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Legal Requirements Can Increase Sustainable Transportation

A study is currently in progress to determine whether amendments to the Swedish Planning and Building Act can strengthen the conditions for sustainable transport when new districts and areas are planned. 'The aim is to promote community planning with reduced environmental and climate impact and facilitate municipalities in their efforts to achieve sustainable urban development,' says Lena Dübeck, Inquiry Secretary for the Swedish Government Officers.

The state inquiry 'Coordination for Housing' has been commissioned by the Government to investigate whether amendments to the Swedish Planning and Building Act (PBL) can support the transition to more sustainable transport in Sweden. For example, the possibility for municipalities to formulate conditions for building rights concerning transport and mobility measures in connection with the granting of building permits is being analysed. 

-"Changes to the PBL could mean that tomorrow's urban development will be given more effective tools that facilitate planning and building more sustainably so that the climate targets can be achieved," says Lena Dübeck, Government Offices

Increase Understanding

The study also highlights how cooperation can be developed between developers, property owners, operators and municipalities through various types of agreement. 

There are currently more than 30 participants collaborating within the DenCity from the city, industry and academia in order to jointly develop and test sustainable transport and logistics solutions. The real estate company Vasakronan, with offices and shops in Sweden's largest cities, is following DenCity as a stakeholder and has participated in the project's open workshop on transport solutions for sustainable urban development.

-"A city is complex and the understanding of how much logistics impact the city centre needs to increase. I want to see a closer dialogue on urban development issues with the aim of coordinating systems and decision-making roles" says Jesper Örtengren, Business Development Manager for Vasakronan.

Parking Spaces

Another measure currently being investigated is whether city developers should impose legal requirements for mobility measures in order to achieve increased transport efficiency. Many municipalities are already working today with the aim of changing the distribution between the modes of transportation by which people choose to travel.

-"A key issue is whether municipalities would be able to demand less space for parking if the transportation needs for housing and businesses in the area can be met in some other way," says Lena Dübeck.

-"We take a positive view of this. Everyone benefits from building a good infrastructure in the long term. Not lastly for sustainable package logistics. We want a clean and fresh city going forward. This means that logistics must work in harmony with the city and how it is perceived," says Jesper Örtengren.

The results of the study should available by the end of the year. The Government will then make a decision based on the content and determine whether any proposals for amendments to legislation should be pursued.