Department of Architecture and built Environment Master thesis in urban planning and design Spring semester 2009
Cityscapes of the future: Design for sustainable urban development in Stockholmâ€™s city centre
By: Assienah Mooki Morosini Supervisor: Daniel Koch
Abstract This thesis deals with the ever changing landscapes of the Stockholm city and how to develop it's cityscape in a way that is sustainable in terms of economic, social and environmental sustainability. The proposal is set upon the fact that Stockholm is expected to reach a population of 1 million by the year 2030 and wants to become a more global city while maintaining it's stance on sustainability. The aim of this thesis is to create an urban design proposal for the city centre of Stockholm, which pays attention to the existing urban landscape and its daily use while maintaining the goal of Stockholm becoming a more sustainable global city and region. The delimitation is set upon the Stockholm-Mälaren region and Stockholm city for descriptive reasons. A proposal will then be done for the area of Västra city . The method of analysis is a visual/ image analysis based on Kevin Lynchs book Image of this city. The method involves visual mapping of areas in terms of objects, visibility, strength, weaknesses, connections, disconnections and interrelations. The thesis' theoretical framework: includes literature on the utopianism of city planning that features readings on works by Ebenezer Howard, Le Corbusier and others. In terms of sustainability litterature on the concept of sustainability is used along with litterature on vertical urban theory which is adopted in the projects proposal. In conclusion this thesis and proposal will hopefully make it aware that despite current debate on the future planning of Stockholm, there is enough room for the city to maintain and achieve it's role and labels as a Global city, Green city, Venice of the North and a Sustainable city while getting an exciting cityscape. While the area of Västra city is today not that of which one would
expect of a “Global city” it's future proposed development through high-density sustainable development, will make for a more inviting and exciting first glance of the city.
Table of content Part I Introduction 1.Introduction....................................4 1.1 BACKGROUND ........................................................................................................... 4 1.2 AIM AND PURPOSE ..................................................................................................... 4 1.3 DELIMITATION ........................................................................................................... 4 1.4 METHODOLOGY AND STRUCTURE .................................................................................. 4
3 Stockholm city and it’s region.........6 3.1 HISTORY OF STOCKHOLM’S CITY CENTRE ......................................................................... 6
3.2 Vision 2030 ..................................7 3.3 VÄSTRA CITY ............................................................................................................. 7
Part III The city examined 4 The planning of cities....................10 4.1INTRODUCTION ........................................................................................................ 10
4.2 URBAN UTOPIAS....................................................................................................... 10 4.3 SPRAWL AND THE AUTOMOBILE CITY ............................................................................ 11
5 Case studies ................................. 14 5.1. LA DEFÉNSE ............................................................................................................ 14 5.2 MORE LONDON ....................................................................................................... 14
Part IV Elements in the sustainability of cities 6. Sustainable development ........... 17 6.1THE CONCEPT OF SUSTAINABILITY ................................................................................. 17 6.2 THE ECONOMY AND VALUE OF SUSTAINABILITY ............................................................... 17 6.3. VERTICAL URBAN THEORY.......................................................................................... 18 6.4 CONCLUSIONS ......................................................................................................... 19
Part VI Planning for Västra city 7 Current situation analysis ............ 21
7.1 METHOD OF ANALYSIS ...............................................................................................21 7.1.1 Edges ..................................................................................................... 21 7.1.2 Landmarks............................................................................................. 21 7.1.3 Nodes .................................................................................................... 21 7.1.4 Paths ..................................................................................................... 21 7.1.5 Districts ................................................................................................. 21 7.2 BICYCLE AND PEDESTRIAN NETWORK .............................................................................22 7.3 CAR STREETS AND MOTORWAY NETWORK ......................................................................22 7.4 BUILT LANDSCAPE AND GREEN STRUCTURE .....................................................................22 7.5 BUILDING TYPOLOGY .................................................................................................22 7.6 STRUCTURAL CHARACTER ANALYSIS ..............................................................................23 7.7 CONCLUSION AND DEVELOPMENT PLAN.........................................................................23
Proposal 8. Västra City ................................... 25 8.1 DEVELOPMENT PLAN .................................................................................................26 8.2 ELEVATIONS.............................................................................................................27 8.3 SUSTAINABILITY STRATEGY ..........................................................................................29 8.4 TRAFFIC STRATEGY ....................................................................................................30 8.4 TRAFFIC STRATEGY ....................................................................................................31 8.4 3D ILLUSTRATIONS....................................................................................................33 8.4 MASTERPLAN...........................................................................................................36 Litterature references..................................................................................... 37 Internet references......................................................................................... 37
Part I Introduction
1.Introduction 1.1 Background The united nations estimated in 2001, that half of the world’s population would be living in cities by the year 2010(Cadessasso, M.L., 2008 p.8). This will mean a need for further urban development in order to provide housing, workplaces and places of leisure for the expanding urban population. In Stockholm like in most countries sustainable development has become an important part of urban planning and design with goals such as minimizing environmental degradation put in place. Cities like Stockholm are struggling to provide exciting environments while striving for a more sustainable development. Stockholm is however also dealing with the debate on whether or not to change it’s cityscape. The city is slowly but surely recovering from the urban demolition of the sixties and plans by the municipality are to have the city grow higher through a densification program. Many city officials, planners and architects speak of Manhattan when referring to the planned urban development of the city. The idea is to build high, but many are in opposition with this, with planners, architects, city officials and citizens on opposite sides of the debate. Some say that the city should not let the market and globalization forces dictate it’s the urban development. While other see the building of high-rises as the image of a city. The debate which started with the building of the city’s first high building (city hall) is thought to likely arise every time there are plans for a new high-rise (http://www.dn.se/sthlm/stockholms-city-vaxer-upp-1.794181). In December 2009, members of the liberal Swedish political party (Folkpartiet) penned a debate article in the Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet with the title “The beauty of Stockholm is threatened”. The introduction to the piece which was most passionate went as following “A CITY IN TRANSITION soulless giants of steel, glass and concrete do not belong in Stockholm. Stockholm is one of the world's most beautiful cities. Today it is threatened of becoming dramatically unattractive. The process is already in motion.”
The underlying argument in the debate article, was the fear that members of the party felt of Stockholm becoming a “miniManhattan” even criticizing members of their own coalition government the conservative (Moderaterna), for wanting to give funding to development companies that were willing to build highrises (http://www.svd.se/opinion/brannpunkt/stockholms-skonhetar-hotad_3988187.svd). Despite concerns the general idea in Stockholm has long been an adaptation of the Paris model with building and development regulation codes, that opted for a preservation of the cityscape by ensuring that the height levels of new development did not surpass that of the existing. However there has in the city centre been an exception to this rule, allowing a height difference of two to three floors more than average. Västra city is one controversy in this matter as it is proposed to reach new heights.
There are however some that feel that this is in clear contradiction with some of the city’s plans for the future of Stockholm (which features skyscrapers in its central parts). In a debate article in the Swedish architectural magazine Arkitekten, Fillip Henley a city architect for one of Sweden’s municipalities said “If Stockholm wishes to develop as a Green Capital one has to question the plans for high-rises in the city centre”. Henley further states that Stockholm is often referred to as the Venice of the North, another quality of the city is that it is built in human scale with a tranquillity not often experienced in many other cities (Henley, F. Arkitekten 02 2010). While much of the arguments presented by Henley are of relevance the competitiveness of cities around the world is apparent in an ever globalizing world. The planning and administrative bodies in Stockholm are intent on raising land value, which they view as building high-rises. This while others such as Heneey speak of the cultural value that will be lost as the urban
cityscape and urban value is altered by the new high –rises (Henley, F. 2010 Arkitekten p.58).
