Boverket – the Swedish National Board of Housing, Building and Planning – is a central government authority assorted under the Ministry of Finance. We review developments within the fields of housing, building and planning.
Our main field of activities
We gather relevant facts and statistics in Sweden and internationally to describe, understand, forecast and make policy suggestions. We undertake evaluations and impact assessments of policy initiatives at national and regional levels. Boverket supervises town and country planning in Sweden from legislative, procedural and architectural perspectives. Development of sustainable regions and communities and for quality of life is always in focus in various parts of our work. Examples are infrastructure and transport, the importance of urban environment and social issues, and development of the planning process and its instruments. The circulation of best practice is an important part of our work.
Analysing the Housing Market
In order to describe the current housing market and to make qualified onward prognoses to assist political decisions, our experts follow the development of the housing market, domestic migration trends and other societal fluctuations. Distribution of subsidies and issuing of credit guarantees are other tasks of the authority. The last years there has been a booming housing market and a shortage of apartments in most parts of Sweden.
Issuing Building Regulations
Swedish Building Regulations are issued by Boverket. The regulations must not contradict with the EU Internal Market and each amendment thus must be accordingly notified the European Commission. In the last years energy efficiency has rather been put in focus, though the authority strives not to sub-optimize any single dimension at the expense of other obligations. Recently the Swedish parliament decided to prohibit municipalities to request different performances from a building than those stated in the national building regulation.
Supervising the Municipal and Country Planning
In Sweden, traditional town and country planning is mainly a municipal responsibility. Each of our 290 municipalities is requested by law to have an up-dated comprehensive plan, which outlines the political vision of how the municipality should develop. The municipalities are also the public bodies entitled to develop and decide on legally binding detailed development plans.
Regional county councils (elected by the regional population) and county administrative boards (governed by national representatives) are working with the regional development perspective. The documents – Regional Development Plans and Regional Growth Programmes – should take notice of the municipal comprehensive plans and vice versa. That co-operative approach is thought to result in a regional "spatial planning".
Boverket, led by a Director General, is organized in four departments: three Operations Departments and the Administrative Department.
The main office is located in Karlskrona, a naval town at the Baltic Sea coastline. In addition there are small department offices in Malmö and Stockholm. The field of activities is regulated by a general instruction issued by the Swedish parliament. In addition the central government decides on more detailed commissions to the authority.