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Naturen på lika villkor

Studiefrämjandet is an adult educational association that offers education, lectures, workshops and cultural arrangements. They cooperates with municipalities and county administrative boards and investigates how accessible the outdoor life is and form recommendations on how to improve it. By helping municipalities to apply for fundings, actions to improve the outdoor life can be made.
Challenges

Individuals with functional variations are, still, in many ways excluded from nature areas and nature exploration, although experiencing nature and green areas is considered a fundamental human right.

Good practices & Solutions

Studiefrämjandet, a citizen-driven educational institution, co- initiated the application for funding for “Naturen på lika villkor” with NGOs Naturskyddsföreningen and Hjärnskadeförbundet (the Brain Damage Society) because they realised that they shared certain problem definitions and visions for change.

Further into the project, an associate of the Stockholm County Administrative Board accidentally learned about the project and became spontaneously intrigued by it after initiating a meeting with the coordinators from Studiefrämjandet the Administrative Board joined in as a funder and supporter of Naturen på lika villkor. Thus, the project has been cross-sectorial from the start. The project has since spawned a series of joint walks and events for promoting the expanded use of nature among the target groups, thus exploring ways of empowering and inspiring the various groups.

Related SDGs
  • 3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
  • 10.3 Ensure equal opportunity and reduce inequalities of outcome, including by eliminating discriminatory laws, policies and practices and promoting appropriate legislation, policies and action in this regard
  • 11.4 Strengthen efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage
  • 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
  • 14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
  • 15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
  • 16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
Further reading

Studiefrämjandet 

Openlab

Founded in 2013, Openlab is intended to be a neutral environment bringing together stakeholders involved in the following four selected challenge areas concerning the Stockholm region: sustainable urban development, healthcare, an ageing population, and education.

Although hosting many different activities, such as a co-working space for social entrepreneurs, a makerspace, a conference area, and an organic café, Openlab’s core operations consist of external process management and creative facilitation of innovation projects and a Master’s course (15/7.5 ECTS). The course involves students from the four partner universities in creating solutions together with the public sector and residents for improving living conditions using Design Thinking and agile (SCRUM) working methods. Openlab also educates professionals in Design Thinking methodology in order to foster innovative capacity in the region.

Further reading

OpenLab Sthlm 

Produktionslyftet

Produktionslyftet (English: Production Leap, PL) was initiated in 2006 by the trade union IF Metall and the engineering industry association Teknikföretagen, starting with the presupposition that Swedish industries are in need of more efficient solutions and better coordinated procedures in order to endure and to profit from the transition to sustainable production.

Initially targeting enterprises of 50–249 employees, PL was launched as a nationwide 18-month professional coaching and educational programme. Subsequently, Chalmers University of Technology has developed a 7.5 ECTS course (“Lean Production”) especially designed for participants of the PL programme in collaboration with the other participating educational institutions. Another 7.5 course on sustainable leadership (“Lean Ledarskap”) developed at KTH Lean Centre was later added to the programme. PL moreover attempts to expand its use of digital solutions and shorter education periods in order to adapt to the needs of SMEs.

Different development groups contribute methodology and educational aspects. A package of presentations, materials, and educational stages was established to give access to a standard for each node and coach. LEAN was the main method chosen not only for the programme but internally as well, meaning that the involvement of employees is central to PL’s approach. The employees and management are ultimately supposed to work together to implement new methods and working philosophies gained from PL’s education.

PL moreover contributed to the launching of the Matlust project in Södertälje.

Related SDGs
  • 8.4 Improve progressively, through 2030, global resource efficiency in consumption and production and endeavour to decouple economic growth from environmental degradation, in accordance with the 10-year framework of programmes on sustainable consumption and production, with developed countries taking the lead
  • 9.5 Enhance scientific research, upgrade the technological capabilities of industrial sectors in all countries, in particular developing countries, including, by 2030, encouraging innovation and substantially increasing the number of research and development workers per 1 million people and public and private research and development spending
  • 12.6 Encourage companies, especially large and transnational companies, to adopt sustainable practices and to integrate sustainability information into their reporting cycle
Further reading

Produktionslyftet

Södra Skanstull

Skanstull South is evolving into an area with reduced barriers for interaction and sustainable transport, while the pollution from surrounding traffic routes is being mitigated by positioning new buildings such that the backsides of the buildings are facing towards the roads. The Eriksdalsbadet swimming centre and the Trädgården music and arts hub are being supported and developed because they are deemed valuable meeting points for youth and people of other ages from all of south Stockholm, connecting residents from different areas and districts and helping to foster inclusion.

For the overall urban scheme, the city engaged three architectural firms in a parallel assignment. The best ideas were moulded together into the final concept (by one of the three firms). The different stakeholders were then asked to invite their own architects to pursue their projects within the overall framework. Thus, commitment from all stakeholders was secured. Meanwhile, local residents and civil and private organisations were involved in formulating needs and ideas for future development. Parts of Skanstull South belong to the civil defence infrastructure, which gives The Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB) an important say in its future use.

Related SDGs
  • 3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
  • 7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
  • 11.2 By 2030, provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all, improving road safety, notably by expanding public transport, with special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations, women, children, persons with disabilities and older persons
  • 11.3 By 2030, enhance inclusive and sustainable urbanization and capacity for participatory, integrated and sustainable human settlement planning and management in all countries
  • 11.6 By 2030, enhance inclusive and sustainable urbanization and capacity for participatory, integrated and sustainable human settlement planning and management in all countries
  • 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
  • 15.9 By 2020, integrate ecosystem and biodiversity values into national and local planning, development processes, poverty reduction strategies and accounts
  • 16.7 Ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels
Further reading

White Arkitekter 

Viable Cities

Viable Cities (VC) is a strategic innovation programme co-funded by several large agencies and hosted by KTH. The aim is to support research and innovation for smart sustainable cities, emphasising its role as a catalyst for collaborative efforts between different sectors in Swedish society. It also fosters commitment and participation from citizens and urban dwellers through urban development and digitalisation.

Sustainable innovative solutions are developed by VC within the following four focus areas:

  • Lifestyle & consumption
  • Planning & built environment
  • Mobility & accessibility
  • Integrated infrastructure

These developments are supported through the following five themes:

  • Testbeds & living labs
  • Innovation & entrepreneurship
  • Funding & business operations
  • Governance
  • Intelligence, cyber safety & ethics.

The programme today hosts some 50 participating organisations from all sectors. VC’s incentives are both local, national, and international, and its successful solutions and models are meant for large-scale implementation and export.