1.2 Aim and purpose The aim of this thesis will be to create an urban design proposal for the city centre of Stockholm, which pays attention to the existing urban landscape and its daily use while maintaining the goal of Stockholm becoming a more sustainable global city and region.
1.3 Delimitation The delimitation of this thesis covers the aspects of environmental , social and economic sustainability in terms of sustainable development. The geographical study area is Västra City an area located in the center of Stockholm city. Some attention is also paid to the ongoing development projects of Stockholm and the Stockholm-Mälaren region.
1.4 Methodology and structure The project is set in five parts a descriptive which will include a historic overview of the development of the Stockholm city centre. This methodology and structure is included in the first part which is the introduction. The second part of the thesis is a historical overview of planning and the development of Stockholm. The third part of the thesis will cover theoretical literature on sustainability and sustainable development. The fourth part of the thesis will analyze The Stockholm city centre (Norrmalm) in terms spatial, social and economical aspects that are of importance for the everyday life of the city. The fifth and final part of this thesis will present a proposal for the future development of Stockholm its region and its cityscape.
Part II Stockholm
3 Stockholm city and it’s region 3.1 History of Stockholm’s city centre Urban development in Stockholm has since the demolitions of the inner parts of the city been turbulent, and often meets resistance from the citizens. While their resistance is valid the changes that were implemented in the mid 20th century fell short of the urban utopia that was envisioned, and in their place resides a more than lacklustre urban centre. The city of Stockholm was unlike other European cities untouched by the Second World War which left many European cities in ruins and in need of reconstruction. But a reconstruction nonetheless took place in Stockholm as the city was seen as inadequate to hold the title of city centre. Stadsholmen, today’s old town was in the beginning seen as Stockholm’s city centre. The area was however soon seen as not fit to be representative of the industrial era which demanded locals for banking and firms. The new buildings were therefore situated in Norrmalm which meant a restructuring on the position of the city’s centre. Norrmalm soon became an attractive commercial district. This soon brought about the end of Stadsholmen and the birth of Gamla stan, as Stadsholmen could no longer be called the centre of Stockholm. Norrmalm in turn gained two streets Kungsgatan and Sveavägen. The area around Kungsgatan which was mostly residential was changed to office places and places for commerce (Hall, T. 2009 p.112-113). By the mid 1920s the motorization of the city had begun with the numbers of automobiles in the city rising from 2 000 to 17 500. The roads of the city were shared by various vehicles such as trams, horse drawn carts, cyclists and of course the pedestrians, which soon created chaos. A solution was seen as necessary but the city’s chief urban planner had no interest in such changes. By 1927 the chief urban planner Per Olof Hallmans working contract ended with the position being offered to Albert Lilienberg, who at the time was one of the country’s most prominent urban planners. Lilienberg was unlike Hallman more technical in his way of planning, as he was an engineer by education. In 1928 he revealed a general plan for the city’s most urban parts . The plan included future metro lines, overpasses and well structured streets, much of the plan was implemented. Another part of Lilienbergs plan was the construction of a city centre which meant the
transformation of the southern part of Norrmalm. Lilienberg advocated for a centralisation of finance and retail even referring to Lindhagens
plan for Norrmalm from the 1866, which featured Sveavägen leading to the waterfront. The plan would mean a demolishing of existing structures, to clear way for the extension of Sveavägen. The plan for Sveavägen which was first met with praise soon received heavy critique, and was later scrutinized leading to an international architectural competition, for the site including all of southern Norrmalm. The competition which garnered 350 entries within and outside of Sweden was viewed as highly successful. The judging of the projects was based on how the structures would promote commercialization and accessibility. None of the entries won due to the fact that the planning committee could not reach a unanimous decision (Hall, T. 2009 p.115-119).
Lindhagen plan source: www.wikipedia.org
Lilienberg later came up with a more detailed plan for southern Norrmalm featuring the widening of Sveavägen which would intersect with Hamngatan together with the creation of a new piazza “Sveaplatsen”. This plan like the one before garnered heavy critique, mainly due to the fact that the proposal did not respect the existing
topography. Which would mean a digging out of the Brunkebergs ridge. The proposal was further seen as detrimental for Gamla stan as it would mean a possible traffic increase for the area. While the plan was
criticized by many planning practitioners it was supported by the city politicians. The plan was eventually not implemented as the city council voted 56 against and 35 for (Hall, T. 2009 p.121-126).
By 1944 Albert Lilienberg was no longer the citys chief urban planner. The fate of Sveavägen had however not been concluded. The torch for the citys urban planning was handed over to Sven Markelius , who began an alteration of the plan for southern Norrmalm. A new proposal for the area was put forward in 1946. The new plan marked a vast redevelopment of Stockholms city centre. The plan featured the construction of new development and car free shopping streets. The proposal also paid attention to the function of buildings and suggested a higher amount of spaces for firms and companies within the area. The current scatter of businesses was seen as un-preferable for the future of the city, both financially and functionally. The proposed plan was meet favourably but the traffic solutions were found to be unfavourable by the building committee and the aesthetic council, who felt the handling of the existing through demolition, was dire. The urban planning office however saw no value in maintaining the existing buildings (Hall, T. 2009 p.128-130). Much of the land to be developed was owned by the city, which was intent on raising land value through development. Another defining factor for this inner-city development is though to be the entrance of the metro system, which facilitated in the destruction of buildings around Sergelgatan and further giving strength to the inner city project. The city was growing fast and its economy strengthening. By early 1951 the reconstruction of southern Norrmalm was underway. There was however no general plan for Norrmalm but “partial development plans” facilitating in a non negotiation in the planning direction for Norrmalm which would hinder any debate or critique. The first “partial development plan” covered the expansion of
Klarabergsgatan . The second “partial development plan” covered the area around Hötorget, featuring the removal of the theatre which was to be replaced by a cinema and various retail. Also featured in the plan were modernist high-rises. Many were against the destruction of the existing environment which had before garnered no special interest, such as the Sergel house and Bethlehem church. The third “partial development plan” conceived in 1953 featured the location on the west side of Drottninggatan. The plan meant a digging out of the area in order to provide traffic development and a building site for the planned highrises. The forth “partial development plan” concerned the formation of Sergelstorg the area previously planned as Sveaplan. The name of the place would pay homage to Johan Tobias Sergel whos studio, the Sergel house had been demolished in the transformation process (Hall, T. 2009 p.130-134). Another city plan based highly on the development of 20 000 parking spaces was made in 1962 and given the name “city 62”. The plan was nothing new but featured alterations of traffic roads such as the expansion of car streets leading to the demolition of 332 residential plots. This was meet with heavy critique from the media and the public, calling the proposal a destruction of Norrmalm. Many prominent figures meant stated that the redevelopment programme of the city was highly car and commerce oriented (Hall, T. 2009 p.143). By the early 70s reconstruction of the city centre was at a standstill featuring “the battle of the elms” marking a change in course in the reconstruction of the city. The beginning to the end had started in the late 1960s, with developers becoming more reluctant to invest in the demolished areas leaving them to be used for parking. The demolition of the existing parts however persisted as planned, many had however lost faith in the once booming economy. Then came the economic crisis leading to higher petroleum prices and a realization of the fact that petroleum would not last forever. Regional planning also began to put forth the questions of whether the city could only be monocentric, the idea was that citys could be polycentric (Hall, T. 2009 p.156). Further demolition was done in the 70s with 153 residential plots torn down while another 95 were torn down in the 1980s. By the 1970s the concepts of shopping malls which were a suburban concepts were being be implemented within the city centre. This brought about the construction of “Gallerian” to one of the empty lots. 7
