Planning, governance and transformation

Planning and decision-making processes at various levels of society are of great importance for the development of transport, mobility and accessibility. We conduct research focusing on national, regional, and local planning and policy.

This involves adopting a broad perspective and examining the overall transformation to sustainable mobility, including decarbonization, as well as concrete processes regarding, e.g., gender equality, citizen participation, accessibility, and change of travel patterns. Our research includes all transport modes and different forms of travelling.

The researchers within this field represent many different research interests and perspectives. Currently, most of the research falls within some of these topics:

  • Uncertainty and capacity as regards transformation of the transport sector to a sustainable society, environmentally, socially, and economically.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic: short and long-term consequences and possibilities as regards mobility patterns, accessibility, planning, governance, and transformation.
  • Integration of sustainability perspectives in existing arenas for planning and decision-making, including environmental impact assessment.
  • Transport and infrastructure planning at national, regional, and local levels: power, knowledge perspectives, and organisational cultures.
  • The linkages between spatial planning, transport planning, and accessibility, including public transport, walking, and cycling.
  • Policymaking, planning, and implementation within freight and logistics, including construction logistics and cycle logistics.
  • Smart mobility: framing, governance, roles, consequences, behaviour, emerging governance arrangements, and pilots vis-á-vis established planning regimes.

Decision-making and planning processes influence long-term frameworks for society and people's everyday lives, accessibility and mobility. A considerable part of the research relates to the issue of long-term sustainable development and the prerequisites for working towards such a transformation. The research aims to provide detailed scientific knowledge of these transformation processes, which is important for understanding both the opportunities and the barriers that determine the frameworks for governance, planning and decisions aimed at changing the transport system in a more environmental, as well as social and economic sustainable way.

Research methods

Our research is interdisciplinary and involves researchers from several social scientific disciplines including Human Ecology, Human Geography, Anthropology, Sociology and Political Science as well as the interdisciplinary fields of Science and Technology Studies and Planning Studies. The bulk of the research is qualitative in nature, with quantitative elements. The methods used include interviews, focus groups, workshops and policy labs, 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.


Members of this research group are:

How accessibility to schools is not (just) a transport problem: the case of public school choice in the city of Malmö, Sweden (2023) (article on External link.

Defining and implementing a sufficient level of accessibility: What’s stopping us? (2023) (article on External link.

Accessibility and space-time differences in when and how different groups (choose to) travel (2023) (article on External link.

Between pace-making and pace-taking: Urban cycle logistics in an accelerated polity (2023) (DiVA) External link.

Uncommon commons: civic participation and the localised maintenance of road infrastructure in Sweden (2023) (DiVA) External link.

Public Participation in Transport in Times of Change (2023) (DiVA) External link.

The role of meta-governance in public transport systems: A comparison of major urban regions in Denmark and England (2023) (DiVA) External link.

Experimentation for sustainable transport? Risks, strengths, and governance implications (2022) (DiVA) External link.

Constructing Transit Corridors: The Politics of Public Transport Policy and Planning in Malmöhus and Skåne 1970-2020 (2022) (DiVA) External link.

Transformative capacity for climate mitigation in strategic transport planning – principles and practices in cross-sectoral collaboration (2022) (DiVA) External link.

An Interactive Visualization Tool for Collaborative Construction Logistics Planning—Creating a Sustainable Project Vicinity (2022) (DiVA) External link.

Capacity in municipalities: Infrastructures, maintenance debts and ways of overcoming a run-to-failure mentality (2021) (DiVA) External link.

Governance arrangements shaping driverless shuttles in public transport: The case of Barkarbystaden, Stockholm (2021) (DiVA) External link.

Institutional capacity to integrate ‘radical’ perspectives on sustainability in small municipalities: experiences from Sweden (2020) (DiVA) External link.

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