The Stockholm Commission
The Stockholm case study focuses on the work of ‘The Commission for a Socially Sustainable Stockholm’ that from 2015 to 2017 had the task to ‘analyse differences in life conditions in Stockholm and to propose measures for an equal and socially sustainable city’. The background is that Stockholm, although an internationally competitive city and successful in a number of economic terms, also suffers from severe and deepening segregation. There are thus large differences between neighborhoods in a row of criteria ranging from not only socio-economic status or housing but also health issues and life expectances differ widely. What impact, then, can this place-based local action have on a fair and equitable distribution of resources – and opportunities to use them – within Stockholm as a locality?
In a number of policy fields the Commission has developed suggestions that would make the city more equal, of which implementation started more or less immediately. In this study, the fast process from idea to implementation is analysed in relation to the form and organization of the Commission and to related planning processes. Results suggests that the semi-autonomous form and organization of the Commission, together with commitment and engagement of involved stakeholders, and a place-based structured learning process, has been a successful way to initiate and carry through changes that in some parts also are structural, both concerning procedures (e.g. on the role of local area planning), and regarding distribution (e.g. on urban qualities and physical integration), thus contributing to the aims of the city to halt and turn processes of fragmentation.