City 62 source: www.wikipedia.org
3.2 Vision 2030 The city of Stockholm and it’s region is under the slogan “Capital of Scandinavia” intent on becoming “a world-class Stockholm ” by the year 2030 through it’s “Vision Stockholm 2030”. The project is centred around the future development of Stockholm city and the StockholmMälaren region, which is expected to accommodate an increase of 200 000 new residents. The vision which was brought forth by officials and corporations within the city and its region was accepted by the city council in June 2007. The vision features proposals for 21 development projects in and around Stockholm to form new housing, workplaces, educational facilities and infrastructural development in order to sustain the expected population of 1 million in 2030 (Vision 2030: a guide to the future p.2). At the same time the city is branded as the “European green capital” with the motivation that; “the city has an integrated management system to ensure that environmental considerations is taken into account in the financial, operational planning, reporting and monitoring of the city, the city has reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 25 percent per capita since 1990, the city has set a target of being fossil fuel free by the years 2050” http://www.stockholm.se/KlimatMiljo/Miljohuvudstad-2010/). There are in the city centre alone five ongoing and planned projects namely an upgrade of the area around the Stockholm public library i near Odenplan which will feature a new indoor shopping mall and a
new station in connection with the new commuter line. The “Citybanan” which is the citys new commuter line is one of the major developments in the city which will feature a 6 km long tunnel in connection with two new stations one of which is Odenplan. Another area included in the development of the inner city is Karolinska and the Norra station area which will be a new city district to be developed together with the municipality of Solna. Slussen which is located between Södermalm and the old city is an area that is of great importance in the further development of Stockholm city will be upgraded and rebuilt in order to reach a better capacity and be more attractive with extended connections to Skeppsbron and Stadsgården. The Klara hotel and junction which is located within the planning area for Västra city is an ongoing project which has meant the development of a hotel and conference centre(Vision 2030: a guide to the future p.10).
3.3 Västra city The city of Stockholm is in corporation with Jernhusen decided on a development of the railway area along the Klara lake and area that is today called Västra city. The choice of the site is seen as strategically important through the citys general plan. There is is currently plans to develop a smaller area of Västra city which is though to evoke a better coherence in the city structure and proximity to the waterfront. The railway is an important transportation hub but often act as a obstacle between the city centre and the Kungsholmen Island. By covering the railway area and important phase in the connecting of the two areas will be done. While the changes are in progress a lot has to be done in order for the area to provide interconnectedness within the two districts and the rest of the city. (Planprogram p. 4) Stockholm city centre does not only function as an administrative, business and cultural centre for Stockholm but for the rest of Sweden. The redevelopment of Stockholm city centre has been ongoing since the 1990s with the city’s ambition to create more job housing and public spaces in order to provide environments that function all throughout the day. The city centre often functions as a catalyst for business investments and other developments and should therefore hold a leading position in the region and the country. An important part of this is urban development which is sustainable, through such things as public transport. In order to have a more effective and
sustainable city Stockholm has to be centred and more compact as a city. There are many ongoing development project in Stockholm with a focus on creating “green and blue” environment with a proximity to nature and water. Stockholm is a city built on those principles. In order to get a more versatile environment a mix in architecture and function is needed. The existing buildings are also taken into consideration when creating a more versatile and alive city. This means possibly adding more floorage above buildings and opening up places for activity on the bottom floors. Vasagatan and Klarabergsgatan can in the future become the more important streets in the city as they provide links to some of the cities prominent public spaces such as Norra Bangatan and Tegelbruket in the case of Vasagatan and Sergelstorg and Klarabergsplan in the case of Klarabergsgatan. Klarabergsgatan also serves as an important axis between Kungsholmen and the inner city. The development of the citybanan and bridging of the railway area are the largest development projects within the area and are highly influential for the future development of the area. Overdecking the railway area would mean the creation of two new areas Västra city south of Kungsbron and Barnhusviken north of Kungsbron exteding from Tegelbacken to Karlberg. Today the area acts as a barrier in the city and Kungholmen but an overdecking of it could mean new connections and a better city life. Sustainable development is becoming more and more important as more people move into cities. This socially, economically and environmentally, it is up to cities to in their planning create more sustainable environments. One way of this is building more compact cities that allow for a better flow of people and a wider use of public transportation. This will possibly lead to less energy consumption and lower uses of fossil fuels. Statistics show that in the EU alone the built environment stand for 40 % of the energy consumption, something that can be prevented in using more sustainable building methods. The idea for Västra city is to create more sustainable buildings and good living environments (planprogram p89).
Part III The city examined
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4 The planning of cities 4.1Introduction As planners, architects and urban designers we often leap to a utopian way of addressing the problems of the city. We envision what could be of the city rather that what the city is. The bad is often thought as so detrimental to the good of the city that there is no other solution than to start over from a clean slate. In the mid 90s Stockholm underwent a major transformation of its inner city areas, leading to demolition of what would now be considered as architecturally, social and economically valuable. While the city has learned from its mistakes the fear that came resulted in contempt for urban change. While Stockholm is growing much of the inner city problems are being addressed elsewhere, through clean slate processes, with the city spreading further and further away from its boundaries. This subsequently leads to problems such as sprawl and other social and environmental issues. In order to find a way for Stockholm to grow in a healthy manner the city has to in my mind look at the underlying fundaments of urban planning and design coupled with the human use of the city. Much of contemporary urban design is a result of past utopianism. The rigidness of the views presented often lead to greater gaps than intended, creating more problems in urban form and function. Their implementations often leave out the fluidity of urban life. Urbanity however structured and controlled seems to happen in its own way, when the prescribed result is not the reality one finds. It is evident in the history of urban planning practice, that urbanity is highly dependent on far too many conditions to ever be prescribed a certain societal outcome. Stockholm is a city in transition a transition that cannot be hindered. But how far can we go, how much should the effects of globalization impact Stockholm? These are some of the questions that need to be addressed when designing Stockholm.
