Tag Archives: Sweden

Sustainable Stockholm, Europe’s greenest city

Metzger, Jonathan and Olsson Amy Rader eds. (2014) Sustainable Stockholm: exploring urban sustainability in Europe’s greenest city. Routledge, 2014. 248 p.

Sustainable Stockholm provides a historical overview of Stockholm’s environmental development, and also discusses a number of cross-disciplinary themes presenting the urban sustainability work behind Stockholm’s unique position, and importantly the question of how well Stockholm’s practices can be exported and transposed to other places and contexts.

By using the case of Stockholm as the pivot of discussions, Sustainable Stockholm investigates the core issues of sustainable urban environmental development and planning, in all their entanglements. The book shows how intersecting fields such as urban planning and architecture, traffic planning, land-use regulation, building, waste management, regional development, water management, infrastructure engineering—together and in combination—have contributed to making Stockholm Europe’s “greenest” city.

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Monique Abud

Centre d'études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine, EHESS, Paris, France

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The Swedish production of sustainable urban imaginaries in China

Anna Hult, Phd, (2013)  The Swedish production of sustainable urban imaginaries in China, Candidate Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden. (accessed 25 July 2013)


Sweden and the broader region of Scandinavia have been widely praised for their efforts to develop and promote models of sustainability for the rest of the world to follow. Swedish international architecture and urban planning firms are driven by the advantage of being able to brand their projects as “Sustainable and Scandinavian”. In this sense, ‘the sustainable city’ has become a Swedish service to export. In 2007, the Swedish Trade Council initiated a marketing platform for eco-profiled companies under the name of “SymbioCity” in order to strengthen a coherent image of Swedish sustainable urban development. This paper seeks to explore the production of imaginaries at play in the performance of “SymbioCity”. It especially addresses the way in which notions of progress and a better city-life was presented to Chinese audiences in the Swedish pavilion at the World Expo in Shanghai in 2010, which had the overall theme of “Better City, Better Life”. The Swedish pavilion is here regarded as a node in a wider network of Swedish export of
sustainable urban planning services. I argue that the imaginaries which Sweden produces through activities associated with the SymbioCity underlines a view which equivocates “progress” with the notion of “decoupling”.
In presenting an image of decoupling as a Swedish experience possible to transfer to China it also establishes views of progress as linear and space as static, which in turn enables
questions of equality and spatial segregation to belong to another dimension. Consequently, “the social” becomes the constitutive other. Instead, I argue that we need imaginaries of better city-life based on an understanding of space as relational, which does not only challenge the concept of decoupling, but also of ”the social”. This paper aims to highlight the interests of “fact-builders” and open up some “black boxes” to make space for generative controversies of how to reconsider ways in which imaginaries are to be constructed, established, circulated and reformed.

Jacqueline Nivard

Jacqueline Nivard, Centre d'études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine

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Green growth in Stockholm, Sweden

OECD. (2013) Green growth in Stockholm, Sweden. Paris : OECD Publishing. (OECD Green Growth Studies) DOI: 10.1787/9789264195158-en

 This report studies green growth trends, challenges and opportunities in the City of Stockholm, Sweden. It first analyses socio-economic trends and the environmental performance of the city and the county of Stockholm; then it reviews urban policies for land use, transport, buildings, waste, energy and water that contribute to economic growth and reduce pressure on the environment; thirdly assesses Stockholm’s green innovation potential in areas such as cleantech, ICT and university to business linkages; and finally it examines local, regional and national institutions, including horizontal and vertical coordination mechanisms that strengthen cross-sectoral and multilevel govenance for green growth.

Table of contents

  • Foreword and acknowledgements
  • Acronyms and abbreviations
  • Executive summary
  • Economic and environmental trends in Stockholm
  • Policies to further promote green growth in Stockholm
  • Green innovation in Stockholm
  • Governance of green growth in Stockholm

Read the full text on OECD Publishing Read

Downloadable version accessible to subscribers on the OECD iLibrary or to be purchased from the OECD Online Bookshop

Monique Abud

Centre d'études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine, EHESS, Paris, France

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