In October of 2003 the European Issues Topic Group completed a very successful Study Tour of the Stockholm area. Using links that had been developed through Surrey County Council, the Study Tour was hosted by the Stockholm Office of Regional Planning and Transportation. The hosts provided those on the Study Tour with a full and varied programme of presentations, briefings and visits. There was a particular focus on strategic planning, sustainable housing developments and waste management.
Some of the Issues looked at as part of the Study Tour included:
- How, using polycentricity principles the Comprehensive Plan for the Stockholm Region is looking to develop centres.
- Coping with population growth due to migration into the Stockholm Region.
- How social values can be applied to urban green areas.
- Involvement in transnational working.
- How, in creating new residential communities in a waterfront setting at Hammarby, issues such as car parking, live/work initiatives and the collection of domestic waste by underground pipes are being addressed.
- The use of high tech business park developments such as that developed at Kista – including the links with learning facilities.
- The regeneration of suburban communities such as Haninge.
- The importance of tourism and the use of second homes.
- Innovative approaches to waste management including the role of incineration.
Those on the Study Tour thoroughly enjoyed the experience and came away with a good appreciation of planning issues in the Stockholm Region and how they might relate to issues in UK planning.