Related SDG
  • 11.3 By 2030, enhance inclusive and sustainable urbanization and capacity for participatory, integrated and sustainable human settlement planning and management in all countries
  • 11.A Support positive economic, social and environmental links between urban, peri-urban and rural areas by strengthening national and regional development planning
  • 17. 16 Enhance the global partnership for sustainable development, complemented by multi-stakeholder partnerships that mobilize and share knowledge, expertise, technology and financial resources, to support the achievement of the sustainable development goals in all countries, in particular developing countries
  • 17.17 Encourage and promote effective public, public-private and civil society partnerships, building on the experience and resourcing strategies of partnerships
Further reading

Viable Cities

Årstaskogen

Årstaskogen is a more than 150-year-old forest covering 57 acres in the Årsta area just south of Södermalm in central Stockholm with particular ecological significance to the city, hosting many endangered animal species and plants.

In June 2017, the City of Stockholm Development Administration (Exploateringskontoret) approved a report suggesting an altered border of the Årsta Forest Nature Reserve. Simultaneously, the City of Stockholm was planning the construction of 800–1000 apartments in the area outside these altered borders. This was the starting point for the protest network Bevara Årstaskogen (”Preserve Årsta Forest”, BÅ).

BÅ uses petitions, crowdfunding, traditional and social media exhibitions of the issue, and dialogue with high-level decision-makers in order to gain the attention and influence needed to preserve the nature reserve. For example, students of Stockholm University published a thesis on the subject. In January 2018, the City of Stockholm announced its decision to make Årsta forest an official nature reserve, which was not deemed sufficient by BÅ and other critics. A petition in June 2018 gathered 13 834 signatures according to the website. The Centre Party of Stockholm’s (then) political opposition announced the preservation of Årstaskogen as an election issue before the September 2018 local elections in the City of Stockholm, in which the party grew three- fold.

The main issue concerns the construction of apartments in what is considered a precious green area in south-central Stockholm; these apartments are also estimated to have high rental prices. Thus, local social and ecological values are perceived by BÅ to be under threat from an inconsiderate public administration. Instead, the initiative recommends making the nature reserve more accessible, e.g. by laying down pathways and putting upsigns, as well as generally prioritising building more affordable rental apartments instead of launching expensive construction projects on previously untouched land.

Related SDGs
  • 11.4 Strengthen efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage
  • 15.1 By 2020, ensure the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services, in particular forests, wetlands, mountains and drylands, in line with obligations under international agreements
  • 15.2 By 2020, promote the implementation of sustainable management of all types of forests, halt deforestation, restore degraded forests and substantially increase afforestation and reforestation globally
  • 15.5 Take urgent and significant action to reduce the degradation of natural habitats, halt the loss of biodiversity and, by 2020, protect and prevent the extinction of threatened species
  • 15.9 By 2020, integrate ecosystem and biodiversity values into national and local planning, development processes, poverty reduction strategies and accounts
Further reading

Bevara Årstaskogen 

Förnyelselabbet

Förnyelselabbet was founded with a mission to work with user-driven innovation in order to meet complex social challenges, shaping methods and processes for this in working first on the reception of new arrivals in Sweden in autumn 2015 and onwards.

Good practices & Solutions

Operations include mapping of user needs and inclusion of stakeholders according to context. Users provide a substantial part of the background to problem formulations and analysis. The lab as a concept is valued highly because it allows for small-scale experimentation in multi- stakeholder innovation. Förnyelselabbet has furthermore established various smaller lab contexts of user interaction in several municipalities in and outside the Stockholm region in order to enhance the capacity of local stakeholders for working with social sustainability.

Related SDGs

3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

11.  By 2030, enhance inclusive and sustainable urbanization and capacity for participatory, integrated and sustainable human settlement planning and management in all countries

16.7 Ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels

17.17 Encourage and promote effective public, public-private and civil society partnerships, building on the experience and resourcing strategies of partnerships

Further reading

Förnyelselabbet 

Hållbar utveckling 2022 Initiative

Hållbar Utveckling is a platform offering education and knowledge exchange about sustainable development, particularly targeting SMEs, larger companies, and public institutions. It was founded in 2012 by CEO Helena Lindemark.

One notable initiative from Hållbar Utveckling is the 2022 InitiativeTM in which they invite organisations to participate in a planned 2022 manifestation of the 50-year anniversary of the first UN conference for sustainability, held in Stockholm in 1972. The 2022 Initiative aims to promote further matchmaking between users and problem-solving actors and networking between actors working for achieving the Agenda 2030 SDGs.

Further reading

Hållbar Utveckling

Konsten att skapa stad

Nacka Municipality hosts Scandinavia’s only employed urban creator. This is part of their ambition to use art and design skills in enhancing social-ecologically sustainable values of public spaces, for example in terms of attractiveness, diversity, inclusion, energy efficiency and safety. By bringing artists into co-creation with civil servants and private actors such as construction companies, the municipality hopes to achieve a higher level of citizen participation in urban processes.

There may be several reasons and purposes behind the effort and activity in the art of creating urban spirit. In short, it can be described as follows:

  • Create an attractive and innovative city
  • Putting lights on or pay attention to a place or event
  • Developing an identity of a place, street or area
  • Offer oases in the middle of the building
  • Enabling a ”dead” building or site
  • Create quality public place where people are happy and doing well
  • Create increased speed and cost
Related SDGs
  • 8.3 Promote development-oriented policies that support productive activities, decent job creation, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, and encourage the formalization and growth of micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises, including through access to financial services
  • 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
  • 10.2 By 2030, empower and promote the social, economic and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status
  • 11.2 By 2030, provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all, improving road safety, notably by expanding public transport, with special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations, women, children, persons with disabilities and older persons
  • 11.3 By 2030, enhance inclusive and sustainable urbanization and capacity for participatory, integrated and sustainable human settlement planning and management in all countries
  • 16.7 Ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels
  • 16.B Promote and enforce non-discriminatory laws and policies for sustainable development
Further reading

Nacka Municipality

Nordic Bio

Nordic Bio is run by the development programme Wargön Innovation and aims to explore re-usage of textiles in healthcare to prevent waste. The textile sector produces substantial amounts of waste every year in Sweden, but only a minor percentage is recycled or re-used.

Applying research results from VTT in Finland and material production expertise from Cellcomb, Nordic Bio aims to experiment in using new materials and processes for reducing waste while contributing to the healthcare sector becoming more sustainable. Having Region Stockholm as a partner is crucial in realising this objective.

