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City of Bor책s

Is it the sun or something else? Whatever the answer, the city is definitely bathed in light. Indeed, Borås is no stranger to the spotlight. You could call it the sculpture effect... The Borås Arena effect... The student effect... The Fairtrade effect... The textile and design effect... The environment effect... The purpose-built effect... The Simonsland effect... The Twitter effect... The entrepreneurship effect... The feel good effect... Whichever you choose, there is no doubt that the city’s colours have become sharper and its identity clearer. Borås now has a higher profile and an increasingly wider circle of admirers!

Spirit of entrepreneurship creates belief in the future Almost 11,000 companies in a city of just over 103,000 people – the figures say a great deal about our entrepreneurial spirit. Besides major employers such as SP, Ericsson, Volvo Bussar and Ellos, we also have several of Sweden’s best known fashion and textile companies and a large number of small enterprises. As in most cities, the main employer is the municipality itself.

Academia, expertise, trade and industry The University of Borås is growing. Not only as part of the city (thanks to the university’s central location and vibrant campus), but also nationally and internationally. The university runs research level programmes and its identity as a seat of professional learning is gaining strength with each term. For example, few other courses in the world can match those we offer in the fields of textiles and fashion.

Good homes, good lifestyles, fast-growing labour market. I live in Borås – the Swedish words (bor i Borås) have a fine ring to them. More and more people are using them. Why? The slightly mundane answer is that Borås is a good place to live. However, more excitingly, Borås makes it easier to live well! For example, if you are looking for housing that is a little out of the ordinary, we have it. Furthermore, we are an important part of the region centred on the major city of Gothenburg. The commute is short. Things like that make all the difference.

Passive housing actively ecological Borås already has tomorrow’s housing. The passive houses in Viskafors are built on foundations of aesthetics, energy-economy, ethics and ecology. For example, because recycling of the heat in water and air is an integral part of the design, there is no need for traditional heating plants. On top of this, all the materials are produced in accordance with Agenda 21 (a United Nation’s plan for sustainable development).

Prize-winning or ”Funkis” In Hestra Parkstad, one of the residential areas to have won the most prizes in the Nordic countries, there is the Sibelius Park district. Here, to reinforce the feeling of being surrounded by rich nature, each apartment has windows facing three directions. Architects throughout the Nordic countries helped design the district. Borås also has a treasure in the form of well-maintained ”Funkis” facilities – flats, houses and industrial premises that share a distinctive architecture (Sweden’s version of light and airy functionalism). The majority were built in the 1940s and 1950s when the city was one of the most expansive in the country.

Aesthetics, energy-economy, ethics and ecology – characteristics of our passive housing.

Some of our most important advisors are under 18 years old.

Student at the Vikastrand upper secondary school.

No previous generation has been as informed and committed as the youth of today. It is important to make the most of these qualities. One way may be to set high requirements, another to form a youth council. Regardless of the choice, our principal mission is to ensure that young people are equipped to meet new challenges later in life. In this, our efforts have resulted in our being voted “youth municipality of the year”.

We create the right conditions A wide range of initiatives are being run to ensure that our students develop in a way that prepares them for real life. The main goal of the municipality’s schools is that, on completing compulsory education, all pupils should qualify for upper secondary schooling. At upper secondary school, the average grades achieved by our students should be well above the national averages. The same applies to the proportion of our students meeting the basic requirements for entry to university and further education. Over and above this, thanks to our career-oriented courses, many students can already be employed immediately on leaving upper secondary education. A good example of the high quality of our career courses is the vehicle programme at Viskastrand upper secondary school. This was voted the best in Sweden in 2010.

Count on pre-school smiles Even at the pre-school level, we have exciting mathematics initiatives. How pre-school children are to be exposed to maths is clearly set out. By making the subject visible in day-to-day learning activities, children’s understanding has increased. Quite simply, their desire to learn maths has been excited – thinking mathematically has become fun!

By and for our children With the content created by and for our children, our “young people’s house” is devoted to the young. It provides a drugfree meeting place where visitors from various parts of the municipality can develop and test their own ideas. Why not take a seat in a café, climb onto a stage, work up a sweat in a sports hall, sink into a film couch, rehearse or do whatever else takes your fancy in a creativity room? All you have to be is between 16 and 22!