4.2 Urban utopias In understanding the contemporary urban environment of today one has to look at forerunners of this kind of utopianisms such as Ebenezer Howard and Le Corbusier. But to understand the mechanism that has
resulted in our current urbanities one must travel further back in time, and examine the visions of thinkers such as William Morris who
through his published work of 1890 titled Views from nowhere, illustrates a future city envisioned through the story of a man waking up in a green urban Utopia, where the evils of the city such as consumerism, poverty and governance are replaced by a consumer free altruistic society. Through this Howard found some of his motivational detest for the city, viewing it as consisting of cramped spaces and unhealthy living conditions. Howard furthermore saw the outward growth of cities as detrimental to the health of people and perseverance of country living going as far as describing the city as a tumour. As much as most of Howards views of the city were negative, he none the less found value in the social aspects of the city. Howard was in some ways also greatly inspired by Edward Bellamy’s book Looking back published in 1888 as complete opposite to Morris´ Views from nowhere. Through this Howard saw the possibility to create a socialistic ideal society. A great attribute to the success of Howard’s ideas was his ability to access polarities and find unifying qualities. Much of Howards work focused on merging the qualities of town with that of the country in order to create a new form of society. A large part of these ideas were based on bringing back nature into the daily lives of people without eliminating the qualities of the city. These ideas were realized in his creation of the garden city (Pinder, D. 2005, p.3036). Utopianism was in Howard’s mind an essential component in achieving reform in urbanity and society. Utopianism was seen as a guiding light in urban planning futures. Changing the form of the city would in his mind lead to a societal change and thus a change in values (Pinder, D. 2005, p.40). The realization of Howard’s Garden city often fell short to his main guiding principles and became a type of urban planning rather than societal reform, where the creation of good society gave way to the formation of good suburbs. This often led to the urban problems of suburbs that we today find in Great Britain (Pinder, D. 2005, p.46). However Utopian Howard’s ideas were they clearly had importance in improving the lives and health of city inhabitants. One critic to Howard’s ideals was Jane Jacobs who viewed
the clinical organization of spaces advocated by this utopianism, as neglecting of the realism of space and its apparent organization. She viewed Howard’s Garden city as a city for mindless individuals, who followed
suit rather than created their own adventures (Pinder, D. 2005, p.52). Howards main contribution to the field of planning is undoubtedly the strategic organization of space, in a presumptive manner based on rules and regulations (Pinder, D. 2005, p.55). Le Corbusier is another utopian whose thoughts have had a great impact on the urban organization (Pinder, D. 2005, p.52). The end of the First World War brought about the yearning for innovation combined with cities in shambles. Existing values were ridiculed and rejected. Theorists that had inspired creations such as the garden city were dismissed and seen as not adaptable to the concept of the urban. Buildings were to be seen as machines serving a function rather than elaborate aesthetical constructions. This was seen by Walter Gropius one of the founder of the Bauhaus modernist school as a rejection of utopianism leading to a change in position that called for a merging of mechanics and aesthetics (Pinder, D. 2005, p.60-61). This thinking is in some ways a foundation to Le Corbusier ideas, which in some ways differ and relate to Howards ideas. Creating tremendous possibilities in the discussion of the urban planning discourse. Both ideas are furthermore fundamental for the policies and ideas of today’s urban planning. Le Corbusier was like Howard dissatisfied with the city functioned but spatially rather than societal. The solution was according to him in organization with CIAM a physical transformation of the city, this transformation was referred to Paris which was the subject of Le Corbusier thoughts (Pinder, D. 2005, p.60). In Le Corbusier mind a tweaking of the existing situation was inapplicable but rather a creation of completely new cities, the past was to be forgotten. The new world order of urbanism was to be in line with industrialist architecture through form would eventually lead to the creation of better societies (Pinder, D. 2005, p.62). Cities were to be contained in the sense that they had to structurally be perfected through various zoning regulations inhabiting a population of 3 million. Le Corbusiers vision came up in his depiction of a future Paris through his “Voisin plan” which would mean a
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demolition of the central parts of Paris featuring in its place 18 highrises. Le Corbusier saw the city as a functional apparatus. In his work on the “The contemporary city for three million people”, prepared for a city exposition, he placed transportation as the most important element of urban design featuring a variety of transportation routes and methods (Fishman, R. 1982 p. 190). The city was in Le Corbusiers mind a place for the exchange of thoughts, therefore he placed the central station as it’s most important element as it was always a place for the movement of people. Around this centre would be an agglomeration of high-rises. Which would house the cities intellectuals. His strategic placement of skyscrapers would become an important element in urban planning and design(Fishman, R. 1982 p. 192).
4.3 Sprawl and the automobile city In his book Sprawl a compact history Robert Bruegmann described sprawl as “a low density scattered, urban development without systematic large-scale or regional public land use planning”. (Bruegmann, 2005, p10). Pieser however defined Sprawl as “the gluttonous use of land, uninterrupted monotonous development, leapfrog discontinuous development and inefficient use of land” (Peiser, 2001, p278). The term of sprawl is thus often reserved for developments that predominantly include single family housing. Other characteristic are a lacking infrastructure in terms of accessibility and a insufficient use or land (Bergström, 2003, p10).
Cities have however historically tended to be compact in the centre when it comes to population density while the peripheral areas had a lower population density. This trend has however changed in recent times with cities like London shifting densities with the cores losing population densities to the peripheral areas. (Bruegmann, 2005, p1011 ).
Early protest to Sprawl was due to the infiltration of the city to the nature and countryside. European cities unlike American cities, had begun to grow into natural lands and farmlands. The environments that came from these expansions were often not the best of environments as they were often unplanned, contained industries and were created entirely for financial profit. The sprawl that occurred in the early twentieth century was however mainly due to well-off families moving outside of the chaotic and filthy city. These new class formations were in Britain often meet with resentment from the existing aristocratic society who felt that they alone held the right to have large estates outside the city. A large number of the population in the west world inhabit urban areas that are often located in the edges of cities. The urbanization trend of the past century has reshaped cities to more of a regional spectrum. Cities have thus become agglomerated. Cities like Los Angeles now feature a confederation including up to twelve municipalities. Tokyo with its 31 million inhabitants is the largest of the worlds developed areas. Cities are in a sense no longer concentrated but sprawled to include a number of fringe municipalities (Ingersoll, R. 2006, p.3)
In the beginning sprawl was something that only occurred in developed countries but is now a phenomenon that is seen in developing countries. Cairo is one example of a country with a fast growing sprawl pattern. One of the many consequences of sprawl lies in the fact that people do not work or shop in proximity to where they live anymore. The trend in commercial development has been that of the shopping mall. The values of the inner city are therefore not prescribed to the outer parts of the city. The incentive for sprawl lies in the ability to build on inexpensive land, the vehicle friendly environment and the perceived value of being close to the countryside. Although often planned(such as in the case of American suburbs) the inconsistency of sprawl makes it seem unplanned. There seems to be in perception a lack in connectivity, as highways do not lead directly to development and tend to create a barrier between developments. The sprawled development often tends to not be pedestrian friendly. The values of the inner city such as visual interconnectedness have been lost in sprawl and been replaced by a virtual interconnectedness through infrastructure such as the internet and telephones. The city is now more or less seen as a sightseer destination (Ingersoll, R. 2006, p.4-5). In sprawl everything is tagged as centre, a shopping mall becomes a
shopping centre a business park becomes a business centre even though the cited may not be constructed central within a development. One reason for this is thought to be a lack in spatial constraints (Ingersoll, R. 2006, p.8).
The analysis of sprawl has to be in its accessibility and not in its location. Analysing it through built environment is something hard to do as it is built or inbuilt, hard surface of soft surface. Good space is seen as something that is constant while bad space (sprawling space) is seen as something negative as it is always fleeting. The historic form of the city in its compact and architectural divergence was something that gave cities a sense of character. The street pattern may have been similar in most cities, but their compositions always varied. Sprawl however always contains the same characteristics, motorways, signs, huge rectangular buildings with parking spaces framing them and so on. Suburbs are however not uniform as sprawl in Europe is often different from the one in North America. European sprawl is often legislated and in the intermediate peripheries of the city. The result in construction is however the same whether it is in a European or American city, while the city centres tend to vary dramatically (Ingersoll, R. 2006, p.3).
