© A R Beer,2001 Return to Home page

Greenspace Management in Denmark and Sweden

Summary

The Danish experience

The Swedish experience

Regenerating greenspace in and near high density multi storey housing -
Case Studies

DENMARK
Aedalsparken
Gillesager
Hvidovre
Lyngby - Town Green
Mortenshupvej
Taestrup

 

SWEDEN
Alingsås
Angered
Bergsjön
Eriksbo
Gårdsten
Lomma  
Malmo-Holma
Malmo Bo01
Östra Uggledal

-------------------------------

 

Greenspace Management in Denmark and Sweden

Summary

The Danish experience

The Swedish experience

Regenerating greenspace in and near high density multi storey housing -
Case Studies

DENMARK
Aedalsparken
Gillesager
Hvidovre
Lyngby - Town Green
Mortenshupvej
Taestrup

 

SWEDEN
Alingsås
Angered
Bergsjön
Eriksbo
Gårdsten
Lomma  
Malmo-Holma
Malmo Bo01
Östra Uggledal

-------------------------------

 

Greenspace Management in Denmark and Sweden

Summary

The Danish experience

The Swedish experience

Regenerating greenspace in and near high density multi storey housing -
Case Studies

DENMARK
Aedalsparken
Gillesager
Hvidovre
Lyngby - Town Green
Mortenshupvej
Taestrup

 

SWEDEN
Alingsås
Angered
Bergsjön
Eriksbo
Gårdsten
Lomma  
Malmo-Holma
Malmo Bo01
Östra Uggledal

-------------------------------

Greenspace Management in Denmark and Sweden

Summary

The Danish experience

The Swedish experience

Regenerating greenspace in and near high density multi storey housing -
Case Studies

DENMARK
Aedalsparken
Gillesager
Hvidovre
Lyngby - Town Green
Mortenshupvej
Taestrup

 

SWEDEN
Alingsås
Angered
Bergsjön
Eriksbo
Gårdsten
Lomma  
Malmo-Holma
Malmo Bo01
Östra Uggledal

-------------------------------

 

Greenspace Management in Denmark and Sweden

Summary

The Danish experience

The Swedish experience

Regenerating greenspace in and near high density multi storey housing -
Case Studies

DENMARK
Aedalsparken
Gillesager
Hvidovre
Lyngby - Town Green
Mortenshupvej
Taestrup

 

SWEDEN
Alingsås
Angered
Bergsjön
Eriksbo
Gårdsten
Lomma  
Malmo-Holma
Malmo Bo01
Östra Uggledal

-------------------------------

 

Greenspace Management in Denmark and Sweden

Summary

The Danish experience

The Swedish experience

Regenerating greenspace in and near high density multi storey housing -
Case Studies

DENMARK
Aedalsparken
Gillesager
Hvidovre
Lyngby - Town Green
Mortenshupvej
Taestrup

 

SWEDEN
Alingsås
Angered
Bergsjön
Eriksbo
Gårdsten
Lomma  
Malmo-Holma
Malmo Bo01
Östra Uggledal

-------------------------------

Innovative solutions to the design, management and maintenance of urban greenspace

Holma, Malmo, Sweden
Example of where the tenants have totally redesigned their greenspaces with the aid of caretakers, who were specially selected and trained to stimulate local action

 

The Malmo Kommunal Housing Company is responsible for several large blocks of flats in Holma. There is a high proportion of immigrant inhabitants and a lot of unemployment.

7-8 years ago the system of maintaining the communal areas was changed, as the external areas had deteriorated and the whole area was developing as an area of social exclusion.

The system that started in 1994 was that the caretakers of the blocks were employed not only to be reactive to housing repairs and maintenance, but also to be proactive in stimulating and encouraging the residents to look after the communal areas themselves. That part of the inhabitants' rents which was allocated by the housing company for looking after the external spaces (in the main the greenspaces) was identified. This was then allocated to a fund over which the inhabitants, through an elected Residential Area Committee, had control.

The money in the fund had to be spent on improving the "outside" areas and the residents had to work with the caretakers if they were to get access to the fund and make changes happen. Swedish tax laws and benefit laws had to be changed to enable this experiment to take place - otherwise the inhabitants would have had their Social Benefit payments reduced because of the way the system was set up. However, the savings to society from turning round a failed estate and making it once more habitable (as indicated by the fact that it is now an estate which people want to move into), are far greater than any loss to the treasury. If this turn round in the fortunes of the estate had not happened, eventually the housing would have been demolished at great cost to Malmo city, the Housing Company and the Government. The improvement in the social problems affecting the local people has also meant a reduction in the cost to society of having to look after the socially excluded. The level of "pride in where they live" is almost palpable as one moves through the estate and this is reflected in the lack of graffiti and the feeling of being somewhere safe.

Another unusual feature of these blocks of flats is that the tenants can choose who should take over a flat when it falls vacant, no longer the housing office. This too is creating a strong sense of pride.

The residents decided that they did not want landscape architects or other professionals involved in the planning for improvement of their communal space. The result is a very different landscape for a Swedish housing scheme - lots of pots of plants, there is no litter and no graffiti, and everywhere is very well kept.

Malmo city is applying the principles worked out here to other problem estates. This scheme has been so successful that it is now being used as a model for initiatives elsewhere in Sweden.

 

Each group of people living round a courtyard was involved by the caretakers in working out what they wanted to do - where to put trees, plants, flowers, features. The "old' landscape from the original design was still there and the trees were retained, as well as some shrubs. The paths too are still mostly where they were originally.

 

The result is that each courtyard is different - some small-scale with many small spaces and some large with undulations added.

Many blocks of flats now have their own communal space where once there was just mown grass. While not totally fenced off, these are surrounded by hedging and can only be entered through a symbolic gateway which indicates very clearly who the spaces are meant for. Some of these communal areas have become "play areas" for adults and are well used by the older members of the community (see picture below).

Everywhere the caretakers have worked on the problem of managing waste and litter - the "recycling" sites have pride of place in many courtyards and many are decorated with flowers which are looked after by the residents.

Features like this are labour intensive, but if looked after by residents are no problem - the metal work is sculptural. 

 

 

 

Just outside the estate the vandalism starts. Inside it the level of social control and "ownership" of their spaces is so high that none can be seen.

 

The areas within the estate are well used by residents, both adults and children. Blocks of flats nearby which are outside the scheme show ample evidence of the graffiti, litter and poor maintenance that is still prevalent in large housing areas.

 

© Anne Beer, 2001

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Latest update : 3 Oct 2001