Beyond the modern infrastructure ideal: A historical analysis of district heating expansion pre and post liberalization in Swedish municipalities
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
The accessibility and affordability of infrastructure service after liberalization and deregulation are central to the splintering urbanism (SU) thesis. Liberalization and deregulation are not well studied in Swedish contexts, especially from a historical perspective. This article explores the applicability of the SU-concept modern infrastructure ideal in district heating (DH) expansion, using the concepts of cherry-picking and bypass, by historically analysing DH systems in Swedish municipalities. Using statistical and GIS analyses of digitized DH maps, I found that cherry-picking and bypassing strategies existed well before the liberalization of the Swedish energy market in 1996. This means that, though DH network access has never been universal, the effects have not been infrastructural ‘cold spots’, as the bypassed areas have other heating options. Traces of the modern infrastructure ideal are evident in Sweden, as public ownership and management, standardized and affordable service, and integrated comprehensive planning have been the guiding logics. The cherry-picking and bypass strategies arose for systemic and historical reasons, as high investment costs and heat loss per installed meter of the pipe network are important considerations, as is competition from other heating systems. There are signs of new business logics arising due to higher prices and the creation of premium network spaces.
Splintering urbanism, modern infrastructure ideal, district heating, Sweden, Stockholm County
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-88703OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-88703DiVA: diva2:605553