Krier sought in his writing for a breakdown of sprawl and a beautification of cities to match that of a pre-industrial era where the city was seen as a body. The sprawled was to in some way be redesigned into small cities with traditional centres. Koolhaus meant that the city was affected by the process of globalisation, which could not be contained within the city. The urbanization process was therefore directed by the market and the architect should rather than to try and hinder these processes adapt to them. Krier however proposed a more compact city one that would hinder unnecessary growth through the production of his Krierstadt through various legislation. Koolhaas in turn opposed this kind of legislation as it would according to him only hinder development in one place only to have it appear in another, ultimately giving no power to the legislation. The market was perceived as a force too strong to withstand (Ingersoll, R. 2006, p.17-18).
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One important argument against sprawl is environmental degradation. This has in recent times been evident in climate change which is said to be a result of elevated greenhouse gas emissions. Sprawl tends to lead to a heightened amount of cars and a squandering of the planets natural resources. Sprawl embraces the vehicle and the inner city concept of compactness. The urban becomes in many ways limitless. The pedestrian is not included in sprawl but rather denied space and connectivity. Streets were before a centre stage for the activities of the city’s inhabitants. Vehicles are in some sense inadaptable to the public spaces in the city, such as parks and squares; they also form barriers in the urban environment, through the construction of roads and motorways. The visual scenery of an urban environment is fragmentally perceived when driving in a vehicle. The entrance of the vehicle into society meant a change in the organisation of the city is both spatially and socially. The city is no longer adapted to pedestrians but to the automobile consisting of filling stations parking lots and motorways (Ingersoll, R. 2006, p.73-76).
Urban living can be radically improved, made more real and less placeless, it is argued by a return to concepts of locality, commune and solidity in urban life (Harvey. D. 2005 Sprawl and suburbia, p.21-22) The motorway was however by far the leading force in the creation of “the motorized society”. In the USA the highway became an important part of planning legislation. The Futurama Pavilion sponsored by General Motors and presented during the World Fair of 1939 brought with it the lobbying of vehicle friendly development by the automobile industries. This lead to legislation that would ensure the production of the major interstate highway. Demolition was introduced as a necessity for the creation of the interstate highway leading to the demolition of massive urban development (Ingersoll, R. 2006, p.86-87)
The interstate source: www.fogcityjournal.com
Much of the urban design process was due to population growth of cities. Leading to results such as Haussmann’s Paris, where restructuring lead to a network of boulevards that allowed the possibility for new commerce infrastructure and public spaces. Automobiles were introduced to the equation with incentives such as roundabouts like the one found around the Arc de Triomphe. The streets were then seen as existing on different levels with the separation of cars from people. The impact of automobiles on urban design was highly evident with the entrance of the modernist movement leading to the recognition of modernists such as Le Corbusier, who wrote many influential pieces on the modernistic, but none as influential as the La Ville Radiuse(1953). La Ville Radiuse presented fundamental change to the urban makeup of boulevards, parks with tall buildings containing work and residential areas. The plan was to give a form of personal freedom that would be further strengthened by information and communication technologies. The result would however lead to a sort of urban isolation (Ingersoll, R. 2006, p.80-83).
The fragmentation caused by sprawl can often be thought of as limited to a lack in urban planning or disorder (Ingersoll, R. 2006, p.89). The motorization process soon lead to the production of highrises in the city centred and multileveled motorways, then came the shopping centre which would facilitate in better accessibility for the car and it’s user. The products were areas the Barbican centre in London and La Defense in Paris (Ingersoll, R. 2006, p.91-93).
La Ville Radiuse source: www.thecarandtheelephant.com
The Barcadian centre source: www.ianvisits.co.uk
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La Defence source: www.arnaudfrichphoto.com The fact that half the worldâ€™s population lives in the city, with the numbers ever increasing is leading to a continued territorialisation of undeveloped land by the urban. Ecology is slowly being devoured by the built environment, and with sprawl this is happening in a rapid pace. At the same time cars and their petrol is being used to reach these sprawling distances leading to a heightened emission of greenhouse gases. The solutions to this problem are many such as legislation to protect the ecological environment and incentives in construction using technologies. While they are all in good faith they have not had any strength. There have in recent decades been various conferences and political gatherings in the intent to solve the ecological problems created by heightened gas emissions such as the Rio de Janeiro conference which gave birth to a general outlook on the solution to the ecological problems. Other gatherings followed in which various nations debated on methods for achieving sustainability. This while urban thinkers argued that the solutions could be found by looking at the past urban patterns and the life of past cities (Ingersoll, R. 2006, p.129-131).
Consumerism is often blamed for our inability to live simpler lives. The consumption of American society which is twice the size of that of the European, leads to a land use of 5, 2 hectare used for production of consumer goods, leading to a consumption rate of 30 % of the worlds production of goods (Ingersoll, R. 2006, p.133).. 13
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5 Case studies 5.1. La defénse La defense is part of the so called “presidential” projects which lie in the legacy of French governmental traditions. La defénse was part of a program launched by President Mitterand in the early 80s which was seen as a way of introducing modern architecture to the city of Paris, a development project that not only produced the Arc of La defense but also the notable Louvre. The Arc of La defénse was however designed by Otto von Spercklesen through an architectural completion held by the city.
underground. The Arch metro station is the main form of public transportation leading to Paris city center within 10 minutes.
Ernst and Young
More London Place
La defense Source: www.froggynews.net
5.2 More London
La defense Arc Source: www.rfi.fr
Today the area of La defense is one of Europe’s principal Central business districts consisting of an area well over 314,000 m2.The area features various types of skyscrapers that accommodate for shopping, has a working population of about 140 000 inhabitant and a residential population of roughly 30 000 people. The area is located within five kilometer west of central Paris. La defense is home to some of the world leading firms and companies such as IBM and Total. The area is mainly for pedestrian traffic as most car traffic is directed 14
More London is an area located on the Southbank of the Thames River in the Borough of Southwark in between the famous London Bridge and Tower Bridge. The area features mixed-use development that stretch over an area over 53,000 m2The area provides recreational and professional facilities for over 20 000 inhabitants. The area also features the London city Hall an important administrative building. The area also features a large amphitheatre called the scoop and a pedestrian plaza. More London is home to world firm such as Ernst and Young but also accommodates Britain’s first certified theatre for children (http://www.kallaway.co.uk/unicorn_more_london.htm). More London Source: www.morelondon.com More London is in terms of public transportation very well placed as it is not far to areas such as Mayfair, Canary Wharf, Bank and no more
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than an hour away from the cities airports (http://www.morelondon.com/). The area is furthermore a car free zone which only accommodates pedestrian traffic. There is however accessibility permitted within the area for various loading. The public areas of More London also highly landscaped with various street arts (http://www.kallaway.co.uk/unicorn_more_london.htm). The scoop provides seating for about 800 people and is between the months of May and September host to a variety of free outdoor activities such as a film viewing, music and arts festival (http://www.morelondon.com/).
