Infrastructure management in shrinking municipalities

Authors: Dick Magnusson*, Linköping University
Topics: Urban and Regional Planning, Energy, Qualitative Research
Keywords: Shrinking municipalities, planning, infrastructure, sustainability, Sweden
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 3:05 PM / 4:45 PM
Room: 8212, Park Tower Suites, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Sweden along with several other countries is developing unevenly in terms of population. While more or less half of the municipalities are increasing their population, the other half is losing inhabitants every year. Simultaneously, they rely on infrastructure systems for all kinds of services, like waste, water, electricity, roads, district heating, but these systems are inflexible by nature. All in all, this entails a number of challenges regarding, among other things, the operating economics, maintenance, organization and competence management of these systems. Much of the literature on shrinking municipalities focus on planning aspects, but the effects on infrastructure is not well-researched at this point. This presentation will focus on initial results in a project which examine the challenges and opportunities that technical system owners in shrinking municipalities face. With a social science approach based on surveys, case studies and GIS analyses, the project aims at creating strategic and organizational knowledge of what altered demography, increased urbanization and economic restructuring means for many district heating actors in Sweden today. In the presentation focus will be on an initial mapping of identified shrinking municipalities, challenges their infrastructure service may face, along with a discussion on existing literature in the field and discuss how we are contributing to this literature.

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