Developing the inner person The Borås “culture school” gives young people the opportunity to try out various art forms and develop their interests. From orchestra and dance to textiles, acting and the visual arts, the offerings are wide. Over 2,000 young people meet here every week to practice their talents. Each term ends with a show and an enthusiastic audience.

Youth municipality of the year Being voted youth municipality of the year 2010 was a great honour and confirmation that we are on the right track. Read by the director-general of the Swedish National Board for Youth Affairs, the jury’s verdict provided a good summary. “This municipality unites forceful youth policies and strategies in a colourful patchwork quilt. The views of young people are brought to bear in political arenas and leisure facilities alike. Cultural and recreational projects and investment in functionally impaired and young people outside work and study further strengthen the youth-oriented political initiatives. The municipality has started something that can be further built on.” Not surprisingly, we are firmly committed to continuing what has begun so well.

Norway has oil, we have biogas Many of the buses and refuse collection vehicles used in the municipality, as also most of the municipality’s own service vehicles, already run on biofuel. This renewable energy resource is produced locally from the waste generated by the residents of Borås. The production process itself is based on letting the waste decompose in our plant at Sobacken. Biogas is the residual product. Sobacken is a complete, ecologically managed waste treatment plant. Here, the waste moves in a cycle that takes it out of the community and then recirculates it in the form of new products made from what had previously been thrown away.

Giant “thermos” stores heat for Borås An accumulator tank is the latest push in our initiatives to increase the percentage of renewable energy sources. The goal is to entirely remove fossil fuels from our overall fuel mix. Hot water for district heating (produced primarily when advantageous from the economic and environmental points of view) is stored in the tank. Artistically illuminated during the hours of darkness, the accumulator tank has become something of a jewel on the city’s skyline.

A 70-metre high accumulator tank.

A Borås free of fossil fuels, soon more than a dream. With pride, we can now note that the City of Borås is increasingly contributing to the reduction of the greenhouse effect. Instead of coal and oil, we are using renewable energy sources such as wood and waste. Into the bargain, we have acquired a new landmark, our beautifully illuminated accumulator tank. Every day, we are coming nearer to our dream of a city free of fossil fuels.

The Waste Refinery turns rubbish into a resource Waste Refinery is a collaborative project involving business, community and research organisations in west Sweden. The aim is resource-efficient, safe and environment-friendly waste management that, in both the long and the short term, not only helps to decrease dependence on fossil fuels, but also contributes to the creation of a “nutrients cycle”.

Yellow bicycle lanes at street crossings increase safety.

Bor책s is not just a town. It is... Employer... Problem solver... Keeper of a tidy urban environment... Supervisor of the quality of schools... Coordinator of smooth traffic flows... Builder of houses... Promoter of corporate development... Guardian of community wellbeing... Manager of environmental initiatives... Gardener of sensational plants... Helper with business licensing... Welcomer of visitors... It is the City of Bor책s!

Environmental goals to be achieved by 2015 As early as 2003, Borås municipal council adopted a number of environmental goals. Several years have passed since then, progress has been reviewed and new goals set. The areas we have now addressed are based on the national environmental goals in respect of energy, traffic, nature, water, safe living environments and good environments in built-up areas. To these, we have added the area of “expertise”. More information about the goals we are to achieve by 2015 can be found at

Fairtrade City diploma awarded to Borås As an element in our work towards being a fair and sustainable society, we have gained a Fairtrade City diploma. This creates obligations. Amongst other things, Borås must satisfy criteria regarding ethical procurement and the offering in shops, cafés, restaurants and workplaces of ranges of products (and information thereon) that meet ethical criteria. It is not without a certain pride that we can now call Borås a Fairtrade City.

Borås seen from Ryssby hill.

The City of Borås does everything to be a good global citizen. For the City of Borås, being a good citizen means accepting responsibility. The decisions we take today must not burden future generations. To succeed in this, we have to be receptive to new ideas and solutions. Environmental issues, justice and showing respect may all be subjects for our attention.

