Why are so little housing and so little infrastructure constructed in Sweden despite the large demand? And how could an increase in construction be possible? Replies are given in a new SNS research report, New Rules for Increased Construction of Housing and Better Infrastructure, by Professors Göran Cars, Thomas Kalbro and Hans Lind at the Royal Institute of Technology.
The report presents a number of suggestions how to improve the Swedish system for the planning of construction of housing and infrastructure:
Abolish the municipal planning monopoly. The strong position of the municipalities on questions concerning land gives rise to inefficient solutions where municipal interests are maintained at the cost of what is desired at the regional and national level.
Clear up among the national interests. In the last few decades, there has been a strong increase in the areas that have been pointed out as being of national interest. National interests should be created with greater restrictiveness and it must get easier to review them.
Coordinate investments in infrastructure and the construction of housing. Public investments in infrastructure in the growth regions should be conditional on the construction of housing on land that becomes more attractive.
The planning process must become more efficient. The efficiency of the municipalities when it comes to dealing with the planning processes can be increased if they are made responsible for co-funding of costs for planning and dealing with applications for building permits. There can also be an increase in the efficiency by using clear time limits and transparency for processes at both state and municipal level.
Reinforce the representative democracy – limit the direct influence of citizens. The current system for dialogue often favours loud special interests. The role of politics must be to weigh local interests against each other and against municipal-wide objectives and objectives for society. New methods for a dialogue among citizens must be developed.
Abolish the possibilities to appeal. Many of the current possibilities to appeal should be abolished. It is reasonable that there is leave to appeal. There should be larger possibilities for those who have been affected to get economic compensation.
– The current planning system is inefficient, bureaucratic and difficult to understand. The system does not take the economic flexibility of individuals and companies into account, according to Hans Lind.
Göran Cars, Thomas Kalbro and Hans Lind are all professors at The School of Architecture and the Built Environment at the Royal Institute of Technology.
The report was presented at an SNS seminar on November 12. The seminar was broadcasted at SVT Forum, see part 1, see part 2.
Participants in the meeting:
The author of the report:
GÖRAN CARS, Professor at The School of Architecture and the Built Environment at the Royal Institute of Technology.
THOMAS KALBRO, Professor at The School of Architecture and the Built Environment at the Royal Institute of Technology.
HANS LIND, Professor at The School of Architecture and the Built Environment at the Royal Institute of Technology.
STEFAN ATTEFALL (KD), Minister for Public Administration and Housing
SVANTE HAGMAN, Head of NCC Construction Sweden
SUSANNE INGO, Strategist, Strategic Development, The Swedish Transport Administration
EVA NYPELIUS (C), Region Gotland, Chairman of SKL’s Programberedning Ökat bostadsbyggande
ERIK PELLING (S), Uppsala Municipality, Vice Chairman of SKL’s Programberedning Ökat bostadsbyggande
The meeting was chaired by ÅSA JULIN, journalist specializing in economics.