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Spatial planning in agricultural landscapes

Methods and processes of cooperative planning

CHALLENGE DESCRIPTION Several studies have described how measures can be placed more optimally in the landscape to reduce the nutrient load to lakes and coastal waters. Ongoing climate change increases the risks of drought and floods and is also a driving force for more optimal implementation of measures from a landscape perspective. In Sweden, according to the provisions of the Swedish Planning and Building Act, the municipalities are the legal authorities to be responsible for spatial planning. It means all planning of land and water within the geographical boundaries of the municipality. It is only the municipality that has the authority to approve spatial plans and decide whether the plan should be implemented or not. Planning is a powerful tool that can help to steer development in a direction that is sustainable. But this also requires cross-sectoral cooperation and tools that enables planning and implementation in a river basin/catchment area and a landscape perspective on a local level. Often there is a lack of knowledge about rural water management among spatial planners and too little cooperation with catchment officers and local farmers.

DESCRIPTION OF THE SOLUTION The aim of the process tool is to strengthen the link between water planning in a rural landscape and traditional spatial planning, in a Swedish municipality context. The process has formulated recommendations on how to strategically use spatial planning to link measures in rural and urban areas with effects on recipients. The climate change makes it even more important to work with measures to prolong the retention time for water in the landscape and formulate recommendations on how to strategically use spatial planning to link measures in rural and urban areas with effects on recipients. The Municipality of Västervik has a cross-sectoral internal network called Team Water (Tema Vatten). Theme Water manages water issues in Västervik Municipality that ties together various municipal „roles” of authority, development, wastewater treatment, etc. TW was formed 10 years ago and includes the leading politicians and policy makers in the Board of the Municipal Government, the Department of Environment and Planning and Västervik Environment & Energy Ld. (owned by Västervik Municipality) together with the department managers and project leaders for municipal water projects. The aim is to use the potential in Theme Water to expand and develop cooperation on issues of spatial planning and water. Involving the municipality’s spatial planners in water issues also outside the urban environment.
Interviews and workshops with the municipality are used as a method to develop conditions and challenges. The method ”Stakeholder Opinion Assessment” (SOA) was used for the interviews. In an SOA, the interviewee (ii) tries to clarify the interviewee’s (current) perception of different general questions/challenges in connection with the survey, (iii) to clarify how the person views a project or phenomenon or situation more specifically. In a workshop were challenges and ideas for change discussed in small groups and all together. The result of the interviews and the workshop is presented in this report. Recommendations to develop Theme Water in Västervik and other municipalities has been formulated. Recommendations to strengthen the municipal planning network.

  • Prioritize and deepening the management-wide work.
  • Involve spatial planning and planning prioritization.
  • Communicate work and benefits.
  • Develop and agree on a simple strategy for disseminating.
  • Communicate benefits with the municipality’s work on water issues externally to the citizens and farmers, where the work in Theme Water is one of the pillars.
  • Prioritize joint learning in the group.

POSSIBILITY OF ADAPTING THE SOLUTION Based on the prerequisites and challenges, a proposal has been designed for the municipality’s continued work on water planning in WaterDrive. Geographical Information System about land use is important for the collaboration between sectors and for understanding of waterflows and the effects on the environment. A survey of GIS layers and documents has been conducted, with the aim of supporting the planning and implementation of measures to reduce eutrophication. One example is stormwater during heavy rains. Measures upstream have be placed more optimally in the landscape to reduce the risk of flooding in urban areas and reduces the nutrient load to lakes and coastal waters. This has been checked with GIS-officers and spatial planners at Västervik municipality. Planning officers in Västervik municipality is already working on these documents as support in the Municipal used GIS system Geosecma. (Arc GIS)

Västervik municipality is used as a case, however, the description in strategy papers and recommendations are made in general terms to facilitate that the results can be used in other municipalities and countries participating in the Waterdrive project and by other concerned.

Authors of the solution description:Gun Lindberg, Västervik Municipality
State of implementation of the solution:in progress, implemented