The Street as Public Space

Create a “living Stockholm”, Sweden

SDG 9: Industry innovation and infrastructureSDG 11: Sustainable cities and communitiesSDG 15: Life on land

The Traffic Office in Stockholm is commissioned to, together with private sector and citizens, finding places for pop-up parks and pedestrian streets with potential to vitalise the public space. The vision is that this experiment will contribute to the development of new regulations and strategies that enables initiators in Stockholm to carry out activities and create meeting places in the public space in the future.

The public planning in Stockholm has been guided by cars for 60 years. There is a growing consensus for change from a city of cars to a city of public transport, and new initiatives are coming from both officials and private sectors. The region recently adopted a new vision for the city, “Living Stockholm”. The aim is to create prerequisites for a vibrant city with diverse activities and inclusive places in the public space by co-creating the space together with initiators, Stockholmers and politicians. In order to realise this vision it is crucial to free the public space from car traffic and create space for pedestrians and cyclists

Good practices & solutions

Initially, rules and regulations may need to be changed to facilitate co-creation initiators in their reshaping of the shared public spaces. It is imperative that local government officials and politicians are in tune, and that there are clear political directives to push through adopted strategies.

Outcome & opportunities

The City Commissioner for Traffic does not believe that a transformation from car to public transport and bike will involve any major problems for Stockholmers. The Commissioner does not believe that the inhabitants of Stockholm are in need of their cars to the extent previously presumed.  With this in mind, the city have chosen to pursue a more compact inner city.

Lessons learned & recommendations
The ambition to create a “living Stockholm” and make Stockholm a city guided by public transport, is a big commitment and a challenge for the city. Such an initiative  requires bold political directives.

Related SDG targets

11.7 By 2030, provide universal access to safe, inclusive and accessible, green and public spaces, in particular for women and children, older persons and persons with disabilities.

9.1 Develop quality, reliable, sustainable and resilient infrastructure, including regional and transborder infrastructure, to support economic development and human well-being, with a focus on affordable and equitable access for all.

15.9 By 2020, integrate ecosystem and biodiversity values into national and local planning, development processes, poverty reduction strategies and accounts

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Project: Nordic Urban Ways