Escalating Consumption and Spatial Planning: Notes on the Swedish Retail Evolution

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The aim of this article is to describe and investigate how the Swedish escalation in consumption and restructuring of retail spaces are dealt with in Swedish spatial planning. The first part contains a history and overview of the Swedish retail evolution. The major changes are presented, followed by a short discussion of some main actors in this evolution. In the second part we focus on policies and the planning process, discussing how the municipalities are expected to fulfil their tasks as the agents responsible for physical planning of commercial centres in the light of the ongoing rapid escalation of retail planning projects. Recent guidelines from the national and regional authorities for improvement of the current situation are analysed. Finally, we discuss recent research maintaining that a new form for project planning is emerging within commercial planning. This new form sometimes bypasses traditional planning practices and thus requires new instruments and organisations for a more effective planning of urban retail.


External organisations
  • Malmö University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Architecture
  • Human Geography


  • planning, retail, consumption
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1043-1060
JournalEuropean Planning Studies
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Publication categoryResearch
Externally publishedYes

Related projects

Mattias Kärrholm, Teresa Barata Salgueira, Katarina Nylund, Paulina Prieto de La Fuente, Herculano Cachinho, Feyzan Erkip, Jean Soumagne, José Alberto Rio Fernandes, Arnaud Gasnier, Rene-Paul Desse & Lionel Guillemot


Project: ResearchInternational collaboration, Interdisciplinary research

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