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Sustainable Planning and Environmental Assessment Knowledge

Project leader: Berit Balfors

Project participants: Johan Högström (coordinator), KTH; Hans Antonson, VTI; Charlotta Faith-Ell; WSP and KTH; Göran Finnveden, KTH; Ulrika Gunnarsson Östling, KTH; Christina Hörnberg, Environmental Law & Development Centre Sweden AB; Karolina Isaksson, VTI; Kristina Lundberg, Ecoloop; Sirje Pädam, KTH and WSP; Helena Ryhle, HR Graphic Design & Illustration; Tore Söderqvist, Enveco Miljöekonomi AB; Antoienette Wärnbäck, SLU.

Project period: 2014-2017

Funder: Swedish Environmental Protection Agency

Project description

The overall aim of the SPEAK project is to generate knowledge about effective spatial planning for sustainable development and thereby strengthen spatial planning as a relevant and comprehensive means of attaining the national environmental quality objectives.

SPEAK will identify and analyze obstacles and deficiencies of environmental assessments in contemporary planning practice.

SPEAK will identify pathways that can support spatial planning.

SPEAK will generate proposals for developing the planning system and its applications in Strategic Environmental Assessment of plans and programmes and in Environmental Impact Assessment of projects.

The following activities are included in the research program:

  • Mapping of current environmental assessment practice in Sweden.
  • Study behavioural and social science aspects of current EIA/SEA practice.
  • Design of incentives – supplementing and adjusting the current EIA/SEA system in Sweden.
  • Looking outside and looking ahead. International experience and collaborations.


The project is a collaboration between KTH, WSP, VTI, EcoLoop, Enveco and SLU.


Link to the official project website:

Link to news about SPEAK


2018 Balfors, B., Antonson, H., Faith-Ell, C., Finnveden, G., Gunnarsson-Östling, U., Hörnberg, C., Isaksson, K., Lundberg, K., Pädam, S., Söderqvist, T., Wärnbäck, A., 2018. Strategisk miljöbedömning för hållbar samhällsplanering - Slutrapport från forskningsprogrammet SPEAK. Rapport 6810, Naturvårdsverket, 92 pp.