Stockholm County is Sweden’s largest by population. About 2.3 million people live here today. As the County grows, long-term planning is also required. Stockholm County consists of 26 municipalities that share a labour market, housing market and infrastructure.
The County Council is responsible for regional planning in the County, in dialogue and collaboration with the County’s municipalities and a number of other stakeholders.
The County Council may become a region in the long term
In recent years, the County Council has investigated the issue of forming an administrative region that would replace today’s County Council. By forming a region, part of the responsibility that today rests with the County Administrative Board will be moved over to the County Council.
In December 2016, the County Council submitted an application to the government to form a region in Stockholm County as of 1 January 2019.
RUFS, the regional development plan for the Stockholm region
During the year, work continued on preparing a new regional development plan, RUFS 2050, that will apply for the period 2018-2026. The new plan places particular emphasis on long-term economic, ecological and social sustainability.
Consequently, a climate roadmap is being prepared in parallel with the preparation of the development plan. A rural and archipelago strategy is also being developed, which means that the rural areas, the archipelago and the relationship between city and countryside will be highlighted in various ways.
But the region’s development plans do not stop at the county lines. It is also important to collaborate with other regions in eastern Central Sweden. Within the framework of the new development plan, the cooperation in inter-regional issues, such as public transport, research, education and international accessibility will be developed.
In 2016, work also began on how the County Council’s archipelago and environmental grants can be developed to strengthen the link between the grants and the efforts for regional development.
Coordinated planning provides better conditions for new housing
Housing construction needs to increase strongly in the Stockholm region in the next few years. But simply building more homes is not enough. In the planning of new housing, consideration must be taken to a number of factors: electricity, water, sewage, telecommunication, public transport – and more park-and-ride facilities linked to public transport. Besides the work of expanding and improving public transport, work continued in 2016 to find solutions to how more park-and-ride facilities can be created.
A sustainable social structure for an open society
Urban planning should create sustainable cities, regions and living environments – economically, ecologically and socially. Today, the Stockholm region is facing several challenges in terms of social sustainability, such as inclusion and reducing socioeconomic disparities in the region. In 2016, efforts continued on finding ways to work on these challenges.
For example, it was decided that, in the next year, the County Council will identify what mechanisms and methods build a culture of openness. This is to be done based on current research and with the aim of reducing discrimination. The work will be done together with other actors and will also identify what factors in urban planning affect inclusion and establishment in society.
Other key issues for creating sustainable regional social structures are the ability to manage unforeseen social changes, crisis and disaster management and the ability to manage hazardous goods.
Better transport flow
Good transport flows are a prerequisite for people to be able to piece together their daily lives and get to work, school, services and free-time activities. Transport flows in the Stockholm region can be improved in a number of ways. One is making it easier to travel by bike. Besides being good for health, more bicycling reduces congestion in the other modes of transport.
In 2016, work continued on implementing the regional bicycle plan. The County Council is working to make sure that the bicycle plan is carried out and the regional bicycle office – that was opened during the year – was assigned the task of cooperating with the municipalities and the rest of the County Council to provide bicycle parking and bicycle pumps.
Greater business development
As of 2016, the County Council increased its share of the financing of the company Almi Företagspartner Stockholm Sörmland AB. This means that more companies can get advice and financing to develop and grow.
A living archipelago
Stockholm's archipelago attracts many people. At the same time that there is a need to preserve sensitive nature, there is a need to develop a living archipelago. The County Council’s most important contribution is functioning public transportation for everyone: year-round residents, businesses, seasonal residents and temporary visitors. The County Council also contributes to possibilities for overnight stays through the financing of the Stockholm County Archipelago Foundation. In 2016, a project was begun to make it possible for more children and young people in disadvantaged areas to experience the archipelago.