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Stockholm – from ugly duckling to Europe’s first green capital

Listed author(s):
  • Hårsman, Björn


    (CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology)

  • Wijkmark, Bo


    (Office of Regional Planning and Metropolitan Transport)

Registered author(s):

    The European Commission named Stockholm Europe’s first Green Capital City in 2010. Important reasons for the award were: a reduction of CO2 emissions by 25 percent per capita since 1990 and the establishment of an administrative system integrating environmental aspects in the planning, budgeting and management of all the various activities governed by the city. This paper describes the main features of the economic, environmental and political development in Stockholm since 1850. The main idea is simply to provide a historical perspective on the city´s environmental policy but we also want to shed light on the extent to which historical decisions and processes exert an influence on current ambitions and measures to strengthen Stockholm´s sustainability. In addition to pointing at the long-lasting influence of earlier infrastructure investments we also indicate the importance of the political pragmatism and social-engineering attitude developed since the 1930´s. However, Stockholm´s recently adopted action plan for reducing the emission of greenhouse gases indicates that this institutional capital might have eroded somewhat. If this is true, Stockholm might face more difficulties in becoming greener than usually expected considering its current ranking as a leading European capital in terms of intellectual capital and rate of innovation.

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    Paper provided by Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies in its series Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation with number 307.

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    Length: 26 pages
    Date of creation: 16 Apr 2013
    Handle: RePEc:hhs:cesisp:0307
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology, SE-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden

    Phone: +46 8 790 95 63
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