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Ahead by a Century: Governing Transitions to (Smart) Sustainable Cities in Sweden

Dehod, Nicholas LU (2017) In IIIEE Masters Theses IMEN41 20172
The International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics
Abstract
Cities are being increasingly recognized internationally for their importance in addressing climate change. The 21st century has already seen the world population shift to being primarily urban and this trend is expected to continue. In order to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow, municipalities must find ways to effectively govern their transitions to being sustainable and liveable for the long term. This thesis explores how sixteen Swedish municipalities are governing their transitions to becoming low carbon through analysis of different modes of governance. Focus is placed on two sectors: energy systems and urban transportation. Attention is also given to identifying the extent to which the “smart city” concept is being... (More)
Cities are being increasingly recognized internationally for their importance in addressing climate change. The 21st century has already seen the world population shift to being primarily urban and this trend is expected to continue. In order to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow, municipalities must find ways to effectively govern their transitions to being sustainable and liveable for the long term. This thesis explores how sixteen Swedish municipalities are governing their transitions to becoming low carbon through analysis of different modes of governance. Focus is placed on two sectors: energy systems and urban transportation. Attention is also given to identifying the extent to which the “smart city” concept is being incorporated into Swedish municipalities climate and energy strategies, focusing on the ICT element of the concept.

The results show that the selected municipalities have set ambitious climate visions, goals and targets and are generally optimistic about reaching their energy targets but skeptical about their ability to meet targets set in urban transportation. All municipalities are using the modes of governing available to them with varying degrees of focus and success. All municipalities are focusing attention on governing by example through transitioning their municipal organisation to becoming sustainable. They are also governing by enabling the actions of local citizens and businesses and governing through provision of infrastructure and services that encourage low carbon outcomes and behaviour; however, these two modes of governing’s level of use are related to level of autonomy municipalities exercise over their energy system and public transportation. Finally, municipalities are generally not using their ability to govern by authority through regulation and sanctions to manage their transitions. The findings also reveal that the selected Swedish municipalities are not presently incorporating “smart city” concepts into their climate and energy strategies suggesting a need for greater coordination of smart solutions and ICT into climate planning.

The analysis suggests that further research comparing modes of governance in different cities and countries could support the creation of a framework to assist cities with identifying different intervention points or modes to aid with rapid decarbonisation. Further research is also needed to understand how visions, goal and target influence the level of action at a local level. (Less)
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author
Dehod, Nicholas LU
supervisor
organization
course
IMEN41 20172
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Urban climate governance, sustainable transitions, smart cities, sustainable cities
publication/series
IIIEE Masters Theses
report number
2017:15
ISSN
1401-9191
language
English
id
8937668
date added to LUP
2018-03-19 11:22:34
date last changed
2018-03-19 11:22:34
@misc{8937668,
  abstract     = {Cities are being increasingly recognized internationally for their importance in addressing climate change. The 21st century has already seen the world population shift to being primarily urban and this trend is expected to continue. In order to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow, municipalities must find ways to effectively govern their transitions to being sustainable and liveable for the long term. This thesis explores how sixteen Swedish municipalities are governing their transitions to becoming low carbon through analysis of different modes of governance. Focus is placed on two sectors: energy systems and urban transportation. Attention is also given to identifying the extent to which the “smart city” concept is being incorporated into Swedish municipalities climate and energy strategies, focusing on the ICT element of the concept.

The results show that the selected municipalities have set ambitious climate visions, goals and targets and are generally optimistic about reaching their energy targets but skeptical about their ability to meet targets set in urban transportation. All municipalities are using the modes of governing available to them with varying degrees of focus and success. All municipalities are focusing attention on governing by example through transitioning their municipal organisation to becoming sustainable. They are also governing by enabling the actions of local citizens and businesses and governing through provision of infrastructure and services that encourage low carbon outcomes and behaviour; however, these two modes of governing’s level of use are related to level of autonomy municipalities exercise over their energy system and public transportation. Finally, municipalities are generally not using their ability to govern by authority through regulation and sanctions to manage their transitions. The findings also reveal that the selected Swedish municipalities are not presently incorporating “smart city” concepts into their climate and energy strategies suggesting a need for greater coordination of smart solutions and ICT into climate planning.

The analysis suggests that further research comparing modes of governance in different cities and countries could support the creation of a framework to assist cities with identifying different intervention points or modes to aid with rapid decarbonisation. Further research is also needed to understand how visions, goal and target influence the level of action at a local level.},
  author       = {Dehod, Nicholas},
  issn         = {1401-9191},
  keyword      = {Urban climate governance,sustainable transitions,smart cities,sustainable cities},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  series       = {IIIEE Masters Theses},
  title        = {Ahead by a Century: Governing Transitions to (Smart) Sustainable Cities in Sweden},
  year         = {2017},
}