Stockholm University has obtained a grant from the Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning (Formas) for the research project "Regional planning cultures – institutional changes and place-based practices for a sustainable future". Formas will finance the project 2023–2025. Project manager is Peter Schmitt, Department of Human Geography, Stockholm University, and the other researchers are Jennie Gustafsson och Lukas Smas, Department of Human Geography, Stockholm University.

The regional scale is increasingly considered as a key arena for addressing contemporary challenges related to sustainable development. However, how regional planning can contribute to resolve land-use conflicts in urban-rural locations and reduce climate impacts, for instance, is often neglected both in practice and research, not the least in Sweden. Therefore, the objective of this project is to investigate the institutional conditions, current practices and future prospects for regional planning in Sweden’s three largest regions: Västra Götaland, Skåne and Stockholm. More specifically the project will 1) determine the culturised practices and trajectories of regional planning regarding its capacity to address different sustainable development goals; 2) reveal the geographical contexts and institutional conditions in which regional planning is embedded; and 3) provide empirical informed policy recommendations based on the identified requirements, coping mechanisms and capacities that need to be mobilised by regional planning institutions and actors. This will be achieved through an established qualitative case-based approach that includes fieldwork, interviews, and discourse analysis, but also through workshops and interactive events with planning professionals in order to facilitate the required transdisciplinary approach for addressing how regional planning can contribute to a sustainable future.