The National Negotiation on Housing and Infrastructure
We are negotiating on the railway network of the future for more housing, a better labour market and sustainable travel.
The mandate of the National Negotiation on Housing and Infrastructure is to enable the rapid implementation of the project, to propose funding principles and a development strategy, and to identify route and station options in and around towns and cities. Another important aspect of the mandate is to increase public transport, improve accessibility and increase housing construction in our three metropolitan areas of Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö. In total, infrastructure investment around Sweden will enable the construction of approximately 100 000 new homes. The National Negotiation also has instructions to look into a possible expansion of railways in northern Sweden and to enter into agreements to promote cycling. It is also to analyse and examine possible funding solutions for an eastern Road link in Stockholm, and further investigate a permanent link between Sweden and Denmark.
The National Negotiation on Housing and Infrastructure was appointed by the Government to lead negotiations on co-financing, in which municipalities, regions, towns and the business sector can all participate and influence the result. Negotiators HG Wessberg and Catharina Håkansson Boman have been appointed by the Government to lead the work. The focus is on generating the maximum benefits for the various infrastructure projects that are part of the negotiations, including increased housing construction and an improved labour market. The negotiation method clarifies priorities and benefits, which are intended to increase efficiency and ensure that the projects involved in the mandate are completed more quickly.
The negotiators bring their experiences from the 2013 Stockholm negotiation, in which they used the same model to negotiate four new underground lines and 78 000 new homes in Stockholm. As in the Stockholm negotiation, close cooperation with stakeholders to produce common background material for the negotiations and open working methods are important pillars of the National Negotiation on Housing and Infrastructure.
COMMON BACKGROUND MATERIAL
The work of the National Negotiation on Housing and Infrastructure began in mid-2014 with an opinion- and fact-gathering phase characterised by close contact with a wide range of stakeholders. The negotiators and the secretariat held around one hundred meetings with municipalities and regions located along the railways’ possible routes and in the metropolitan areas, as well as with representatives of business, stakeholder organisations and other actors in Sweden and internationally.
The aim of that phase was to produce common background material for the negotiations ahead. It was the responsibility of the National Negotiation to survey the need for material and to commission any investigations and reports that were necessary ahead of the negotiations. The Swedish Transport Administration was an important collaborator and produced a great deal of the background material and analyses required.
In the second half of 2015, municipalities and regions submitted benefit analyses to the National Negotiation. These outlined the added value that the high-speed railways and metropolitan measures would bring locally and regionally in terms of housing, travel times, the labour market, business, the environment and social benefits in each municipality and region.
Negotiations on the high-speed railways and measures in our three metropolitan regions to improve public transport and increase housing construction began in early February 2016. The National Negotiation on Housing and Infrastructure is due to present its final report in December 2017, but the negotiation is expected to proceed faster than that.
PHASES AND REPORTS
During the course of its work, the National Negotiation has submitted three interim reports to the Government. The first was presented to Minister for Infrastructure Anna Johansson in June 2015 and contained legislative proposals to clarify how increased land value can serve as the basis for cost-sharing in development contracts. The second interim report, which was presented in January 2016, contained an analysis of funding for the high-speed railways and the commercial prospects for its operation. The final interim report was presented on 1 June 2016 and provided a progress report on the metropolitan negotiations, which are currently ongoing, and the work to examine the conditions for continued railway expansion in northern Sweden. In addition to the interim reports, on 5 July the National Negotiation on Housing and Infrastructure presented a status report to the Government outlining the work on the high-speed railways.
The negotiators will present a final report to the Government no later than 31 December 2017. It is to include a proposed strategy for the development of the new high-speed railways and the agreements entered into with the relevant municipalities and others on measures linked to the new high-speed railways, as well as measures for increased accessibility and housing construction, especially in the three metropolitan areas. The agreements are to have been concluded with a reservation for subsequent legal actions as well as approval by the Government and, where relevant, the Parliament (Riksdag).