: The town hall Source: www.designforlondon.gov.uk
The scoop Source: www.timeout.com
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Part IV Elements in the sustainability of cities
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6. Sustainable development 6.1The concept of sustainability The general definition of sustainability is the Brundtland definition of 1987 which states that sustainable development is “development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generation to meet their own needs”. Land that we have available to our disposal today has to be disposable in the same effort for coming generations as it is for us. This is however a difficult concept to implement in the case of fossil fuels which cannot be renewed or revitalize. (Price, C. 2000 p.33-34). Most of the writing on sustainable development is based upon the “environmental paradox” which means that there is a discrepancy in the give and take of natural resources, leading to the process of trying to reach a more sustainable development. A now know important component in reaching sustainable development is a lowering of the pressure put on attaining natural resources. This is however easier said and done. One solution is through “weak sustainability of shallow environmentalism” which often means relying more on renewable resources, while increasing the output of resources. Another way of reaching sustainability is through a “strong sustainability or deep ecology” which means lowering the output of natural resources thus changing the way we live in order to suit the capacity of the natural resources. Lastly there is “moderate sustainability” which means combining the “strong sustainability” with “weak sustainability” by relying more on natural resources and trying to lessen the output of resources (Williams, C. & Millington, A.C. 2004 p.100). Humans rather than nature are at the center of the “weak sustainability” . The view is centered around the thought that we are not part of nature but rather that nature exist for our use rather than having a give and take situation. We should in this case learn how to control nature in order to maximize resources (Williams, C. & Millington, A.C. 2004 p.100). There is great faith that the “weak sustainability” will allow for a way of solving the problems of environmental degradation, as there will be a rise in resources with the help of technology. The technological development is thought to become a very important part of avoiding environmental 17
degradation in the future. “Weak sustainability” therefore allows us to continue living the way that we are currently living, as we will be able to solve the problems of depleting resources. Supporter of the “weak sustainability” urge for an incorporation of environmental issue s in the capitalistic view. This means applying environmental guidelines through various agencies in how to better manage resources, the assessment of the environmental impacts of various projects and applying cost efficiency in environmental projects. There are two popular views in the writings of “weak sustainability”, the first is that we can heighten economic development in a way that has a lesser impact on nature in terms of output. The second view is that we can carry on our economic development if we reallocate the expenditure and advantage in a way that makes it more equal know as “environmental justice” or “ just sustainability” (Williams, C. & Millington, A.C. 2004 p.100-101).
6.2 The economy and value of sustainability Sustainability as a concept is by economist varying. The most implemented is the neo-capitalistic economic view on landscape and sustainability. Here the consumer is at the forefront in terms of consuming goods and services that are generated for profit. The goods or services that generate a high revenue for companies and firms are those that are favored for production the landscape is in neocapitalism vies seen as a product like most this in neo-capitalism, as it main concept lies in the creation of markets in all aspects of life that are not restricted to monopoly or parastatal management (Price, C. p.2000 33-34) The prevention in use of a resource or resources in order to preserve them seems unlikely as it may hinder our society’s development and way of life, which diminishes the concept of resources. Landscapes are however unique in that their value as a resource lies in their temporal use. Our use of the land is what gives it value as it will be for future generations. In order to comply with the concept of landscape sustainability there has to be certain limitations or goals that have to be reached in its development. In economy however it is the turnover for a product that dictates its value. The limitation and goals may however create “intolerable costs” in development. The cost and benefit in developing a landscape may if deemed intolerable as it provides more loss than it does value to the landscape (Price, C. p.36-
37). Another part of sustainability is the idea of replacement an area lost to say a railway may be replaced with the creation of an area somewhere else, thus minimizing the loss. This is an idea that is highly accepted in neo-capitalism as it is only cost that is viewed as a hinder (everything can be bought). The technological evolution in development has also made it possible to compensate the loss of an attractive are with the production of a new (Price, C. p.41.) An outcome of the neo-capitalistic view on landscapes is that the aesthetics and use of certain landscape may only be limited to those who can afford to purchase it (Price, C.2000 p.43-44).
In defining the sustainability of cities one could simply compare the input and output of two cities the one that need less input and generates less outputs is the more sustainable, as it is if the cities are of the same capacity than the other is able to sustain itself with less. Sustainability is this relative. In order to make a landscape more sustainable one has to look at its functioning mechanisms such as “earth, water, vegetation, building types, transportation systems and spatial organization”, these mechanisms affect the legibility and management of a landscape and may be likened to the concept of an “ecological footprint” a term coined by Rees in 1997, in a study done by him. The conclusion was that if the area of Lower Fraser valley in Vancouver were to maintain its status quo in terms of land used for disposing of waste material the city would need an area 200 large than the current. Cities should therefore try to minimize their “footprint” (or the area necessary for daily life) (Armstrong, H., Brown, H. & Arnold, T. 2000 p. 157-158). The existing systems of a city may often hinder its sustainability as they may be so deeply rooted in its structure, that trying to make one more sustainable say the biological system may implode a physical system. A solution is seen as creating more compact cities with higher densities which is thought to lead to more sustainable cities. The urbanization of landscape is an occurrence that alters a landscape in an unnatural way. When developing a landscape its sustainability can only be measured over time in order to see what has been lost. There has to be more work done in keeping good landscapes and creating these such as
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adapting the green into the existing urban landscape. Cities have often been culprits as they damage the natural or biological landscape. The disposal of certain material that can be recycled in new development is one such matter (Armstrong, H., Brown, H. & Arnold, T. 2000 p. 160161).
There has to in planning and architecture be a diversity of landscape both in the physical and biological systems of the city. One such solution could be eco-buildings or areas that also feature greenery. This has more benefits than aesthetics as it allows for more sustainable storm water management, greenhouse gas absorption, noise pollution reduction and thermal isolation for buildings. The roof is here the most favorable area for vegetation development (Armstrong, H., Brown, H. & Arnold, T. 2000 p. 168).
6.3. Vertical urban theory “How can we make working, living and all aspects of life in high-rises more palatable” this is Ken Yeangs leading question in his book Reinventing the skyscraper: a vertical theory on urban design. He goes on to state that this question is of importance for all who are involved in all aspects of creating and maintaining a city. There is however strong opposition to the construction of high-rises in cities even though they play a large role in contemporary cities both in terms of forms and finances (Yeang, K. 2002 p5.) Many cities around the world are opting for high-rise development such as in London. The important issue here is if these kinds of environments fulfill the needs of the cities inhabitants. The skyscrapers can be described as compartments put on top of one another, something that has been the very base of the design and development of skyscraper, while their capabilities in terms of technological aids has improved. The skyscrapers however cost efficient do not always enhance the daily life of their inhabitants as they often creates a claustrophobic feeling. There is here a need for diversity in the activities and living environments of skyscraper areas (Yeang, K. 2002 p10-11.). The future of our race will be one dominated by the influx of inhabitants to cities as more and more people move into these cities. With this there will be a greater need for more urban expansion, 18
requiring the need for new ways of dealing with high-rises. There are already a great number of cities reaching population levels well over ten million inhabitants with the numbers growing for cities with inhabitants under a million. Often cities choose to halt their sprawling, but when this is done a need for a new solution to growth arises. This could be through the creation of satellite cities (which was the case which Stockholm during the million housing program era). This may however not be the best solution as if can intrude on valuable natural land and lead to an increase in transportation which has negative economical but overall environmental effects. It is therefore logically important to preserve existing natural areas. The next solution to the urban expansion problem is therefore to limit the city’s growth and develop on existing built areas such as old industrial lots. This is something that is practiced by most cities. While there is much debate on building high the method is being employed in many cities in order to provide urban environments for existing, new and anticipated city inhabitants. This expansion is in most cities such as London and Paris being carried out in the “central business districts” with development being done by for example the over decking of railway areas. Increasing the urban density of cities has proven to be a good way of lowering the consumed energy for each inhabitant by reducing automobile use (Yeang, K. 2002 p.33-46)
The spaces that were in cities before use as public places and spaces have in many cases been taken over by the automobile, one way of understanding the impact of this would be that “for every car that leaves to work the area needed for parking equal the footprint of an average house. In making cities more compact activities connected to our daily routine can be located closer to the home and workplace (Yeang, K. p. 2002 47-48).
