The street as a public space

Stockholm, Sweden

SDG 11: Sustainable cities and communities
In association with the 2016 budget, the Traffic Office 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.

Despite recent evolutions, the city of Stockholm has been built for cars for 60 years, and if major changes are to become reality, politicians will have to be bold and directive. 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.

This chimes well with the vision of public space in “A Living Stockholm”, where the aim is to create prerequisites for activities and places in the public space that may not be found without the will of initiators, Stockholmers and politicians.

Good practices & solutions

With regards to social injustice, the City Commissioner for Traffic does not believe that a transformation from car to public transport and bike will involve major problems for Stockholmers. He does not believe that the inhabitants of Stockholm are in need of their car as much as they think, and for this reason they are choosing to develop an even more compact inner city.

Lessons learned & recommendations

Changes of rules and regulations may, on the other hand, be needed for a period to facilitate for initiators to co-create 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.

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.

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Project: Nordic Urban Ways