Stockholm University is partner in the project “Planners as agents for the transition towards sustainable cities and regions – implications for future needs in expertise and education” (PLANTS).

The Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning (Formas), will finance the project 2021–2025 within “Planning for transformation” in the scope of the National Research Programme for Sustainable Spatial Planning, funding research projects that contribute to knowledge and solutions for developing Swedish spatial planning so that it creates the conditions to transform towards a sustainable society.

Project manager is Dick Magnusson, Department of Thematic Studies, Linköping University. The other participants are Sabrina Fredin, Department of Spatial Planning, Blekinge Institute of Technology, Anders Rickegård, Department of Human Geography, Stockholm University, Peter Schmitt, Department of Human Geography, Stockholm University, and Kristina Trygg, Department of Thematic Studies, Linköping University.

Climate change and environmental degradation are two of the most fundamental changes in our society. In order to achieve the goal of zero net emissions of CO2 by 2045, fundamental societal changes are needed in our systems for transport, agriculture, the built environment and energy production and land-use. Such a transformative change requires effective local instruments and practices. Urban and regional planning is one of the most effective local instruments for shaping the development and thereby creating a sustainable society, but the planning practices used today have few strategies and instruments for shaping, adapting and creating the sustainable societies of tomorrow. The aim of this project is two-fold: (1) to trace and support emerging strategies and tools of transformative planning in the Swedish context, and (2) to integrate this knowledge in existing education programs for urban and regional planners. In the project, an international qualitative analysis of planning practices with transformative elements will initially be conducted among cities and educations, and then practices and demanded knowledge among municipalities, regions and other planning organizations in Sweden will be studied. The project group includes a total of five planner educations and the knowledge from the qualitative analysis will be integrated into educational elements within the educations. This new knowledge can contribute to an accelerated transformation of cities and regions.