Old city centers (such as Stockholm’s) will probably continue to function as the core of the city, a place where firms and companies want to locate themselves and people want to go for various activities or even inhabit. This is the reason for the high land value in these areas and ultimately their increase in land value as development spaces in the cities decline. As cities continue to build higher more emphasis will need to be put on the need for public transportation, rather than on
automobile transport. This will mean that skyscrapers will need to be located close to transportation hubs and nodes. While offices still carry the leading role in the city centers there will be a need for housing in order to minimize travel distance between work and home. This need is most prominent for working singles and couples without children as they often want to live in the lively city centers. This also entails a need for creating lively streetscapes (Yeang, K. 2002 p 49-53.). Cities have in some ways suffered at the hands of planners when it comes to zoning regulations that have resulted in a separation of urban activities that once coexisted in one and the same space. This often calls for diversity in one and the same urban space. One solution could be creating high-rises that host a variety of urban spaces. Another problem for this solution is the travel between home and work which is time and energy consuming and furthermore leaves at least one space empty for a long period of time during a 24 hour day. In order to avoid this one has to see over the zoning of building functions. A high-rise could provide both a home and working environment, keeping the building in use 24/7. There has to be more flexibility in the functional zoning of buildings (Yeang, K. 2002 p91-93). Urban areas should contain a variety of functions that enhance business and leisure in order to maintain”life” within the area at all times of the day. This diversity should not as is common be limited to certain floors such as the ground floor, which is often the norm (Yeang, K. 2002 p.95). Landscape architecture and diversity in the form of park and other public spaces are very important for it’s inhabitants. The green can also facilitate in giving the skyscraper a more accommodating look, one way of doing this is through vertical landscaping(Yeang, K. 2002 p.129). In addition to the high-rise one increases the biodiversity within the built form. Another benefit could be in the production of food within the skyscraper through e.g. rooftop gardens. In adding greenery the skyscraper or the urban is incorporated into the ecosystem (Yeang, K. 2002 p.131). .The buildings of today often contribute negatively to the environment as the function as separate from the ecosystem where there is a higher
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output then input. Meaning that we take more than we give back to nature(Yeang, K. 2002p.182-183). The high-rise should therefore function in a way that is like the natural ecosystem. There has to be a reduction in the energy used and a heightened efficiency in the use of the buildings. This means having a better and more diversity in function and use of the environment . There has to be a diversity in the structure and in the types of people that use them. There has to furthermore be better communications and resources should be managed better. This could be done through having roof gardens that collect water or having solar panels on buildings. (Yeang, K. 2002 p.190-192)).
6.4 Conclusions The idea of sustainability is one that is often difficult to comprehend this mostly due to the complexity of its defenition. How do we preserve our way of life without destroying the chances for future generations to have a prosperous way of life? We live in a consumer based society where almost anything can be treated as good or services in order to be traded and profited from. This is very apparent in landscape developers seek to invest on it in order to trade it off for a high turnover. The value of land in city centers is fast increasing as land to develop in becomes more scares due to our noble need to minimize environmental degradation and natural land loss. While it has been the norm to in many cities build low it is apparent that this simply minimizes the amount of land available while need for new development increases with more and more people living in cities. We have to therefore realize that building high may be the best way of doing this is through vertical landscaping which can serve in creating a more sustainable urban environment, socially and environmentally.
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Part VI Planning for V채stra City
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7 Current situation analysis 7.1 Method of analysis The analysis of the city center is important in analyzing Västra city and what is needed in order to create a more sustainable and well functioning district. This part of the thesis will therefore help in clarifying the character and structure of the city center and in detail Västra city. The analysis will moreover provide a platform in dealing with weaknesses and threats in the area while maintaining strengths and developing opportunities. Visual or image analysis was used by Kevin Lynch in his book Image of this city. Here he states that the imagery of the city can be something very pleasurable, an intricacy of vastness. Those certain parts of the city are so familiar to us that they are deeply embedded in our recollection and perception of the spaces. The city can furthermore be seen as something fluid and ever changing almost impossible to control due to the fact that it never comes to a conclusion, but is always transforming. The city is unlike other constructions such as art, architecture or music constrained to certain processes and outcomes. Lynch states that a good city is a clearly defined city. (Lynch, K. 1-2)
and interrelations. The second type of analysis was interviews of residences on how they viewed and interpret their environment. In this thesis the focus will be on the first mention type of analysis. For this type of analysis four elements are described namely paths, edges, districts and nodes.
places. The node should have sharp boundaries. There should be a distinct entrance/exit to the node. The node must function as an anchor point pulling people in.
7.1.1 Edges Edges are linear elements not used as paths by observers but rather linear breaks in continuity such as shorelines, railroads, edges of development wall and other elements that mark the end of an area, edges need to be strong.
7.1.4 Paths Paths are ways that the observer moves on such as streets, walkways, transit-lines canals and railroads. Paths function as connectors to and from a node. A good node should have a clear entrance/exit point (path).
7.1.2 Landmarks One important part in the analysis of the city is therefore imageability, which refers to a city’s how strong an image it gives to the one viewing it. The analysis of an exterior object is done using three features identity, structure and meaning. These features are often viewed in unison and need to be separated when analyzing. Identifying an object is the first step; this does not mean likening an object to another but finding purpose in it. Finding the structure of an object means deducing its spatial relation to its surroundings. The object must lastly evoke emotion or meaning to the observer. The image of a city can evoke a strong meaning such as the skyline of New York’s Manhattan which is said to stand for “vitality, power decadence, mystery, congestion greatness” and much more. The meanings are so many and differentiated that they eventually come together. 8-9 In his analysis of Boston, Jersey and Los Angeles Lynch used two methods. The first involved the visual mapping of areas in terms of objects, visibility, strength, weaknesses, connections, disconnections 21
Landmarks are external elements to which the observer does not have to enter into such as buildings, signs or landscape objects. These elements function as a stable source orientation. Landmarks can also be local in the sense that they are only visible in the area which the observer is in such as a sign or a sculpture they should furthermore have a visual or directional strength.
7.1.3 Nodes Nodes are strategic points and spots which the observer enters into such as junctions, places of break in transportation, places of concentration such as a square or the focal point of a district. Nodes are also unforgettable places that can never be confused with other
7.1.5 Districts Districts are medium to large sections of the city that the observer enters into. The area should be homogenous in character such as shopping districts, business districts and leisure districts.
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7.2 Bicycle and pedestrian network
possible at almost every corner of the city centre.
