Governance factors of sustainable stormwater management: A study of case cities in China and Sweden

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  • Xiu Juan Qiao
  • Liu, Li
  • Anders Kristoffersson
  • Thomas B. Randrup

Cities worldwide are increasingly using green infrastructure to mitigate challenges related to stormwater, in an approach regarded as sustainable stormwater management (SSM). Various governance factors have been identified as one of the major barriers to SSM implementation. In this study, we examined specific governance factors influencing local SSM implementation in four case cities in Sweden and China. Based on systems thinking, we first developed a general causal loop diagram (SSM-CLD) illustrating the interrelations between previously identified influencing governance factors in SSM. We then used this general SSM-CLD as a framework to conduct and analyze 23 semi-structured interviews with local government officers in the four case cities. Based on the analysis, we summarized the most frequently mentioned governance factors and created one SSM-CLD for each case city. We then examined the main differences between the local SSM-CLDs and the general SSM-CLD, and the differences between the Chinese and Swedish case cities. The results revealed that, in the two Chinese case cities, the role of national policy in setting local leaders' priorities, the strong organizational set-up, and planning instruments are significant for SSM implementation. In the two Swedish case cities, public awareness, local government politicians’ priorities, and trust in SSM performance are important for SSM implementation. Acquiring funding for long-term maintenance of SSM was identified as a common challenge in all four cities studied. These results provide a better understanding and potential lessons for other cities on how governance factors influence SSM.

TidsskriftJournal of Environmental Management
StatusUdgivet - 2019

ID: 226949153