Quiet acceptance vs. the 'polder model': Stakeholder involvement in strategic urban mobility plans

Lucas van der Linde, P.A. Witte, T.J.M. Spit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Cities in EU-member states increasingly involve governmental and non-governmental stakeholders in developing strategic urban mobility plans to increase the legitimacy of policies. The question is, to what extent urban transport experts and other stakeholders acknowledge the added value of the involvement of stakeholders in a sectoral policy field as urban mobility planning? This article analyses governmental and non-governmental involvement practices of the cities of Malmö (Sweden) and Utrecht (the Netherlands) using the New Institutional Approach. Both countries strive to a large extent for more stakeholder involvement. However, urban transport professionals in both countries also explicitly emphasize the disadvantages of stakeholder involvement in urban mobility planning. According to them, non-governmental stakeholders are not able to think on the needed strategic level, groups are biased, and many other stakeholders do not feel the need to get involved in the policy process. As a consequence, policy processes often result in delays. This study shows that participation of stakeholders in the strategic urban mobility policy process is, according to professionals working in the field, not always the panacea that many scholars expect.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)425-445
Number of pages21
JournalEuropean Planning Studies
Issue number3
Early online date2020
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Urban mobility planning
  • new institutional theory
  • participation
  • policy integration
  • stakeholder involvement


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