The city centre of Stockholm has a highly developed bicycle network system feature main routes and regional routes. Streets that are mainly pedestrian are located mostly in the southern parts of the city centre. While the bicycle connections to the island of the Old city (Gamla stan) are adequate there are very few connection leading to the island of Kungsholmen with only three possibilities to travel between the island and the city centre on a stretch of over 2000 meters. The longest distance between bridges being that between the Barnhusbridge and Sankt Erik’s bridge in the north with a distance of over 600 meters.
7.5 Building typology 7.4 Built landscape and green structure
7.3 Car streets and motorway network The city centre has a total of three motorways including an underpass coming from the south and leading to the Klara tunnel. In the centre of the city there is a large network of streets most of them narrow except for Sveavägen which functions as a sort of boulevard coming from Sergelstorg which is considered as the core of the city all the way to the north reaching the area of Norra station. The street network of the Stockholm centre is very elaborate and well-connected with car traffic
The city centre of Stockholm has as the rest of the city a green structure that is well integrated into the built. There are a series of parks and other green spaces networks and one doesn’t have to walk too far to find a green area. The area of Västra city is however due to its current use and structure not a contributing part to the urban green of the city centre. The built landscape feature a grid structure with small sized building blocks which also allows for more diverse neighbourhoods and walk able streetscapes.
Stockholm’s city centre has due to redevelopment in the 60s and current urban renewal, very diverse building typologies. The oldest buildings in the city centre and Stockholm are found in the Old town (Gamla stan) dating as far back as the 13th century. The Stone city is what provides for some of the most beautiful building in the city and is dated all the way back to the 17th century. These building once covered much of the city centre before the 1960s demolitions. The stone city edges are what comprise of the areas built from the early 1900s to the 21st century which are often modernist inspired buildings. Most of the development that is being carried out now is more or less inspired by the postmodernism featuring high-rises with shiny glass facades. These types of building are currently being carried out through urban renewal of sites such as Västra city
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the old town) and the Concert house (located near the five Hötorgsskraparna.
7.7 Conclusion and development plan
7.6 Structural character analysis The area of Västra city is clearly separated from Kungsholmen both visually and physically due to infrastructural edges and a riverbank that does not allow accessibility mainly due to the heavy infrastructure. While there is an edge towards the Old town (Gamla stan) this edge is vaguer as the island is made more accessible to pedestrians and vehicles via multiple bridges and banks near sea level. The city centre can furthermore be characterized as having eight districts much of the area of Västra city is however vague in character as it is often in development of occupied by heavy traffic. It is an area that is almost completely inaccessible and is therefore not a district in the pedestrian sense. There are a multitude of Landmarks in the Stockholm city centre. The most prominent of this is to some extent located out of its boundaries the Town hall which is one of the most defining structure in the future development of Stockholm. The building offers a unique view from Södermalm and certain parts of the city centre. The most modern landmark in the city is the five modernist high-rises created during the 60s redevelopment period. These five building serve as a constant orientation point for those coming to the city centre from the central station via Klarabergsgatan. Other notable Landmarks are the Royal palace, the house of parliament (Located in 23
Some of Stockholm’s most important nodes are located within the city centre these are Odenplan and important transit stop which will also through the citybana project accommodate a commute line stop. Östermalmstorg which is located in the boundary between the city centre and Östermalm and serves as an important area for the city’s nightlife, Norrmalmstorg another transit stop, Sergelstog the main transportation hub for the city together with central station. These three stop will in the coming years serve as tram stations for the planned Spårvägcity. The city centres most prominent paths are those that connect the city with its Island and the neighbouring municipality of Solna. These are some of the most heavily trafficked streets in Stockholm.
The city centre of Stockholm is one of great diversity and one heavily adapted to car traffic. While this is something hard to remove from the current existing built structure it is something that can be minimized in future planning. While there has to be streets large enough to accommodate cars they should not be given primary access to these. Public transportation is something that is well covered in the Vision 2030 plans, while the pedestrian streets need to be paid more attention to. Stockholm city centre has a consistent variation between the built and the green urban landscape something that should not be forgotten or disregarded in future development. With all this in mind for the future development of Västra city an adaptation of green public spaces and pedestrian friendly (mixed use to car free) streets is to be advocated. The green and public spaces are to be integrated into the built in the form of public plazas and parks. In order to provide access not only for cars but also for pedestrian traffic bridges are to be advocated where it is deemed as necessary. The development of Västra city in the style of newley developed buildings within the area, will give it a more unified character and provide for a great deal of urban diversity throughout the city. This kind of development also allows for a greater deal of new sustainable technology, higher economic land value and in garnering Stockholm a role in that of the global world cities.
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8. V채stra City
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8.1 Development plan
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8.3 Sustainability strategy The idea of the project is to have an area that is socially sustainable, containing a variety of urban environments such as parks, squares and alternative places together with buildings. Environmental sustainability is an important part of the proposal an entails adopting the green into the urban environment together with methods of sustainability such as stormwater collection, green roofs and solar panelling. The economic sustainability of the project will be through itâ€™s formation as a CBD featuring places for firms and companies to establish themselves.
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8.4 Traffic strategy
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The area of V채stra city will due to its positioning have a variety of transportation choices. All the metro lines are connected to this area with three stop in close proximity. A tramline also goes through the area and features a stop right in front of the central station. Bus lines go through all of the area and an additional bus line will be added near the waterfront in zone 2 with two accompanying stops. Car traffic will be permitted throughout the area but with limited speeds within the new built. There will be one major parking house within zone two and two groundfloor parking house with limited parking near the central station. The rest of the parking spaces will be small outdoor parking spaces. The parking spaces are limited in order to minimize car use. The new area will be highly pedestrian oriented especially in the area of the new Galleria and on the waterfront. The waterfront will also feature three small bridges that will be mainly pedestrian but can also accommodate some bicycle traffic..
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8.4 3D Illustrations
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9.Conclusion Cities are places of transformation and change and while we often get caught up in the nostalgia of what once was, that too was at some certain point new. It is important to value existing cityscapes but changes such as the building of Västra city into a high-density sustainable area, are of benefit for a city like Stockholm. Not only in terms of investment and population growth, but also in giving the city a stronger identity. It is apparent in Stockholm, as in many other cities that globalisation turns to put labels on city. In the case Stockholm according to the debates presented in the introduction, many see these labels as clashing with one other. I however feel that there is enough room for Stockholm to be a Global city, Green city, Venice of the North and a city with an exciting cityscape. The area of Västra city is today not that of which one would expect of a “Global city”. It is however the first thing ones sees when coming to Stockholm. Development of Västra city will allow for a more inviting and exciting first glance of the city and if done properly, it could become an important district for the city’s inhabitants.
It is also important to understand that urban planning and design as all other process of creation is a learning process. There are no profound errors but rather chances for learning. Many might have been fascinated with Le Corbusier “Radius city” or Howards “Garden city” and the implementations that followed only allowed for feature generations to understand the components of the city and learn how to do it better the next time. The art of making cities is one that has great utopianism and what works in logic may not always function in reality. The city however goes on and keeps changing for better rather than worse.
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A paper on building high for sustainable urban development in Västra City, Stockholm city centre.
Published on Mar 7, 2011
A paper on building high for sustainable urban development in Västra City, Stockholm city centre.