For equality and diversity As the city’s largest employer, there is an obligation to set a good example, not least as regards equal opportunities. The municipal council of the City of Borås has decided how equality and diversity initiatives are to be run throughout the municipality. Essentially, equality is to be a natural part of day-to-day operations at all levels. The initiatives to focus attention on traditionally female professions and bring about equal pay are two concrete examples.

Borås is a teeming centre of academic excellence... New ideas, new developments... Centrifugal forces cross-pollinating academia and the business world... Smart Textiles, Fashion Function Futures (F3)... Voices are buzzing... In local cafés, London, New York, Toyota’s design office in Nagoya... Before, tomorrow’s designers came from nowhere in particular... Now, they often come from Borås! Furthermore, our 10,000 students have wide-ranging dreams. The future’s librarians, business engineers, paramedics and many others are also here. Whatever the aspirations, the students who leave the city do so wiser than when they came!

One of the Swedish School of Textiles’ unique knitting machines.

Textile cluster forms creative collection Simonsland brings together many different people and organisations from the design and business worlds. Studios, exhibition centres and catwalks form a creative mix complemented by business and technical incubators, the present and the past. The University of Borås, Espira, Proteko, Marketplace Borås, Navet Science Center and many others are also here. Behind the Simonsland project are the City of Borås, the University of Borås and the city’s trade and industry sector. This alliance fully realises that the interdependence of its members is a key factor in individual and joint success. It is also a major force for municipal development.

An arena for fashion, textiles and design Marketplace Borås, one of the arena’s players, can be likened to a pool of know-how that includes designers, design engineers, expert seamstresses, international agents, retailers and retail chains. Fashion shows, exhibitions and events are on offer one day, followed by business meetings, seminars, happenings and trade fairs the next – all under a single roof.

Model of the future Simonsland.

Simonsland – a place for inspiration, new impressions and discoveries. Imagine a centre for science, culture, innovation and trade. A hive of activities that, in some respects, resemble controlled chaos. All in an area roughly as big as nine football pitches and housed in historic buildings that were once part of a hectic textile industry, but are now the future. Welcome to Simonsland!

School of textiles in a historic setting The Swedish School of Textiles has been given its own key to all that Simonsland has to offer. In addition to the historic setting, the Museum of Textile History’s move here is now also bringing a unique and valuable pool of machines. The “Nordic textile library” will be coming here shortly and the campus of the University of Borås is already on the doorstep.

What do you like doing best in your free time? We offer several hundred possibilities.

Winter bather at the Kypeg책rden open-air facility.

The countryside around Borås stretches its arms into various parts of the city. Or perhaps it is the other way round. The result is that there are always nearby forests, lakes and meadows. Should those not be enough, then we also have at least a dozen parks that are still closer. One of them even has lions, giraffes and antelopes.

25 parks, 150 play areas No matter where you are in the city, there are parks and countryside close at hand. Perhaps this is not so strange. After all, there are 25 parks and 150 play areas spread throughout the municipality. Besides simply relaxing in the parks, you can also go skateboarding or play disc golf, boules, minigolf, tennis, volleyball, basketball or croquet. Additionally, there are several open-air facilities where you can exercise, take a sauna and socialise. If you should be bitten by the acting bug, you can even hire an entire stage in the city’s main park.

Wonderful sensations at Senses Park One of the many parks in Borås, Senses Park is in the city’s Norrby district. The park has been designed to excite all the senses – sight, hearing, feeling, smell and taste. No other park in Borås has so many plants. It also has a large herb garden offering a profusion of aromas. It goes without saying that Senses Park caters for those with impaired vision and mobility.

It started with a lion It all began with Sigvard Berggren taking home a lion from Africa and keeping it in his garden. Borås Djurpark, now one of Sweden’s largest zoos, was born. It has some 80 different species and was one of the first in the world to build a dedicated environment – its savannah is still much discussed and has served as a model for many other zoos. A spectacular newly built bear kingdom, which can be crossed on a suspension bridge, is another of the many attractions.

