Steering cities towards a sustainable transport system in Norway and Sweden

This paper describes so-called city growth agreements and city environmental agreements in Norway and Sweden, respectively. The authors do case studies of two regions in Norway and two cities in Sweden. While the general aim of the agreements is similar in the two countries, namely for the central government to influence municipal infrastructure building in a more environmentally sustainable direction, the agreements differ in many respects. While the Norwegian agreements consist of several projects concerning the construction of roads and railroads, and infrastructure for public transport, pedestrians, and cycling, the Swedish agreements only concern one (type of) project at a time. Moreover, Norway emphasizes city planning more; even though the building of new housing is important also in Sweden, location and densification are less so. The Swedish projects are municipality driven, while the Norwegian system is based on reciprocal negotiations between the municipalities, the county, and the state. The Norwegian model fits better into a theoretical fiscal federalism-based framework than the Swedish one, with the state internalizing spatial spillovers arising from infrastructure projects. In Sweden, the agreements are better to be seen as means for institutionalized lobbying by municipalities.


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  • Accession Number: 01764729
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Dec 31 2020 4:59PM