Arkitektur, kulturvärde och kompensation
Report, 2019

The background of this report is increased exploitation pressure in cities that is at risk of damaging cultural values and architectural qualities in the built environment. The study is to provide an overview of exploitation interests and interests of heritage in a selection of detailed plans that include cultural values and qualities in the built environment. The focus is on how compensation actions are expressed in detailed development plans. These kinds of documents regulate land-use by law and design of buildings on plots. Planning and design of detailed plans in Gothenburg are used as illustrative examples. In these cases, exploitation take place in areas of national heritage interest. They are also included in the city’s program for conserva-tion of historically valuable buildings. Thus there is both a national and local interest concerning investigated detailed plans.

The study investigates, analyzes and discusses compensation in planning processes. The overall goal is to develop knowledge about compensation thinking and how key players understand cultural value and architectural qualities in detailed plans. The research strategy is based on cases studies. From a selection of 39 detailed plans provided by the City’s planning office, 8 have been selected for case studies. These detailed plans have been analyzed through close reading of documents, site visits and discussions at seminars.

A detailed plan is a product of a planning process. In this perspective, compensation is embedded in the design of the plan. Compensation thinking can be seen as a problem-solving action when proposed detailed plans meet opposition from key players. The proposals are processed to avoid objections. The overall objective is for the detailed plan to be accepted. By adapting plans to cultural values and architec- tural qualities guarded by key actors, critique can be eliminated.

Typical compensation measures consist of supplementing the detailed plan with descriptions of cultural values in texts and illustrations from investigations conducted by contracted consultants, revisions of the proposals for detailed plans and introducing specific regulations for the control of architectural design as response to critique. In the detailed plan the demolition and construction of new buildings are, in several cases, combined with the protection of cultural values and architectural qualities on the plot. Compensation has many faces and can be both clear stated measures and changes hidden in the planning process in order to take better care of identified values and qualities in the environment.


heritage values

planning process



detailed plan


Magnus Rönn

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Building Design

The Cultural Landscape

Areas of Advance

Building Futures (2010-2018)

Subject Categories





The Cultural Landscape

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