Analyzing Stockholm’s Comprehensive Plan: In Search of an Ecofeminist Future 2050

University essay from KTH/Urbana och regionala studier

Abstract:

This report addresses the environmental discourse of the current comprehensive plan of Stockholm, The Walkable City, and in what ways it can be developed following an ecofeminist framework. With a foundation in a critical perspective on current processes of urbanization, ecofeminist theory, and an interest in the potential in utopian thought, this thesis attempts to assist the comprehensive plan in finding alternative ways of approaching the urban development of the city, in search for social and environmental justice through increased citizen participation.

Ecofeminists argue that economic growth is conditioned by and enforces colonial and patriarchal relations between humans, and between humans and nature. The current global process of urbanization is an integral part in sustaining the economic growth, making cities an important area to address in search of other relations. Sustainable development has been put forth as a way to relieve the negative social and environmental effects of the economic system, and has informed much urban policy-making. Urban policy, such as comprehensive plans, shape the path of urban development. The main strategy of the current comprehensive plan of Stockholm is ”sustainable growth”.

This thesis analyses the components that make out the strategy of sustainable growth in order to understand why it is problematic. Further, it engages in participatory scenario generation using an ecofeminist framework, to find new ideas and paths for a sustainable urban development in Stockholm.

The conclusions that are found comprise the positive notion that there are great chances to develop the notion and strategies for sustainability through workshops with stakeholders. While the overall course of development of the scenarios may be too far from our current reality to be easily implemented, there are several suggestions with great potential even in our current context. Furthermore, the results point out important directions in which to develop the plan in a longer perspective, that concern a fundamental restructuring of the political economy along more socially and environmentally sound lines that elevate the interconnectedness of humans and nature. This is a restructuring that makes economic growth according to the current model impossible, but that aims for equality between humans and far-reaching environmental protection. It is also pointed out that the deployment of a multitude of conflicting scenarios in planning would benefit both the urban development and democratic participation.

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