Areas of national importance from a cultural, natural or recreational point of view fall under the Environmental Code’s economising regulations, which aim to protect against wastage of land, water and natural resources.
‘National Interests’ are an important instrument for decision-making in town planning, and can be determined within several different areas in terms of their interest both for preservation and for use. The National Environmental Protection Board decides which areas are of national interest for nature conservation and recreation, and the National Heritage Board has the same responsibility with regard to the cultural heritage. The municipalities must take national interests into account in their comprehensive plans. An area which is of national interest for nature conservation, cultural historical care or recreation must be protected against activities which can significantly damage its natural or cultural environment (EC: chap. 3:6).
The Environmental Code (chap. 4) lists specific geographical areas which are designated areas of national interest out of consideration for their overall natural and cultural value. We find, for example, the Stockholm County’s coastal area and archipelago as well as Mälaren with its islands and strands listed as areas where tourism and the open air recreational interests must be given especially strong protection. The Royal National City Park – the Ulriksdal–Haga–Brunnsviken–Djurgården area – is also protected according to EC: chap. 4.
Most of the Royal National City Park is also mentioned as of national interest for the cultural heritage in accordance with Chapter 3, Section 6 of the Environmental Code.