Rapid growth sees the population of Sweden's largest city swell by two busloads of people every day. How should city planners manage this expansion? What infrastructure should be built to meet the challenges of a growing city? How can people have their say?
Färgfabriken, an independent centre for experimental art, architecture and urbanism closely affiliated to Lindéngruppen, is exploring these questions and others with an innovative new exhibition, Stockholm on the Move.
The event, co-hosted with the Royal Institute of Technology, runs at Färgfabriken in Stockholm until 24 March 2013 and seeks to unlock new, progressive approaches to urban development.
It draws inspiration from international initiatives including New Urban Topologies – a democratic programme for urban development in Eastern Europe, the Balkans and the Middle East coordinated by Färgfabriken.
Färgfabriken's Joachim Granit, curator of Stockholm on the Move, said the international perspective – “from the outside looking in” – was crucial.
“Often you're blinded by the realities around you and it's easy to miss opportunities that are right in front you waiting to be noticed,” he said.
Stockholm on the Move highlights and explores issues such as urban planning, traffic flows, design, identity, environment and political processes.
The participatory exhibition combines with seminars and workshops to create a forum for public debate and outside-the-box thinking.
It actively invites ideas, views and opinions from the people who really matter – Stockholm's residents. The idea is to encourage a broad range of stakeholders to participate in the city's renewal and future.
Rethinking urban development
“We need to rethink – there's a common need for different interests to meet and collaborate,” Granit said.
“We want to provide an inclusive forum for constructive dialogue among politicians and other stakeholders – a venue for debates about infrastructure and urban development.”
When planning a city's future, Granit added, it was vital to give citizens “concrete opportunities to develop their ideas, their fears, and their desires about the development of the city and the region”.
Giving people their say
Project manager Karin Englund at Färgfabriken said involving citizens was a key aspect when planning a city's long-term development.
“It's really important in urban development and planning that we ask ‘Who are we planning for?'" she said.
“When you actually ask people, it's very interesting to see how different their opinions are. Some people love shopping malls and want more. Others hate them and want them closed down!”
“Stockholm on the Move is about how we fit those ideas into the planning process. To do that, it's important we encourage the individuals who actually live in the city to say what they think.”
For further details see www.fargfabriken.se