The global vision of sustainability and its concrete meaning in local terms are vastly separate. In order to be able to bridge this gap, there is a need to anchor the vision and make it more tangible locally. Physical planning at a local level has in many ways been pin-pointed as the tool to achieve this, since it results in a merging of the economic, ecological and social aspects of sustainable development. Alongside this broadened view, the governmental vision of democracy is turning towards increased decentralization. Citizen participation is therefore becoming a part of, and even a uniting link, in the realization of sustainable development. This has created entirely new demands for the individual municipal planner. His/her new task is mainly to merge local stakeholders into functioning planning processes. As a response to this new network-based view of society, collaborative—or communicative—planning is being tested both theoretically and practically as a tool for realizing it. There are, however, major reservations as to how well it serves this purpose. The main objective of this article is to contribute to this discourse on some of these reservations and possible ways forward. The results emerge from case studies of communicative planning processes carried out in a Swedish context; The Armed Forces garrison planning processes and the Sustainable Municipality programme commissioned by the Swedish Energy Authority.
|Keywords:||Social Networks, Social Capital, Communicative Planning, Deliberative Democracy|
PhD, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Division of Architecture and Infrastructure, Lulea University of technology, Lulea, Sweden
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