Related SDGs
  • 3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
  • 9.4 By 2030, upgrade infrastructure and retrofit industries to make them sustainable, with increased resource-use efficiency and greater adoption of clean and environmentally sound technologies and industrial processes, with all countries taking action in accordance with their respective capabilities
  • 12.5 By 2030, substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse
Further reading

Bio Innovation 

eGOVLAB

eGovlab is a part of the Computer and Systems Sciences at Stockholm University. eGovlab is a place forging the future of inclusive governance – not just in theory but also in practice. They apply unconventional research frameworks and methods to visualise the impact of ICT on government transformation towards inclusion, transparency, efficiency and change management.
Good Practice & Solutions

As a testbed and an open innovation platform, eGovlab focuses on developing governance processes through digital and participatory approaches. It has thus developed a six-step methodology for co-creation and open innovation with stakeholders. eGovlab is part of about 20 different Interreg and other international or EU projects within the core themes of anticipatory and adaptive governance, public service redesign, and smart & sustainable communities.

Related SDGs
  • 9.4 By 2030, upgrade infrastructure and retrofit industries to make them sustainable, with increased resource-use efficiency and greater adoption of clean and environmentally sound technologies and industrial processes, with all countries taking action in accordance with their respective capabilities
  • 11. A Support positive economic, social and environmental links between urban, peri-urban and rural areas by strengthening national and regional development planning
  • 17.7 Promote the development, transfer, dissemination and diffusion of environmentally sound technologies to developing countries on favourable terms, including on concessional and preferential terms, as mutually agreed
Further reading

eGovLab

Frontrunners for Sustainable Innovation

The Frontrunners for Sustainable Innovation project is a collaboration between the science parks in the Stockholm region, including KTH and Openlab, with the goal of fostering new channels for digital, environmental, and life science SMEs to expand their operations and leverage.

Examples of such channels are market dialogues between stakeholders regarding particular issues and demands as well as innovation procurement. High importance is given to promoting digital services and products such as open data and IoT. By providing the involved science parks as testing and demo environments for relevant SMEs, the project aims to create better structures for sustainable innovation in the Stockholm region.

Related SDG targets
  • 4.7 By 2030, ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development
  • 5.B Enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology, to promote the empowerment of women
  • 8.2 Achieve higher levels of economic productivity through diversification, technological upgrading and innovation, including through a focus on high-value added and labour-intensive sectors
  • 9.4 By 2030, upgrade infrastructure and retrofit industries to make them sustainable, with increased resource-use efficiency and greater adoption of clean and environmentally sound technologies and industrial processes, with all countries taking action in accordance with their respective capabilities
  • 11.6 By 2030, reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities, including by paying special attention to air quality and municipal and other waste management
  • 12.8 By 2030, ensure that people everywhere have the relevant information and awareness for sustainable development and lifestyles in harmony with nature
Further reading

Frontrunners for sustainable innovation

HISS – Hållbart, Innovativt och Strategiskt Styrelsearbete

Having considerable experience of sustainable business development and communication, consultancy firm 2050 initiated a study of how CEOs and private companies integrate sustainable goals into their respective operations and businesses.

Recognising the various challenges of organisational approaches to sustainability, the project harnesses innovation as a means for empowering sustainability managers and organisations as a whole to accelerate sustainable procedures and goals within their respective business models.

In the long term, HISS hopes to develop models for organisational development that are feasible in both the public and private sectors.

Related SDGs
  • 5.5 Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life
  • 12.2 By 2030, achieve the sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources
  • 12.6 Encourage companies, especially large and transnational companies, to adopt sustainable practices and to integrate sustainability information into their reporting cycle
Further reading

HISS

Sverige Bygger Nytt

The construction business is largely homogeneous, and most of its employees are white, Sweden-born males. The sector has a vast demand for a new workforce in the near future, and if this need is to be met recruitment must reach other societal groups than the current one.

Currently, hitherto marginalised groups such as new arrivals and women have felt reluctant to pursuing a construction career for various reasons. The main objective of Sverige Bygger Nytt is to enable employment of people of diverse social backgrounds within the Swedish construction industry. The Swedish Employment Agency was considered the most suitable owner of the project after an early workshop using the Logical Framework Approach, a toolkit used by the UN and the Swedish Development Agency to deconstruct a problem and build a solution. During the course of the programme, more accessible entry into the construction industry has gradually been realised for participating individuals.

Related SDGs
  • 8.5 By 2030, achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for young people and persons with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value
  • 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
  • 10.2 By 2030, empower and promote the social, economic and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status
  • 11.1 By 2030, ensure access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services and upgrade slums
  • 11.3 By 2030, enhance inclusive and sustainable urbanization and capacity for participatory, integrated and sustainable human settlement planning and management in all countries
  • 11.A Support positive economic, social and environmental links between urban, peri-urban and rural areas by strengthening national and regional development planning
  • 16.7 Ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels
  • 16.7.1 Proportions of positions (by sex, age, persons with disabilities and population groups) in public institutions (national and local legislatures, public service, and judiciary) compared to national distributions
  • 16.7.2 Proportion of population who believe decision-making is inclusive and responsive, by sex, age, disability and population group
  • 16.10 Ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and international agreements
Further readings

Sverige Bygger Nytt 

Nature Bizz

The term “green enterprise” has particular connotations in Sweden, denoting a business in which natural resources are the primary focus of operations, such as honey, cultivation, food stuffs, and forestry.

The Interreg project Nature Bizz – Business and Wellness from Green Economy Growth aims to support growth and capacity among green micro enterprises in the Baltic region.

Södertörn University is the main partner in the Swedish context, working with businesses north of Stockholm and on the island of Gotland. A main challenge is that knowledge about green micro enterprises is insufficient. The main operations consist of developing professional education and capacity building for accelerating the sustainable business models of the enterprises according to local user needs, together with stakeholders such as local and regional governance, enterprises, trade organisations, and researchers. Supporting these small actors has particular implications for the survival of peri-urban areas, ecosystems and, in the long term, sustainable urban living.

Related SDGs
  • 9.4 By 2030, upgrade infrastructure and retrofit industries to make them sustainable, with increased resource-use efficiency and greater adoption of clean and environmentally sound technologies and industrial processes, with all countries taking action in accordance with their respective capabilities
  • 12.2 By 2030, achieve the sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources
Further reading

NatureBizz

Verklighetslabbet Stureby

Stureby Nursing Home is a platform for innovation through Reality Lab, which currently includes 120 students from different professions, but a majority not from the area of medicine and care. This supports collaboration with the residents, their relatives, municipal employees, and researchers.

