For several years the county of Stockholm has seen the emergence of increased tension between demographic and residential development and water and wastewater service provision. On one hand, the population of the county has increased by an average of 1% per year in the last ten years, lifestyles have changed, and secondary homes are being occupied on a permanent basis. On the other hand, water needs are increasing overall; policies promote connection to municipal networks; the costs and financing associated with infrastructure extensions are becoming more complex, and national and European regulations of autonomous water and wastewater systems are becoming stricter along environmental and health lines. Through the example of Norrtälje, a municipality in the Stockholm archipelago where water and wastewater services are, in various forms, at the heart of planning policy, the article analyses the articulation between a liberal urban development policy and the management of water and wastewater services in highly contrasting local areas. This analysis reflects on existing and future socio-spatial implications of these trends in urban change and in the forms of service provision.
Special Report: Low Density and Costs of Urban DevelopmentBy Frédérique Boucher-Hedenström, Jonathan Rutherford