WHO certificate awarded to Borås For several years now, we have been running a unique public health initiative. One of its projects is “a safe and secure community”. Today, Borås is the largest of the 16 municipalities in Sweden to achieve safe community certification by the World Health Organization. All our pre-schools share this certification and all our associations are also on the road to this distinction.

What is unique about Bor책s? Force of habit often leads us to answer the zoo, our shops and, sometimes, our cultural offerings. However, there must be other cities with the same proud combination. Thus, perhaps the real answer is more to do with atmosphere... Something that is difficult to grasp and explain before it has been personally experienced... Our history and our origins... The people we are... How we interact with each other and the world around us... Independent, industrious, proud... Characteristics inherited across generations... Traditions now enriched by new and exciting cultures and influences... What if this atmosphere is the answer? Perhaps it is indeed this that makes Bor책s special!

The “daisy” class at the Rångedalagården pre-school.

The textiles town that also became the sculpture and culture town.

Borås artist Eva Hild’s Wholly.

Wholly, Walking to Borås, Catal Hüyük, Stabil, Hani, Tornado, Fauna, Non-Violence, Kapsel and many other artistic installations have contributed to one of our soubriquets, “the sculpture town”. However, it must not be forgotten that we have also invested in changing and modernising our culture centre as a whole. Kvarnström Arkitektkontor designed the edifice and we filled it with exciting attractions – a city theatre, art museum and library of course, but also ample provision for things that appeal specifically to the young.

From Pinocchio to Wholly Borås has always had lots of sculptures. Some years ago, we decided to add extra spice to the mix. That is why we now have a sculpture festival every year. New works are exhibited and some of them remain permanent residents. Wholly, a four-metre long, organically shaped sculpture cast in aluminium by local artist Eva Hild, is just one example. However, we also have sculptures by world famous artists such as Jim Dine and Tony Cragg.

Culture centre with a feeling of openness With the city’s library and theatre being particular beneficiaries, the 13,500 square metre culture centre has been given a real facelift. The inviting café is strategically located at the entrance, looking out onto P A Halls terrace. Our first sculptural invitee, Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd’s “save the Earth”, has remained here. The overall impression given by the new culture centre is one of great openness and accessibility.

The amazing Museum of Textile History It is no accident that the Museum of Textile History is in Borås, the Milan of the Nordic countries. Besides a number of new, exciting exhibitions every year, there are also displays of a more permanent nature focusing, naturally enough, on textile art, fashion and design. Textile machines from a bygone era and a workshop where you can test your own creativity are amongst the other attractions here.

By thinking differently, almost everything is possible. The attitude that everything is possible seems to be typical of Borås residents. Borås Arena, Ryahallen and Borås Simarena are just three examples. BoråsBorås, a company in which the business sector and the municipality collaborate across boundaries, is another. So, if absence through illness can be reduced by the scent of thyme, why not give it a try?

Municipality + trade and industry = success Rather than be two strong parties pulling in their own directions, the municipality and trade and industry decided to come together in BoråsBorås. Partially at least – today, many questions regarding the city’s tourism industry are handled in this forum. One of the very many exciting projects being discussed here is the Borås Event complex. A tourist attraction that, by offering shopping, a zoo, a lido, elite sport, a science centre, a nature reserve and housing (all in the centre of the city) would be unique in Sweden.

The newly built Borås swimming arena.

The innovative Green Road The Green Road project is yet further proof that the residents of Borås are open to revolutionary ideas. People who have been off work ill for a long time may, quite literally, work their way back into the labour market via the scents and sensations they experience while raising plants in herb beds, vegetable patches and a greenhouse! The goals are that the participants should find their way back onto the road to increased self-belief and, quite simply, feel better both physically and mentally.

Smart arenas in record time Many raised their eyebrows when Borås Arena was to be built. Not just because it was Sweden’s first outdoor arena in almost 50 years, but also because it was to be built in record time. At a record low cost too! Borås Arena and Ryahallen are owned by IF Elfsborg and IK Ymer respectively. These then rent out the facilities to the municipality. In return, the City of Borås provided security for the necessary loans. This collaboration aroused great interest throughout the country and inspired many other municipalities to build arenas.