With the hybrid organisation Openlab providing Design Thinking methodology and student teams for innovation, the elderly residents are given a key role in shaping their environment. Other forums for co-creation are workshops planned with different themes and challenges. This opens up for stakeholder groups normally not involved in elderly care, which in turn puts particular demands on coordination, trust- building, and understanding.

Related SDGs
  • 3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
  • 8. 3 Promote development-oriented policies that support productive activities, decent job creation, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, and encourage the formalization and growth of micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises, including through access to financial services
  • 8.6 By 2020, substantially reduce the proportion of youth not in employment, education or training
  • 9.2 Promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and, by 2030, significantly raise industry’s share of employment and gross domestic product, in line with national circumstances, and double its share in least developed countries
  • 10.2 By 2030, empower and promote the social, economic and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status
Further reading

Verklighetslabbet

Mistra SAMS

Mistra SAMS (Sustainable Accessibility and Mobility Services) is a transdisciplinary research programme and platform for investigating obstacles and opportunities regarding the transition to sustainable transport, mobility, and accessibility in urban environments. Through two on-going living labs in Stockholm, participating residents contribute in testing apps and other ideas for changing the conditions for urban travelling, for example, in order to increase the amount of travelling outside regular rush hours.

Challenge

Sweden’s vision is to become the world’s first fossil-independent country. A tough challenge that requires a number of new solutions. To get there we must, among other things, have a vehicle fleet that is independent of fossil fuels at its latest in 2030 according to the Swedish Transport Administration. That is not the only challenging goal in the transport and environmental field. The Paris climate agreement places additional demands on new solutions, as well as a decision in the City of Stockholm that car traffic must decrease despite the increase in occupancy. In order for the congestion and emissions in major cities not to become unmanageable, it is necessary that we receive a reduced demand for car-borne transport and an optimized use of the existing infrastructure.

Good practices & solutions

Mistra SAMS’s vision is that by 2030, Sweden will have reached accessibility and mobility in the metropolitan regions that contribute to achieving the sustainability goals, and which at the same time meet the needs of broad user groups through new accessibility services. The program initially examined successful accessibility and mobility services available in other countries to find good examples.

Mistra SAMS studies digitally supported services for accessibility and mobility, to understand their potential to transform society and contribute to sustainability. The aim is to provide insight into insights into public actors’ possible roles and means to influence new accessibility services and platform technology. Which pathways are open to public actors, and which are the effects of those pathways on long-term sustainability targets?

The programme is hosted and managed by KTH Royal Institute of Technology in close cooperation with VTI Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute.Together with its partners, Mistra SAMS conducts innovative research on the transformation of accessibility in primarily an urban environment.

Related SDGs
  • 8.3 Promote development-oriented policies that support productive activities, decent job creation, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, and encourage the formalization and growth of micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises, including through access to financial services
  • 9.5 Enhance scientific research, upgrade the technological capabilities of industrial sectors in all countries, in particular developing countries, including, by 2030, encouraging innovation and substantially increasing the number of research and development workers per 1 million people and public and private research and development spending
  • 11.2 By 2030, provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all, improving road safety, notably by expanding public transport, with special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations, women, children, persons with disabilities and older persons
Further reading

MISTRA SAMS 

Hagastaden

Challenges

With Stockholm growing rapidly and new housing demanded, largely overlooked and underused areas still exist close to the urban centre. One such area is Haga, in part consisting of a large green area (Hagaparken) and in part the vast Karolinska University Hospital complex including the adjacent health science university of the Karolinska Institute. It is also the border zone between the municipalities of Solna and Stockholm, hitherto mainly used as a highway cluster.

Because the healthcare system and life science fields will face tremendous challenges in future decades due to a rapidly ageing population, with increasing amounts of multiple diagnoses requiring decades of treatment, the needs for further research and innovation on this matter are dire. Stockholm already has a vast cluster of health science research, innovation, and education in this area, pointing to the potentials of further expanding this cluster.

Good Practices & Solutions

The huge Hagastaden development project is guided by “Vision 2025”, seeking to create the largest centre for life science in the world. Most of the 100+ life science enterprises operating in Stockholm would now be located close to, or choose to relocate to, the area of Hagastaden. The project assembles three of the largest universities in Stockholm into a life science cluster with 50 000 workplaces while building mixed forms of housing for 6000 people and developing adjacent parks and green areas. The two main highways running through the area will be built into tunnels to minimise sound pollution. The innovative waste management system is inherited from Hammarby sjöstad.

Several parks and recreation areas already exist nearby, such as the widespread Hagaparken, Bellevueparken, and Karlbergsparken. These will now be connected through Hagastaden and made considerably more accessible. One of the buildings is the first to ever achieve the highest rate of the green building certificate BREEAM, “Outstanding”.The new park of Norra stationsparken will be a slim, long park with considerable proximity to cafés, shops, and restaurants.

Outcome & Opportunities

A new underground station will be built in the centre of Hagastaden, as Stockholm County Council is constructing a new subway line going from Odenplan in west central Stockholm to Arenastaden in Solna, approximately 5 km, planned for 2019–2025. This will promote public transport in favour of less sustainable transport and will further connect diverse city districts and municipalities.

Art, intertwined with architecture and landscape, plays a significant role in the shaping of the new living area. Emanating from the concept of life science and “the cornerstones of life”, the objects and milieus created are meant to reflect Hagastaden’s scientific image. This was made through the 2014–2015 project ArtResLab Hagastaden, in which researchers and artists co-created outlines for Hagastaden by exchanging knowledge about each other’s fields.

Hagastaden has had limited involvement of residents and civil actors in the planning process, the exceptions being certain dialogue meetings and a hackathon with students coordinated by Sweco. Instead, it has focussed on a cross-sectorial collaborative process

Related SDGs
  • 3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
  • 4.7 By 2030, ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development
  • 5 . Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
  • 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
  • 9.5 Enhance scientific research, upgrade the technological capabilities of industrial sectors in all countries, in particular developing countries, including, by 2030, encouraging innovation and substantially increasing the number of research and development workers per 1 million people and public and private research and development spending
  • 11.2 By 2030, provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all, improving road safety, notably by expanding public transport, with special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations, women, children, persons with disabilities and older persons
  • 11. 4 Strengthen efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage
  • 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
  • 11.A Support positive economic, social and environmental links between urban, peri-urban and rural areas by strengthening national and regional development planning
Further reading

Hagastaden

Stockholm Science City 

Stockholm Läns Landsting “Gul linje till Arenastaden”

Stockholm Konst 

#UrbanGirlsMovement

Because urban development has to become more equal, inclusive, and participatory, the think tank Global Utmaning and UN-Habitat, the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, developed the innovation project #UrbanGirlsMovement (UGM). The project aim was to improve living conditions for girls and young women in rapidly growing, socio-economically vulnerable urban areas through feminist urban planning. The methods developed in #UrbanGirlsMovement were found to especially support implementation of SDG 3, 5, 10, 11 and 17 of the 2030 Agenda.

