarding inter alia the lack of dynamism in the counterfactual methodology, the empirical analyses show that, when two groups of children who are identical according to observed factors before age 10 (including household income, family structure and welfare receipt) live in different types of neighbourhood in adolescence, the outcome for those who grow up in a poor neighbourhood is not more likely to be worse than for those who grow up in a more affluent neighbourhood.
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This essay elaborates a critical geographical perspective on neoliberalism that emphasizes (a) the path–dependent character of neoliberal reform projects and (b) the strategic role of cities in the contemporary remaking of political–economic space. We begin by presenting the methodological foundations for an approach to the geographies of what we term “actually existing neoliberalism.” In contrast to neoliberal ideology, in which market forces are assumed to operate according to immutable laws no matter where they are “unleashed,” we emphasize the contextual embeddedness of neoliberal restructuring projects insofar as they have been produced within national, regional, and local contexts defined by the legacies of inherited institutional frameworks, policy regimes, regulatory practices, and political struggles. An adequate understanding of actually existing neoliberalism must therefore explore the path–dependent, contextually specific interactions between inherited regulatory landscapes and emergent neoliberal, market–oriented restructuring projects at a broad range of geographical scales. These considerations lead to a conceptualization of contemporary neoliberalization processes as catalysts and expressions of an ongoing creative destruction of political–economic space at multiple geographical scales. While the neoliberal restructuring projects of the last two decades have not established a coherent basis for sustainable capitalist growth, it can be argued that they have nonetheless profoundly reworked the institutional infrastructures upon which Fordist–Keynesian capitalism was grounded. The concept of creative destruction is presented as a useful means for describing the geographically uneven, socially regressive, and politically volatile trajectories of institutional/spatial change that have been crystallizing under these conditions. The essay concludes by discussing the role of urban spaces within the contradictory and chronically unstable geographies of actually existing neoliberalism. Throughout the advanced capitalist world, we suggest, cities have become strategically crucial geographical arenas in which a variety of neoliberal initiatives—along with closely intertwined strategies of crisis displacement and crisis management—have been articulated.
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WHY SHOULD GREAT CITIES suddenly become creative? Why do they have golden ages, belles époques? Why was Florence so remarkable a place in the fifteenth century, or London at the end of the sixteenth, or Paris at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century?
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The QuestionThe HypothesisInfluences on the Spatial Order of CitiesSpatial Divisions in the New Spatial OrderFinal RemarksNotes
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In this paper I assess the value of regulation theory for studying transformations in governance at the local level, focusing on the issue of local economic development. Adopting a third-generation approach, regulation theory is recognised as having varied success at theorising local governance. More advanced third-generation approaches offer some useful concepts that require integration through mid-level concepts. This is to be contrasted to approaches which `read off' local transformation from broader macroeconomic change. Both approaches are, however, trapped in the regulationist enigma, defined in the paper as the difficulty of employing regulation theory to theorise local transformations in local governance. In order to solve the enigma, I utilise concepts from Jessop's strategic-relational state theory. This approach stresses, amongst other things, the political nature of state intervention. Jessop's approach is, however, not sufficiently sensitive to space and I introduce the notion of spatial selectivity to understand adequately the dynamics of local change. Spatial selectivity implies that the state has a tendency to privilege certain places through accumulation strategies, state projects, and hegemonic projects. The process of geographical privileging, which is implied by the notion of spatial selectivity , takes on both material and ideological forms. This tentative concept is explored through a reworking of theoretical approaches to Thatcherism. I conclude by highlighting issues that spatial selectivity needs to address, namely uneven development and structure - strategy - agency dialectics.
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In this article contemporary city change in Stockholm is first described against a background of theories on global cities. Stockholm cannot be seen as a global city, but displays many typical signs of the ongoing development in global cities. In the article this is shown by examining the situation in Stockholm regarding the economic structure, especially the expanding IT-sector, social and economic polarization, local politics and the efforts to improve the infrastructure. In the change of the city social movements have been very active. Since the 1960s three different kinds of movements have existed, which are described and analysed against a background of theories on social movements. The first of these, the so-called neighbourhood movement, emerged at the end of the 1960s and had all the typical signs of the so-called 'new' social movements of that time. In the 1990s a new environmental movement acted mainly against proposed big traffic-routes. This movement reflected in its structure some important features of today's society: fragmentation, individualization and globalization. At the end of the 1990s a third movement emerged as a reaction against the new competitive urban politics and the ongoing change of the city. Finally, the modifying impact that movements and local factors in Stockholm have had on globalization is discussed, as well as the difficulty in estimating the impact of movements on local politics.
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This article takes as its starting point a central issue for the urban social sciences: comparison. Local government is a theme where much is singular, contingent and idiosyncratic, and international comparison reinforces this tendency towards diversity. Therefore, the capacity to generalize becomes a real issue. The central argument of this article is that, beyond any first-level complexity, the organization of the urban services sector in European countries basically follows three major 'models'. These simplified forms represent ways of combining public policy principles with a market economy. As such, they may be read as specific versions of urban capitalism. All three 'models' are European in origin, and nowadays find themselves in competition. In order to establish the features of these models -simplified forms of more complex phenomena -it is necessary to introduce a historical reading of overall choices of institutional and policy architecture. It is necessary to trace the importance of firms and to study the momentum of crisis and tension, as these give an internal view of phenomena that are generally regarded as natural.
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Technical networks (transport, telecommunications, energy etc.) possess paradoxical virtues. They produce 'structuring effects' on space, obtaining comparative advantages for the places they serve. But they are ubiquitous factors which also enable a homogenization of space. The myths of deterritorialization and dual space are refuted by empirical analyses of the interaction between networks and territories. Networks 'format' market areas and political territories. They create matrixes which until now were controlled by the public powers. Linked to current transformations - globalization, deregulation - the present mode of development of the technical macro-systems brings about a telescoping of geographical scales which is having an adverse effect on the historic compromise between networks and territories. The boundaries of traditional political space have become obsolete and an economic rationale in the form of an extension of the technical networks predominates. In order to rediscover their policy-making capacity, local authorities must pay more attention to controlling the occupation of public space as well as to the design and organization of the networks' hubs. They should encourage the emergence of users as players in the regulation of public utilities so that debates on universal service and territorial equality may be activated.
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Brenner, N., 2004. New State Spaces: Urban Governance and the Rescaling of Statehood. Oxford University Press, Oxford. Brenner, N., Theodore, N., 2002. Cities and the geographies of 'actually existing neoliberalism'. Antipode 34 (3), 349–379.
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