Planning and decision-making processes

Planning and decision-making processes at various levels of society are of great importance for how the transport sector is designed and changed. We conduct research focusing mainly on regional and local planning and policy, often linked to public transport. This involves adopting a broad perspective and examining specific aspects of the processes such as gender equality, public participation, and the environment.

In this area of research, we study how decision-making and planning processes at various levels of society affect the development and transition of the transport system. Using a range of different methods and theoretical perspectives, we contribute with detailed, multifaceted knowledge in a complex and topical empirical field. The following are some of the central themes of the research:

  • interest in understanding how planning and decision-making processes in municipalities, government agencies and companies are designed and organised,
  • what formal and informal conditions enable and restrict the actions of the various actors and planning outcomes,
  • how different policy objectives are implemented and how they are affected by institutional change,
  • how planning is shaped by the expertise of politicians and officials and how tools for governance are used in planning,
  • how to plan and aim towards a sustainable transport system

Decision-making and planning processes influence long-term frameworks for society and people's everyday lives and mobility and, in themselves, constitute a fundamental factor, in terms of planning, in bringing about conditions for future decisions and plans. A considerable part of the research relates to the issue of long-term sustainable development and the prerequisites for working towards such a transition. The research aims to provide detailed scientific knowledge of these transition processes. This knowledge is important for understanding both the opportunities and the barriers that determine the frameworks for governance, planning and decisions aimed at increasing the proportion of those travelling on foot, by bicycle and by public transport.

Research methods

Our research is interdisciplinary and involves researchers from several social scientific disciplines including Human Ecology, Human Geography, Sociology and Political Science as well as the interdisciplinary field of Science and Technology Studies. The bulk of the research is social-scientific and qualitative in nature, with occasional quantitative elements. The methods used consist specifically of interviews, focus groups, group interviews, surveys, participant observations and document analysis. Our research frequently involves case studies and studies of planning and decision-making processes, as well as comparisons of different sectors from local to international level.


A list of our research results in the Academic Archive Online, DiVAexternal link.


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