#UrbanGirlsMovement charts good examples and supplies new methods and suggestions for feminist urban development. The thesis ”build the city for girls, and it will work for everyone” was tested in Fittja, Botkyrka municipality and involved young girls who produced concrete proposals on how Fittja could become more inclusive for everyone. The girls used, among others, the Block by Block method developed by UN-Habitat. Further, the computer game Minecraft was used as a tool for citizen dialogue and co-creation. The methods and computer game proved to be good tools for making urban planning more inclusive.

Challenges

Planning a city by considering the needs of its young female inhabitants is acknowledged as a way of creating a more just and socio-economically equal society that works for everybody. Creating prerequisites for inclusive public spaces, where people of all genders, ages, and socio-economic groups are comfortable in spending much of their time, is crucial for creating an including city without segregation. However, Sweden, much like other countries, is still mainly planning its cities based on the needs of the current middle-aged generation and largely without taking particular needs of women into account, while the importance of gender equality and digitalisation for urban planning are being increasingly highlighted. Even though this insight is shared by authorities in Stockholm, few actors seemed to have the experience or insight to apply it in urban planning processes.

Elin Andersdotter Fabre, responsible for the Sustainable Cities Program of the think tank Global Utmaning, was contacted by some of these actors for advice on the concept of feminist urban planning. This concept has recently made its way into Swedish political discourse, especially with the 2014 election of the centre-left government branding itself as being outspokenly feminist. Realising that knowledge about gender-equal urban planning was yet very much an unexplored area, Elin decided to map good international examples of this phenomenon in order to bring the best practices to Stockholm.

After gaining a sufficient amount of knowledge on the subject, Global Utmaning chose the municipality of Botkyrka south-west of Stockholm as an innovation space for the project since it had an image of being socio-economically underdeveloped and segregated. Global Utmaning and Botkyrka Municipality successfully applied for funding for a public space development project with the objectives of including young girls of Botkyrka as co-creators of innovative solutions to enable an active and secure life within these spaces.

Good practices and solutions

A well-established urban development actor, Global Utmaning had a significant network of experienced organisations and individuals from the start. The expert and reference groups include over 20 actors from all societal sectors and with different expert knowledge. Merging these established actors with insights from the participating and very young users created a unique potential for producing new knowledge on urban planning. One notable synergy effect was the experts’ input about ecological consequences on the suggestions from the users, enabling a more just and green urban development. “It is easier finding experts within all sectors with knowledge about ecological matters than about social matters, so that part is not a concern.”

Rather than hastening to action, the process permitted a long period for investigating and clarifying the needs that actually required urgent addressing. Going through all the relevant SDGs and their challenges and their consequences required considerable time but meant that the remaining work was much more facilitated than it would have been otherwise.

An expert group representing all sectors was involved before the funding had been granted in order to co-create as solid a project as possible: “Co-creation does not start in the planning phase, but rather already during the application for funding.” Co-creation and collaboration across disciplines and sectors is considered essential for creating policy and strategy recommendations with long-term systemic effects.

Outcome and opportunities

The objectives were reached in the form of 3D models of public spaces, used as starting points for architectural layouts. An ”Urban Girls cube” was built during the summer of 2019, where some of the proposals were tested with promising results. The implementation has not been secured yet because the municipality is responsible for initiating construction. This, in turn, is dependent on the success of the planned policy dialogue, which is aimed at both national and local governance as well as other relevant actors. The policy dialogue will significantly inform institutions previously ignorant of the concept of feminist urban planning.

Lessons learned and recommendations

Co-creation does not always guarantee commitment, and asking the right questions to the various engaged partners is also important for securing their continued participation. Such questions include “Which method should we use in order to have a good support of the process?”; “How many hours are we supposed to spend on this?”, etc. Asking these questions makes people feel more participating and committed and less like part of a senior advisory group. In co-creating problem definitions as well as solutions, it is important to let go of prestige while remaining empathetic. Enhancing the voice of those with the least resources, i.e. the participating girls, must also be made a priority in order to make sure that the municipality meets its responsibility in implementing their solutions.

The holistic perspective, in which #UrbanGirlsMovement could be considered a key example, is heavily dependent on the constellation of the particular group working with the project. This is also a regard in which co-creation processes fail unless they manage this challenge. Moreover, having the right people is often more valuable than having the right expertise because commitment is essential to the whole process. This is, as mentioned above, mainly a question of having composed a solid network before co-creation begins.

An extensive inventory of basic needs within urban development projects is of great importance if we are going to reach the 2030 Agenda. #UrbanGirlsMovement has taken a great deal of inspiration from participatory design and planning processes in cities like Nairobi and participatory projects in Kibera, in which the most basic needs such as livelihood or sanitation are emphasised.

Related SGD targets:
  • 3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
  • 5.5 Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life
  • 5.B Enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology, to promote the empowerment of women
  • 10.2 By 2030, empower and promote the social, economic and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status
  • 11.2 By 2030, provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all, improving road safety, notably by expanding public transport, with special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations, women, children, persons with disabilities and older persons
  • 11.3 By 2030, enhance inclusive and sustainable urbanization and capacity for participatory, integrated and sustainable human settlement planning and management in all countries
  • 11.6 By 2030, reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities, including by paying special attention to air quality and municipal and other waste management
  • 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
  • 11.A Support positive economic, social and environmental links between urban, peri-urban and rural areas by strengthening national and regional development planning
  • 11.B By 2020, substantially increase the number of cities and human settlements adopting and implementing integrated policies and plans towards inclusion, resource efficiency, mitigation and adaptation to climate change, resilience to disasters, and develop and implement, in line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, holistic disaster risk management at all levels
  • 17.6 Enhance North-South, South-South and triangular regional and international cooperation on and access to science, technology and innovation and enhance knowledge sharing on mutually agreed terms, including through improved coordination among existing mechanisms, in particular at the United Nations level, and through a global technology facilitation mechanism
  • 17.16 Enhance the global partnership for sustainable development, complemented by multi-stakeholder partnerships that mobilize and share knowledge, expertise, technology and financial resources, to support the achievement of the sustainable development goals in all countries, in particular developing countries
  • 17.17 Encourage and promote effective public, public-private and civil society partnerships, building on the experience and resourcing strategies of partnerships
Further reading

Urban Girls Catalogue
#UrbanGirlsMovement
Global Utmaning

C/O City

C/O City is about connecting and assessing ecosystem services (ESS) for development in urban environments. It has substantially contributed to spreading knowledge about ESS, which is a social- ecological concept that can be applied to various societal sectors, including private businesses, building companies, non-profits and policy-makers.

