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A strategic approach to sustainable transport system development - Part 1: attempting a generic community planning process model
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development. (Strategic Sustainable Development)
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development. (Strategic Sustainable Development)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8314-7504
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development. (Strategic Sustainable Development)
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development. (Strategic Sustainable Development)
2017 (English)In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786, Vol. 140, no Part 1, 53-61 p.Article in journal (Refereed) PublishedText
Abstract [en]

Electric vehicles seem to offer a great potential for sustainable transport development. The Swedish pioneer project GreenCharge Southeast is designed as a cooperative action research approach that aims to explore a roadmap for a fossil-free transport system by 2030 with a focus on electric vehicles. It is the following combination of objectives that puts demand on a new process model adapted for cross-sector and cross-disciplinary cooperation: (i) a fossil-free transport system in Sweden by 2030 and, to avoid sub-optimizations in the transport sector, (ii) assuring that solutions that support (i) also serve other aspects of sustainability in the transport sector and, to avoid that sustainable solutions in the transport sector block sustainable solutions in other sectors, (iii) assuring cohesive creativity across sectors and groups of experts and stakeholders. The new process model was applied in an action-research mode for the exploration of electric vehicles within a fully sustainable transport system to test the functionality of the model in support of its development. To deliver on the above combination of objectives, a framework was needed with principles for sustainability that are universal for any sector as boundary conditions for redesign, and with guidelines for how any organization or sector can create economically feasible step- by-step transition plans. The Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development (FSSD) is designed to serve such purposes and therefore is embedded into the new process model. The exploration of this new model also helped to identify four interdependent planning perspectives (‘Resource base’, ‘Spatial’, ‘Technical’ and ‘Governance’) that should be represented by the respective experts and stakeholders using the model. In general, the new process model proved helpful by giving diverse stakeholders with various competences and representing various planning perspectives a common, robust, and easy-to- understand goal and a way of working that was adequate for each of their contexts. Furthermore, the evolving process model likely is relevant and useful not only for transport planning and electric vehicles, but for any other societal sector as well and thus for sustainable community planning in general. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2017. Vol. 140, no Part 1, 53-61 p.
Keyword [en]
Sustainability, Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development, FSSD, Traffic, Transport, Strategic planning
National Category
Other Natural Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:bth-11713DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2016.02.054OAI: diva2:911652
Available from: 2016-03-14 Created: 2016-03-14 Last updated: 2016-12-19Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Sustainable Personal Road Transport: The Role of Electric Vehicles
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Sustainable Personal Road Transport: The Role of Electric Vehicles
2016 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Electric vehicles can play an important role in a future sustainable road transport system and many Swedish politicians would like to see them implemented faster. This is likely desirable to reach the target of a fossil independent vehicle fleet in Sweden by 2030 and a greenhouse gas neutral Swedish society no later than 2050. However, to reach both these targets, and certainly to support the full scope of sustainability, it is important to consider the whole life-cycle of the vehicles and also the interaction between the transport sector and other sectors. So far, there are no plans for transitions towards a sustainable transport system applying a sufficiently wide systems perspective, in Sweden or elsewhere. This implies a great risk for sub-optimizations.

The overall aim of this work is to elaborate methodological support for development of sustainable personal road transport systems that is informed by a strategic sustainable development perspective.

The Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development (FSSD) is used as a foundation for the work to ensure a sufficiently wide systems perspective and coordinated collaboration across disciplines and sectors, both in the research and application. Maxwell’s Qualitative Research Design and the Design Research Methodology are used as overall guides for the research approach. Specific research methods and techniques include literature studies, action research seminars, interviews, and measurements of energy use, costs, and noise. Moreover, a case study on the conditions for a breakthrough for vehicles in southeast Sweden has been used as a test and development platform.

Specific results include a preliminary vision for electrical vehicles in southeast Sweden, framed by the principled sustainability definition of the FSSD, an assessment of the current reality in relation to that vision, and proposed solutions to bridge the gap, organized into a preliminary roadmap. The studies show that electric vehicles have several sustainability advantages even when their whole life-cycle is considered, provided that they are charged with electricity from new renewable sources. Electrical vehicles also imply a low total cost of ownership and could promote new local ‘green jobs’ under certain conditions. Particularly promising results are seen for electric buses in public transport. As a general result, partly based on the experiences from the specific case, a generic community planning process model is proposed and its usefulness for sustainable transport system development is discussed.

The strategic sustainable development perspective of this thesis broadens the analysis beyond the more common focus on climate change issues and reduces the risk of sub-optimizations in community and transport system development. The generic support for multi-stakeholder collaboration could potentially also promote a more participatory democratic approach to community development, grounded in a scientific foundation. Future research will explore specific decision support systems for sustainable transport development based on the generic planning process model.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlskrona: Blekinge Tekniska Högskola, 2016. 116 p.
Blekinge Institute of Technology Licentiate Dissertation Series, ISSN 1650-2140 ; 2016:02
Strategic Sustainable Development, Transport Planning, Electric Vehicles, Testing, LCA
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified
urn:nbn:se:bth-11715 (URN)978-91-7295-325-3 (ISBN)
2016-04-15, BTH: J1650, Blekinge Tekniska Högskola, Karlskrona, 09:30 (English)
Available from: 2016-03-15 Created: 2016-03-14 Last updated: 2016-10-19Bibliographically approved

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Robèrt, Karl-HenrikBorén, SvenNy, HenrikBroman, Göran
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