Planning, Projects, Practice : A Human Geography of the Stockholm Local Investment Programme in Hammarby Sjöstad

Abstract: Programmes and policies to support ecological sustainable development and the practice of implementation is a question of innovation rather than known and taken for granted procedure. This thesis argues a priori models concerning stability in the social sciences, and human geography especially, are less able to help us understand this practice and planning in such unstable situations. Problematic in common understandings of planning and policy implementation concerning sustainability are the dualisms between physical-social spaces and between rationality-contingency. The first dualism makes it hard to grasp the interaction between humans and nonhumans. The second dualism concerns the problem of how to capture change without resorting to reductionism and explanaining the evolving projects as either technically, economically, or culturally rational. The scope of the thesis is to test resources from actor-network theory as a means of resolving these dualisms. The case is the Stockholm Local Investment Programme and the new district of Hammarby Sjöstad. The programme’s objective was to support the implemention of new technologies and systems, energy efficiency and reduced resource-use as well as eco-cycling measures. The case-study follows how the work with the programme unfolded and how administrators’ efforts to reach satisfactory results was approached. In doing this, the actors had to be far more creative than models of implementation and traditional technology diffusion seem to suggest. The recommendation is to take the instrumentalisation framing the plasticity of a project in planning seriously – as innovativeness is not a special but the general case. Hence, to broaden our tools and understanding of planning a human geography of planning projects is pertinent.