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Olof Stjernström, Örjan Pettersson and Svante Karlsson

Abstract

This article studies the relation between territorial and functional planning by investigating the Swedish local comprehensive planning system and the forest management. The former is locally based and the latter is functionally based or sector-orientated. By interviewing planners from the County Administrative Boards responsible for monitoring the national interests in the Swedish municipalities and forest managers from the Regional Forest Agency Administration, we found out that forest- and municipality related issues that coincide or interact with each other is normally considered in the collaborative planning process based on consultations and cooperation between the involved stakeholders. Weaknesses in the collaborative planning system consists of lack of coordination between the involved legal frameworks as well as lack of local planning resources and in some cases competences.

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Patrick Brouder, Svante Karlsson and Linda Lundmark

Abstract

Multifunctionality has emerged as the dominant framework for understanding rural socioeconomic landscapes. The central claim of multifunctionality - that rural regions need to be understood as being made up of more than just traditional uses - has led to the incorporation of new rural activities into regional development plans, e.g., tourism. In some places, such post-productive activity is perceived to be slowly replacing productive uses of the land, e.g., agriculture/forestry. However, there is limited empirical evidence to support such claims. Drawing on previous research and data from the Swedish countryside this paper shows that, even as the number of persons employed within traditional activities decreases, the economic output per areal unit and per labour hour is increasing over time and traditional uses still occupy the majority of rural space. Hyper-production is introduced as a new metric for understanding multifunctional regions going forward. The complementary union of economic mainstays, such as agriculture, and newer activities with more quality-of-life benefits, such as tourism, is highlighted in terms of economic diversification, job creation and local social capital development, while the conflict-prone intersection of these two modes is also acknowledged. Understanding hyper-production as a key metric of multifunctionality is thus argued as integral to planning and developing resilient rural regions now and for the future.

Open access

Åsa Almstedt, Patrick Brouder, Svante Karlsson and Linda Lundmark

Abstract

There has been a strong discourse in public policy aimed at transforming rural places from venues of primary production into truly diverse socioeconomic landscapes. Yet conceptualisations of the rural as envisioned in the policy and politics of the ‘new economy’ often prove to be elusive on the ground. However, post-productive activity in rural areas has become a major focus for rural studies scholars. This paper investigates the ideas of post-productivism in the existing literature, and argues for a holistic understanding of post-productivism as an idea and political ambition rather than an imperative and irreversible change of rural economic activity. The purpose of the study is to make clear the division between post-productivism and the related concepts of post-production and post-productive activities in order to better understand processes of rural change in relation to different geographical contexts. It is argued that post-productivism as a concept stands apart from de facto post-production and alternative concepts such as multifunctionality and should be regarded as part of broader regional development discourses. The paper outlines several important fields in which post-productivism is a necessary component for rural transformation and development. While it is not always easily captured in indicators or empirical studies in rural locations, postproductivism exists at the level of discourse and planning and thus has real effects on the ground. The paper concludes by offering suggestions on how to apply the concepts of post-productivism, post-production and multifunctionality in future studies.