 

Challenges

Ecosystem services (ESS) are functions within the ecosystem that improve or sustain the well-being of mankind. Among these services are pollinating insects, leisure from green areas, and purification of water and air. Green infrastructure refers to various areas and connections of natural life and wildlife contributing to maintaining these services.

Difficulties of ESS being included in city development processes, as well as the fact that biodiversity was greatly discussed within city development without mentioning the human benefits of this diversity, triggered the launching of C/O City. Connecting ESS to the development of green infrastructure in the building process would therefore create better conditions for sustainable urban development. The newly developed area of Norra Djurgårdsstaden (also featured in this report) became the central location of the project, and the development of the area invited a range of R&D projects to enhance its sustainable features. The C/O City project was carried out in three stages, beginning with a pre-study conducted by U&WE, a consultancy bureau promoting socially and ecologically conscious enterprises. This was followed by the City of Stockholm carrying out the main work during stage 2, and then presenting and promoting the results during the last stage.

Good Practices & Solutions

The project nurtured a co-creative approach between the participating actors, although citizens were not part of it at any stage. The approach used no explicit tool or method to achieve its co-created solutions but employed the collaboration consultancy firm LÄNKA as facilitators during kick-offs, seminars, and for general process support.

As mentioned above, the three stages activated different partners. Whereas U&WE provided expertise on the variety of relevant actors, projects, and already existing businesses working with social and environmental innovation, the public servants from the City of Stockholm provided the main expertise on planning and construction processes. The Sweden Green Building Council, a non-profit organisation, provided a vast network of construction companies and building certification systems for implementing ESS as a relevant part of these systems. However, a conscious strategy from the start was to co- produce knowledge, so environmental and other relevant expertise from researchers and U&WE as well as the operational expertise of the municipality and construction actors were integrated during the course of the project. Participatory dialogue was likewise consciously not included; the results from the project would instead serve as a tool for facilitating future participatory dialogue processes, particularly within city development and construction programmes.

Outcome & Opportunities

C/O City managed to include the concept and evaluation of ESS into the programme of Citylab, a certification system for sustainable housing created by the Sweden Green Building Council. The Excel-based tool Grönytefaktor för allmän platsmark (GYF AP), used for quantifying the values provided by different types of green areas, was also introduced into the green certification process and presented in a report. C/O City decided to continue operations as a non-profit organisation through the digital platform Hållbar stad beginning in 2018. Moreover, several public authorities and municipalities now have ESS included as part of their mission. On a broader level, C/O City has substantially contributed to spreading knowledge about ESS to various societal sectors, including private business, building companies, non-profit organisations, and policymakers.

“ESS” is a social-ecological concept, making it more suitable for sustainable urban development than the hitherto more commonly used “biodiversity”. The concept has virtually exploded in recent years and is rapidly becoming a general guiding variable used in the context of city planning.

Lessons learned & Recommendations

Communicating the concepts of ESS and green infrastructure in a pedagogical manner was a great challenge. Lack of willingness to be influenced by others proved too significant an obstacle for one of the actors who left the project in its third and final stage.

Existing legislation constituted another stepping stone when, for example, building green roofs (due to fire risk). Promoting the modification of policies thus became an additional part of the project.

Devoting one year almost exclusively to discussion concerning objectives, vision, and principles was worthwhile, although it demanded a firmly held belief in the fundamental idea of the project. Getting researchers on board is also vital to such projects. The project was successful because the stakeholders managed to achieve a shared goal, with each actor having an interest in promoting the project.

Having different actors sitting “on the same side of the table” for once was empowering with regards to the objectives of C/O City. Such collaborations between construction companies and municipalities are fairly unusual, but these created a level of mutual understanding that proved essential for the project’s outcome.

Related SDGs
  • 11.4 Strengthen efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage
  • 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
  • 15.5 Take urgent and significant action to reduce the degradation of natural habitats, halt the loss of biodiversity and, by 2020, protect and prevent the extinction of threatened species
Further Reading

C/O City

 

Life IP Rich Waters

Challenges

Because many climate-related challenges occur across regional and local borders, there is a great need for cross-regional collaboration in managing these challenges, possibly evolving into cross-sectorial partnerships and co-creative processes. The Swedish government funds monitoring of Lake Mälaren, the country’s third largest lake that runs through three counties, including Stockholm. This assignment is aligned with the national water commission (Swedish: vattendirektivet). The concerned county administrative boards are responsible for this procedure through the collaborative organisation called the Water Protection Union of Mälaren (Swedish: Mälarens vattenvårdsförbund). During 2012–2013, the Union put additional pressure on municipalities around Mälaren to initiate water improvement measures since sufficient monitoring data had been obtained. The regional project Mälaren – en sjö för miljoner was initiated in 2013 and coordinated by the Union. During this process, an intensified collaboration between county administrative boards and municipalities occurred, eventually leading to the joint application for EU funding for the LIFE IP Rich Waters (henceforth Rich Waters) project because the many stakeholders shared an interest in collaborating further around improvement of the vast lake and exchanging their knowledge. The main objectives of Rich Waters are thus to improve water quality while improving collaboration structures among the stakeholders.

As a large project with 35 participating organisations of various size and with different interests, it has quickly become obvious that improvements and success cannot be measured in a standardised way. This poses a substantial challenge because the EU requires reports on which social-ecological aspects are being taken into account in the project. Ecological aspects are, furthermore, more easily monitored than others.

Instead of standardising monitoring and procedures within Rich Waters, the large network of municipalities is used for creating various sub-projects into which particular stakeholders are enrolled. These projects aim to become best practice references for use on a national scale with regards to water quality improvement, capacity building, research, method development, and technology development. The results are therefore put forward to be included in the official guidelines for water quality operations of the Swedish Sea and Water Agency (Havs- och Vattenmyndigheten).

Good Practices & Solutions

Because Mälaren encompasses such a vast area and range of issues, having a broad approach has been the fundamental strategy, producing a potential for large-scale impact as well as substantial challenges, for example regarding coordination. Partners are involved in a seemingly isolated way in the sense that their respective expertise is utilised in a framed and targeted manner, i.e. where it is deemed most effective, rather than exploring various alternatives along the way. SLU and IVL, for example, are targeting water areas that are difficult to monitor, thus developing sensors with adapted monitoring capacity. They also collaborate in developing monitoring tools for dealing with eutrophication issues in relation to Mälaren.

