Sustainable Development In Practice - Infrastructure for the third generation mobile telephone system in Sweden

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPaper in conference proceeding


The infrastructure for the third generation of mobile telephony, UMTS, is under construction in Sweden. Within three years four operators were to build competing systems to cover 99,98 % of the population.

The case of the 3G infrastructure illustrates how the sustainability issues are handled in planning and environmental management, with conflicting goals between institutional levels and competing legislation. At the national level economic and technological optimism and regional policy is in conflict with environmental and sustainability goals. No SEA was made of the entire system. The infrastructure is assessed through one permit for each mast, at the local level, giving the administrative system an extreme challenge. There are unexpected environmental and social impacts as a result from the lack of comprehensive assessment.

Based on surveys of all local planning authorities, a regional sample of permit processes and examination of legal cases the paper examines the outcomes of the fragmented assessment of the local permit process level, from a sustainability perspective, what are emerging effects and conflicts? An analysis of the potential of a comprehensive national SEA of the system to uncover unsustainabilities will be made.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Law and Society


  • Spatial Planning, Sociology of Law, UMTS, 3G, The infrastructure for the third generation of mobile telephony, planning and environmental management, Sustainable development
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationConference proceedings
PublisherInternational Association for Impact Assessment
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2007
Publication categoryResearch

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