Growing old in Bor책s is something to look forward to.

Seved is a satisfied Bor책s pensioner.

Borås people should be able to grow old with dignity and no untoward inconvenience. To succeed in this goal, we have invested in a large number of measures. These include “codetermination”, freedom of choice, carer support and Senior Guide. In a nutshell, we want to make everyday life a little easier, throughout everyone’s lifetime. Growing old in Borås has to be something to look forward to.

Rapid and flexible It must also be easy for the elderly to use community services. Based on the principle of the elderly determining their own needs and planning their everyday lives, our simplified administration of support is one way of achieving this. The offered support includes “householding services” (cleaning, shopping, laundry, etc.), care (for example, physical help in maintaining social contacts), safety alarms and meals on wheels. Special accommodation is a further possibility for those over 90 years old.

Choosing the service providers Some years ago, we introduced a free-choice system in the provision of home helps. Those who need help should be able to choose who is to provide it. Of course, each user can retain the municipal home-help group he or she is used to. However, users may want to try a special provider, a group with a particular orientation or methodology. If anyone is not satisfied with the chosen provider, it is easy to switch to another. External providers may also offer pay-for additional services (e.g. heavy cleaning) that may not be included in standard home-help packages.

We support carers There are many reasons why a person may not be able to look entirely after himself or herself. Chronic illness, disability or, quite simply, advanced age are just some of them. Often, it is relatives who help out when something gives way. That is why the hands-on support we offer is directed not only at the person with the immediate needs, but also at the caring relative. For those with any questions concerning care and services in Borås, we have a free telephone service, Senior Guide.

Borås international airport We are in the middle of the golden triangle of capitals, Stockholm, Oslo and Copenhagen. Furthermore, it is only just over a 40-minute motorway drive to Gothenburg’s harbours. On the way there, you will pass our (OK, we share it with Gothenburg) international airport, Landvetter. Brussels, Rome, Paris, London, Berlin and some 100 other destinations – from Borås, it is only around 30 minutes to the world’s check-in desk.

Under two hours to Stockholm Within a decade, we hope to have an express rail service in place. Via Borås, the Götaland Line will link Sweden’s west coast with its capital. The main idea is that Stockholmers should be able to get to Borås in under two hours! At the same time, it will be possible to switch more transport to rail and thereby reduce negative impact on the climate.

Landvetter airport, barely 30 minutes from Borås.

Getting to Borås is easy. The difficult thing is having to leave it! There are many ways of getting to Borås – air, land and, with a good will, water. The well developed infrastructure goes together with the tradition of Borås people being travellers. Dating back as far as the itinerant pedlars of the 16th century, this latter is presumably one of the reasons for the city’s present good connections.

Network for logistics development Borås is an important node in the country’s logistics. A full 50 percent of all Sweden’s trade in textiles passes through the city! Sweden Logistic, a University of Borås project, is one result of this – a network for companies and organisations that, through collaboration and research and development, establishes the right conditions for profitable logistics.

The cyclists’ town Old railway embankments have been transformed into scenic cycle paths. To increase safety, many cycle lanes have been painted yellow at city centre crossings. A number of “cycle barometers” showing the volume of passing bicycle traffic have been installed around the city. Furthermore, some cycle lanes have been equipped with solar-powered bollard luminaires that sense the approach of cyclists. Borås is definitely on the side of cyclists!

“Within easy reachâ€? is a phrase that is often employed when describing BorĂĽs. For us, this is nothing special. After all, we are used to it being only ten minutes from the centre to unspoilt countryside... Less than five minutes from shopping centres to the savannah... No more than fifteen minutes to a show or concert... The same to day centres, schools, golf courses and, for most people, work... Barely thirty minutes to an international airport... Just over forty minutes to Gothenburg and the salty sea... Such things mean a lot... Especially when there is much you want to do!

Bor책s city centre.

City of Borås – how we work together. The social services department is responsible for: personal and family care for adults; social psychiatry; and, operations serving those with functional impairments.

The cultural department is responsible for: the city library; all the city’s museums; the “culture school”; the city theatre; the city archives; and, cultural operations/activities outside the municipal framework.

