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Johanna Alkan Olsson outdoors. Photo.

Johanna Alkan Olsson

Social environmental scientist

Johanna Alkan Olsson outdoors. Photo.

The Swedish green infrastructure policy as a policy assemblage : What does it do for biodiversity conservation?


  • Maria von Post
  • Åsa Knaggård
  • Johanna Alkan Olsson
  • Ola Olsson
  • Anna Sofie Persson
  • Johan Ekroos

Summary, in English

Green infrastructure (GI) is increasingly used in policymaking to promote biodiversity and enhance ecosystem services through the protection, creation, restoration and connection of natural and man-made green areas. The EU Commission adopted in 2013, the concept as a strategy. When member states apply the policy, it is translated into specific bureaucratic and political systems, creating different ‘policy assemblages’ of ideas and institutional features. We analyse the Swedish GI policy to draw conclusions about how it has been assembled in one particular member state and what that particular assemblage will imply for biodiversity conservation. In combination with understanding policies as assemblages, we use the ‘What's the problem represented to be’-approach as method. We show that the Swedish GI policy assemblage consists of a mix of policy ideas developed in Sweden and the EU. Despite the current strong focus on biodiversity conservation, the notion of land's multifunctionality, characterizing the EU strategy and the possibility to conserve biodiversity on land used for purposes other than conservation increasingly influence the Swedish policy as it is formed. Although the policy has the potential to mainstream biodiversity conservation measures across different sectors, based on our analysis of current discourse, its implementation will likely promote GI measures less disruptive to existing land use activities, making its capacity to halt biodiversity loss marginal. Read the free Plain Language Summary for this article on the Journal blog.


  • Centre for Environmental and Climate Science (CEC)
  • Biodiversity
  • BECC: Biodiversity and Ecosystem services in a Changing Climate
  • Department of Political Science
  • Biodiversity and Conservation Science

Publishing year







People and Nature





Document type

Journal article




  • Political Science
  • Ecology


  • biodiversity conservation
  • ecosystem services
  • environmental governance
  • EU
  • multifunctional landscapes
  • policy assemblage



Research group

  • Biodiversity and Conservation Science


  • ISSN: 2575-8314