Public participation in the 3G infrastructure development in Sweden

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper, not in proceeding

Abstract

The infrastructure for 3G has been under development in Sweden since late 2000. Following from the so called beauty contest four operators within three years were to build competing systems to cover 99,98 percent of the population by the end of 2003, giving the administrative system an extreme challenge. Issues widely debated has been the alleged hazardousness of the electromagnetic radiation from the base stations and the public's possibility to affect where the bases stations are to be put up, which brings the participative aspects of the 3G infrastructure development into focus. The assessment of the system, the several thousands of base stations’ impact on the environment, has been made one base station at a time as the operators apply to put up a mast.
This paper shows how participation on regional and local levels is regulated in the infrastructure of the third generation of mobile telephony, 3G, in Sweden. In addition to this "law in books" description, a comparison to the public participation as it is found empirically in the application of the regulations is made, representing the "law in action". This two-sided approach forms the important foundation for the following three research questions:
1. How is public participation regulated in the case of developing 3G in Sweden?
2. What does the application of this regulation look like, empirically?
3. Is the regulation functional for public participation in the 3G case?
The first question asks for a mapping of the regulations, how the lines are drawn in existing law. The second question asks for a broader perspective, a perspective that seeks understanding of the practical side of participation in the application of the legal regulations. The third research question refers to whether or not the participation, as it is regulated, can be said to fulfil its purpose, to incorporate public values into the decisions.
To be able to empirically answer these questions a set of data consisting of ca 250 building permits in the County of Blekinge between 2001 and 2005 is used, in addition to the legal regulations, preparatory work and case law and two national municipal questionnaires regarding building permit praxis from 2003. Legal documents depict existing law and the Blekinge data, as well as other data, shows its application. The paper is in part financed by MiSt and the Swedish National Environmental Protection Agency since much of the data was collected within a MiSt study concerning sustainability issues of the 3G development (Larsson 2008). This has been complemented with more data, for instance on the so called 12:6 consultation on County administrative level, for the purpose of focusing on participative aspects in this paper. The paper is concentrated from a more extensive version in Baier, ed. (2009).

Details

Authors
Organisations
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Law and Society

Keywords

  • Public participation, 3G, Law in books, law in action, sociology of law, inclusion/exclusion, infrastructure development, concerned party, regulation
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
Publication statusSubmitted - 2009
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes
EventInternational Academic Group On Planning, Law And Property Rights Third Conference - Aalborg, Denmark
Duration: 2009 Feb 112009 Feb 13

Conference

ConferenceInternational Academic Group On Planning, Law And Property Rights Third Conference
CountryDenmark
CityAalborg
Period2009/02/112009/02/13

Bibliographic note

The article is submitted to Planning Theory & Practice and can therefore not be published here.