Naturally enough, for everything to work smoothly, a municipality the size of Borås needs a solid structure. This somewhat simplified sketch gives an at-a-glance overview of how we work together. The highest decision making body is the municipal council; its 73 members were appointed at the latest election. Other popularly elected representatives sit on various committees. There is also a municipal board, a number of administrative departments and companies where the municipality’s 10,600 employees do their bit every day. All the foregoing are centred on ensuring that those who have chosen to live in Borås should enjoy the best possible conditions.

The city management department deals with general and strategic management questions in respect of: finance; city planning; land use planning; legal advice; personnel; information; and, trade and industry.

Approx. 10,000 employees

The education department is responsible for: the municipality’s upper secondary schools; special schools for young pupils and adults; and, municipal adult education.

The working life department is responsible for: labour market initiatives; alternative labour markets; social security; integration; and, daily operations centred on psychiatry and duties in respect of persons with certain functional impairments.

The property management department administers and maintains properties and buildings.

City of

12 central departments

The leisure and public health department runs sports and leisure centres such as Borås Arena, the city park swimming baths and the city’s other sports facilities. It also handles the associations service and public health issues.

The services department offers technical services such as IT operation, transport, property maintenance, snow clearance, street construction and the maintenance of parks.

The audit office examines municipal operations.

18 political committees

The town planning department draws up plans governing what may be built and how. It also: handles planning permission; is responsible for overall traffic planning; deals with land issues; and, is the municipal land survey authority.

The environment department carries out inspections and checks of: foodstuffs; environmental supervision; chemicals; and, housing hygiene. It also promotes environmental improvements and good health protection in the municipality.

The technical department is responsible for: park and countryside issues; procurements; operation and maintenance of streets and roads; street planning; road safety; and, passenger transport.

Approx. 300 politicians

The municipal council has 73 members


The city districts are also responsible for certain city-wide operations. North: Childcare and schooling


West: Personal and family care for children and families East: Geriatric care

3 city district departments


5 housing companies: AB Bostäder i Borås Handle, amongst other things: childcare; compulsory schooling; geriatric care; and culture and leisure in own geographic area.

Fristadbostäder AB Sandhultsbostäder AB Toarpshus Viskaforshem AB


Borås Energi och miljö AB

12 companies

Borås Elnät AB

Borås Djurpark AB Turnover approx. SEK 6 billion Approx. 600 employees

Borås kommuns Parkerings AB

Tax rate = 31.94% (21.49 to the municipality, 10.45 to the county council)

Södra Älvsborg Fire & Rescue Services

Industribyggnader i Borås AB


The fire and rescue services are managed jointly with a number of neighbouring municipalities in a municipal association.

Borås Lokaltrafik AB

Square metres of park per resident:


Number of nature reserves:


Municipal turnover: Population growth, 2010: Libraries famed as: Shows at city theatre per year: Pupils in compulsory schooling: School costs per upper secondary student per year: Students at Borås University:

SEK 5.7 billion 836 people Sweden’s most open 200 11,500 SEK 79,000 15,000

Number of non-profit associations:


Researchers at the Technical Research Institute of Sweden (SP):


Number of play areas:


Roads to maintain: Luminaires in public street lighting: Births per year: Estimated population, 2039: Number of people within a 100-kilometre radius: New Swedes’ most usual country of origin: Number of companies: Number of commuters to/from Borås: Logistic surfaces (square metres): New companies coming to Viared in the past 10 years: Kilometres to Stockholm/Oslo/Copenhagen: Time to international airport (Landvetter):

440 kilometres 21,000 1,000 130,000 1.5 million Finland 11,000 10,700/7,600 600,000 40 407/355/285 Barely 30 minutes by car

Concept and production: Mecka Photos: Magnus & Magnus DDR Cover picture: Actor, Bor책s city theatre Translation: John Halliwell for Euronomen AB Paper: Munken Print White, 150 g (cover) and Munken Print White, 115 g (inside pages) Printing: Vindspelet Grafiska

City of Borås  

About the municipality of Borås in english.

City of Borås  

About the municipality of Borås in english.