The private cooperative association Ecopelag is testing mussel farming in the Stockholm archipelago as a way of improving water quality and biodiversity. Julmyra Horse Center was involved at a later stage because the equestrian industry plays a substantial role in eutrophication processes. Thus, several sub-themes are engaged on a broad scale, each with its own actor responsible for knowledge exchange during the project. Because participants attend the same meetings and forums, all have access to the same knowledge generated within different sub-processes, and, consequently, this knowledge is processed into guidance for future management of Mälaren.

Outcome & Opportunities

The first phase of Rich Waters received feedback urging them to more clearly demonstrate the project’s potential for scaling up on a national level in correspondence with national water directives. The broad knowledge gathered during Rich Waters will be used for spawning new projects. New networks of reciprocal learning have sprung out from the collaboration, not the least between county administrative boards. Further collaborations and partnerships are considered as a productive future step. For example, the project has resulted in a desire to shape future research questions and initiate new collaborations with academia and other processes regarding the needs of Mälaren and the involved stakeholders as well as eutrophication and water quality in general.

Lessons learned & Recommendations

The strategy of the preceding project Mälaren – en sjö för miljoner was to create a collaboration enabling project development, eventually leading to Rich Waters. Thus, a more holistic approach to protecting and developing Mälaren was made possible through committing and integrating various sectors and forms of knowledge because this led to funding being granted from the EU. The utilisation of diverse sources of expertise has also been essential due to environmental toxins being such a vast and complex area that no single expert group can possibly hope to create lasting impact on its own. Co-creation, in some form or other, is thus currently a desired way of operating among the concerned actors.

To enable a co-creative and collaborative process, actors must learn about one another. Even the different county administrative boards lack sufficient knowledge about their respective operations and experiences. There is always a vagueness during the first gatherings, but ultimately leading to clarity regarding who should be collaborating with whom.

Researchers, public authorities, and private companies all seem to come into the process as a natural consequence during this phase. However, it is hard to monitor the effects of co-creation in the sense of what might have been different if these actors had never gotten to work together. The reflective process becomes one more of “story telling”and less of concrete facts.

Among factors for facilitating co-creation are, naturally, access to resources such as funding and time. Having participants interacting in informal forums and assemblies for a long time before formal collaboration begins is a significant supportive condition. Some projects will nevertheless be difficult to keep together due to personal differences, with certain individuals becoming particularly committed and others perhaps being more unsettled regarding their role. The important lesson for Rich Waters is to let these processes continue regardless because productive outcomes are usually eventually obtained from such processes.

Related SDG targets
  • 6.3 By 2030, improve water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimising release of hazardous chemicals and materials, halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse globally
  • 6.6 By 2020, protect and restore water-related ecosystems, including mountains, forests, wetlands, rivers, aquifers and lakes
Further reading

Datasmart

Challenges

According to the annual investigation Svenskarna och Internet (Swedes and the Internet), an overwhelming majority of the population seemed to experience little or no difficulties using the Internet and its various tools. However, it turned out that SCB did not sufficiently include people with functional variations, which led the investigation to conclude that almost no one experienced difficulties as a result of those variations. According to functionality NGOs, their members experienced severe difficulties in using Internet tools, suggesting that contemporary Internet and smart technology design favours normative functionalities in society, thus effectively excluding a large proportion of the population (up to 15–20%). Even a smaller percentage suggests a substantial challenge in terms of democracy and possibilities for a transition to smart and energy efficient urban development.

In order to confront this challenge, new tools needed to be developed because no actor had previously been concerned with designing for various physical and cognitive functionalities. Actors from functionality NGOs and Stefan Johansson, a PhD from KTH and founder of the accessibility specialist start-up company Funka teamed up to address this issue together with Begripsam and the development company Access Lab. Begripsam had evolved as a project funded by Arvsfonden and Konsumentverket 2013–2016 and had mapped and framed the problem as viewed by the target groups. Begripsam then evolved into an NGO and a private company working with cognitive accessibility. The commonly agreed objective between these actors was to design prototypes of products or services facilitating Internet participation among certain target groups of individuals with functional variations. Chosen target groups were cognitive variations and visibility due to especially challenging conditions with regards to using the Internet. The DataSmart project was then initiated in 2017.

Good Practices & Solutions

DataSmart initially conducted data collection and then proceeded to develop data visualisations. Individuals of the stakeholder groups have been involved in testing prototypes all through the course of the project. However, because individuals within the target groups are unable to test prototypes due to their cognitive functions, alternative forms of visualisation have to be employed. Thus, various cognitive pedagogues are being hired to facilitate the testing process, one notable example being theatre-like scenarios of exposing target groups to the prototypes. Metaphors have also proven to be a successful alternative pedagogic tool. Thus, knowledge is created jointly regarding what works for the target groups.

Another issue being managed in DataSmart is democracy within the stakeholder constellation. The target group suffers from obvious limitations in exercising influence over the process, putting firm demands on Begripsam and the other designer actors to make efforts to empower them. Target group participants lack reading and writing skills, but for example they can make choices on which colour schemes to use in prototypes. The guiding principle has been to let target groups make decisions whenever possible if this serves the common objectives. Complete democracy and co-creation, however, is deemed unachievable in this process. At this point, the process has potentially been more time and resource consuming due to the particular preconditions of the target groups, but had they not been sufficiently included in the design process the end results would risk being inapplicable.

Social interaction such as joint meals, as banal as it might seem, proved to be crucial for enabling cooperation among the participants for various reasons; target group members are usually lacking in money and therefore risk going hungry, which would affect their capacity for participating, whereas the designers involved revealed – at least initially – a strong prejudice towards working with the target groups. Joint meals and other forms of interaction substantially mitigated these conditions and the designers renounced much of their previous skepticisms towards working with individuals who were notably different from the norm.

Outcome & Opportunities

The data collection phase generated the insight that about 40% of people with functional variations experience difficulties using the Internet. One reason why previous enquiries did not satisfyingly generate this insight turned out to be that questions were posed in a way that individuals with certain cognitive diagnoses were unable to understand and answer.

DataSmart has subsequently designed two user-friendly and iteratively tested products for gathering data from the target groups regarding their Internet use. Discussions with KTH Innovation regarding the scaling up and commercialisation of these products are currently on-going. Moreover, the data collection phase has suggested that corresponding errors are being made when statistically investigating various issues other than functionality and Internet use, demanding more initiatives similar to DataSmart.

