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Contributions of Public Participation in Planning to the Management of Coastal Resource Conflicts: Case Studies in Swedish West Coast Municipalities

Konferensbidrag (offentliggjort, men ej förlagsutgivet)
Författare Andrea Morf
Publicerad i Paper resented at the Coastal Zone Canada Association’s sixth biennial Conference “All Within One Ocean: Co-operation in Sustainable Coastal and Ocean Management” in St. John’s, Newfoundland, June 25-30, 2004
Publiceringsår 2004
Publicerad vid Institutionen för omvärldsstudier av människans villkor, avdelningen för humanekologi
Språk en
Ämnesord Public participation, spatial planning, natural resource conflicts, coastal management, case studies, municipal level, Sweden
Ämneskategorier Vatten i natur och samhälle, Översiktlig planering, Studier av offentlig förvaltning, Teknik och social förändring

Sammanfattning

This paper is based on empirical research for a Ph. D.-thesis: case studies of physical (spatial) planning and coastal resource-use conflicts in two Swedish West Coast municipalities. Departing from the question of the thesis, possible contributions of public participation in municipal planning to the management of coastal resource conflicts shall be discussed. Coastal management literature emphasises the need for integration regarding many aspects: between water and land, across administrative- and use sectors, across hierarchical levels, etc. Participation of as many stakeholders as possible when formulating and implementing coastal policy is an important requirement, for improving plan-quality, enhancing acceptance, and facilitating implementation. In Sweden, municipal physical planning is one management tool (out of few) co-ordinating resource management across administrative sectors and environmental systems – a complement to sector management on municipal level. Broad public participation is statutory; many types of stakeholders can be included. Physical planning thus has the potential to serve as forum for a public and local debate about coast-typical problems. Coastal resource use conflicts are part of planning. They usually have several layers or dimensions. The case studies indicate that the commonly applied procedures do not include all types of conflict dimensions to the same extent (e.g. water-related problems or the value-dimension of a conflict do not enter documents as easily as land-use aspects). Creating public attention for strategic level coastal problems can be difficult; local and specific questions are more mobilising. Political attention for coastal problems has at times been low – coastal planning and method-development depended highly on transitory external financing. Furthermore, important coastal policy decisions are made sectorally on national and regional, rather than on municipal level, with a narrow range of selected participants. Creating a broad local debate about coastal resources under these conditions is a challenge for municipalities. Difficulties lie in the present design of the planning- and natural resource management system and with the question of how to mobilise whom. Thus, standard participation procedures often do not facilitate a general public debate about more “difficult” topics and resource-use conflicts and may not sufficiently be tied to the larger management system, which can lead to incomplete or short-sighted solutions. For improving management, the possibilities for contact between stakeholders would need to be enhanced through e.g. complementary forums, an adaptation of planning-procedures, and further integration with the overall-management system.

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