Transition Region Stockholm
The ARTS project’s Stockholm node, which is both a case study site in the project and hosts the co-leaders of ARTS WP5, is based at Stockholm Resilience Centre (SRC). The science is based on the studies of social-ecological systems, i.e. how society and ecology are mutually interlinked, constantly affect each other, and can behave surprisingly. In ARTS, particular focus is on the social side; how transition initiatives on grassroot level form, develop and survive in a city that is internationally known for its progressive environmental governance and management, and has a long-standing tradition of civic engagement and initiatives.
The Stockholm County, which is the geographical focus area in ARTS, consists of 26 municipalities including Sweden’s capital Stockholm. The county experiences an increasing rate of urban growth and is today is the most densely populated in Sweden with more than 2.1 million inhabitants. In Stockholm city, where the growth rate is the highest, the city experiences densification of built-up areas along the city’s star-shaped transportation infrastructure, but also as urban sprawl in the periphery if the city.
The main challenges that the growing city faces include a severe housing shortage, a large number of buildings from the 1960s and 1970s being in need of renovation, and an inefficient transportation system. Furthermore, the city’s location on islands poses challenges to infrastructure development, climate change is threatening the sustenance of lake Mälaren as the main source of drinking water, and the large green wedge-shaped areas around central Stockholm are increasingly discussed as potential target areas for development.
The regional authorities have over the past few years created several platforms for dialogue across municipal borders, in order to identify potentials for synergies in action and handle the common urban challenges in the region. For example, the initiative Rösjökilen, originally initiated by the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation in order to raise awareness of the negative effects of the urban growth process on the city’s ten green wedges is now run by the municipalities, and the model is being applied in other green wedges in the region with support from the regional authorities.
Some other examples of transition initiatives in Stockholm include: the Royal Seaport area, where 10 000 new residences as 30 000 new workspace are being constructed on land that was previously used for heavy industries and dumping industrial waste. The aim is to actually increase biodiversity, making the Royal Seaport one of the world’s first climate-positive urban areas. Read more: www.stockholmroyalseaport.com.
In another example, the Nacka municipality bordering central Stockholm has been progressive in establishing protected natural areas that offer proximity to nature, important for attracting new inhabitants. As a way to keep and create nearby nature for the citizens while building dense city districts, the municipality is running a two-year project where methods for recognizing and designing for ecosystem services is explored by a cross- sectoral set of actors.
Read more: www.nacka.se/web/bo_bygga/projekt/oversiktlig_ny/ekotjanster/Sidor/default.aspx
Järvafältet is another green wedge surrounded by city districts with more than 60 000 inhabitants, the majority living in large apartment blocks built during the 1960s and 1970s, in dire need of renovation. The Järvalyftet initiative aims to turn this area with relatively high degrees of social unrest and poorly utilized common greens, into socially and ecologically sustainable urban areas. Järvalyftet is a collaborative project between researchers, planners, architects, real estate owners and local residents.
Read more: http://international.stockholm.se/Future-Stockholm/Key-city-projects/