Here in Denver, we have finally embraced using our streets for public spaces. Sadly, it took a global pandemic to do it – but I, for one, am all for these changes being permanent. Recently I heard about a project in Sweden to use building kits to create flexible spaces that can move throughout cities easily and be re-configured for current needs.
The innovative project in Sweden enables residents to travel no more than a minute to access everything from outdoor gyms, urban gardens to playgrounds and social hubs. The idea is inspired by the 15-minute city urban planning concept in which everything you need can be reached within 15 minutes. The ‘Street Moves’ initiative, developed by Sweden’s national center for architecture and design, aims to be implemented nationwide in the next decade.
The building kit consists of an expandable wooden platform with modular parts that can be placed on top to offer functions such as electric charging stations for cars, parking for electric scooters, outdoor gyms, and gardens. The idea behind the kit is to give cities the possibility to use more of their public space for people, rather than cars and vehicle traffic.
“There is so much potential to develop what urban space can be used for. For the past 60 years, we’ve planned our cities around cars; now it’s time to start designing streets for other things, such as satisfying an increasing need for greenery and meeting places in the city,” says Daniel Byström, project manager for Street Moves at ArkDes Think Tank.
In addition to Stockholm, the Swedish cities of Gothenburg and Helsingborg are also evaluating the building kit.
I have never been to Sweden, but it’s always high on my bucket list. This is just another reason to go!
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