Lessons learned & Recommendations

Stefan Johansson from Funka stresses the importance of curiously exploring a diversity of methods rather than attaching oneself to one designated method. Furthermore, self- reflection and self-critique is a fundamental part of DataSmart’s process, for example, with regards to participation; are the stakeholders really involved or are only certain groups or individuals able to use the tools with which the process is carried out? The answer needs to develop out of a co-creative process and be re-evaluated regularly as the various phases of the process in iterative loops are tested. It may become apparent that one actor is given considerably less time or resources than others. Providing the means of influencing the process and its decisions to those with little resources is key to achieving lasting results for the end users and to realise the main objectives in a project such as this. This in turn requires less conventional ways of operating, i.e. experimenting. The level of involvement consciousness expressed in DataSmart is likely due to the participants having such unalterably asymmetrical prerequisites and resources.

Related SDGs
  • 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
  • 10.2 By 2030, empower and promote the social, economic and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status
  • 11.3 By 2030, enhance inclusive and sustainable urbanisation and capacity for participatory, integrated and sustainable human settlement planning and management in all countries
Further reading

Changers Hub

Challenges

Changers Hub emerged as a local voluntary initiative at a youth centre in Alby, Botkyrka, a suburb with socio-economic challenges. The main objective was to inspire local talents and help uninspired youth become more motivated to pursue careers and education.

Good Practices & Solutions

Since then, the hub has grown into a co-working space aided by the municipal office and various private companies, offering a wide range of seminars and workshops to exchange knowledge and best practices. The board of Changers Hub still mainly consists of young people from suburban areas, while an additional chapter of the hub has been opened in central Stockholm in order to enable suburban youth to connect with other parts of the region and transcend social boundaries. Social Recycling, a concept developed by Changers Hub in their project application to Arvsfonden, is a way of integrating two groups in the same area, namely local young individuals having undergone a successful career path and those with less motivation, guidance, and/or opportunity. The principle is to have the second group be inspired by the first. This approach is strategically developed in the context of socio-economically challenged areas and suburbs, in which the majority of residents are born outside of Sweden or face challenges of discrimination due to their parents being born outside of Sweden.

Related SDGs
  • 8.3 Promote development-oriented policies that support productive activities, decent job creation, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, and encourage the formalization and growth of micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises, including through access to financial services
  • 8.5 By 2030, achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for young people and persons with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value
  • 8.6 By 2020, substantially reduce the proportion of youth not in employment, education or training
  • 9.2 Promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and, by 2030, significantly raise industry’s share of employment and gross domestic product, in line with national circumstances, and double its share in least developed countries
  • 10.1 By 2030, progressively achieve and sustain income growth of the bottom 40 per cent of the population at a rate higher than the national average
  • 10.2 By 2030, empower and promote the social, economic and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status
Further reading

Changers Hub

Grow Smarter

Grow Smarter (GS) was initiated in 2015 by the Environmental Department of the City of Stockholm to use the opportunity renovate existing buildings and areas into models for more energy efficient, smart, and sustainable communities.

 

Challenges

Following the Paris agreement in 2017, cities all over Europe have set similar corresponding goals for sustainable development, including a heavy reduction of fossil fuel emissions. By 2040, the City of Stockholm aims to become fossil free and the world’s smartest city, next to its general ambition to be a city “for everyone”.

Stockholm has been reducing its fossil fuel emissions since 1990. Realising the ambitious goal of zero emission is, however, steadily becoming more challenging because previous achievements can be classified as “low hanging fruits”. Reaching zero emissions requires both innovative and large-scale adjustments of housing, transport, and infrastructure systems.

Many cities launch innovative sustainable urban development programmes to solve these issues, such as Norra Djurgårdsstaden in Stockholm (as, in previous decades, Hammarby Sjöstad). To accelerate this effort, however, cities experience a need to team up with industrial actors in targeting the already existing housing stock. Stockholm’s building boom during the 1960s generated many apartments that are now in need of renovation, as is the case in other European cities. Grow Smarter (GS) was initiated in 2015 by the Environmental Department of the City of Stockholm as an opportunity to renovate existing buildings and areas into models for more energy efficient, smart, and sustainable communities. These models are then meant to support a “Full roll-out in European cities” of successful solutions.

Project manager Lisa Enarsson at the City of Stockholm Environmental Department has previous experience from a similar pilot project in Järva (Hållbara Järva) in north-west Stockholm. Together with Jonas Eriksson, contributing previous experience in EU development and a holistic perspective, a 1.5 year long EU funding application process began and eventually yielded a substantial sum for a 5-year project. The project involves partner cities Cologne and Barcelona because they share a similar outlook and problem formulation.

The goals of GS include creating 1,500 new work opportunities in Europe while reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions by 60% in each testbed area.

Good Practices & Solutions

“We at the [Stockholm] Environmental Department … are driven towards bringing Stockholm into a more sustainable future – even though we don’t have any resources! We are not the ones building houses … Therefore, we are rather good at applying for money.”

A local housing cooperative in Årsta participated in testing solar panels and an energy measuring device designed to reduce housing electricity use and costs. Members of the cooperative shared their experiences and the value provided by the solutions within GS with other residents and cooperatives in the area, for example, during GS’s “Recycling Day” event.

Although Stockholm did not join this initiative, Cologne introduced a community reporter, meaning a local citizen reporting on the progress of the solutions being tested.

It is also important to note that the EU commission has been a target for GS because part of the project has been to try to scale and spread its good practices. A policy-driving aspect has been central to the project, possibly contributing to its success.

Outcome & Opportunities

“What we do is not ‘rocket science’, but rather doing all parts at the same time, that is both [that we] supplement insulation, change windows, check the ventilation system, get a system together, and [adjust] heat pumps to recirculate the heat … Not just taking one part by itself if you are going to reach the whole way up to 60% [emission reduction].”

GS has generated a package of 12 “smart solutions”, divided into the main areas of low energy districts, integrated infrastructure, and sustainable urban mobility.

Examples of solutions include:

–  Low heat loss windows.

–  Isolating water pipes to reduce heat loss.

–  Recycling drain water.

–  Energy-efficient apartment lights.

–  Energy-efficient elevators.

–  A logistics centre to reduce transports.

–  A “leaving home button” reducing energy output in apartments.

–  Outdoor lights dimming in response to human presence, also turning off completely during low-activity hours of the day.

–  Sustainable Delivery: all deliveries are stored in a designated room in every house, which recipients can enter using a unique code through an app.

–  Cameras and sensors anonymously monitoring movement during large-scale events at the adjacent Tele2 Arena in order to improve available data for event attendants when searching for efficient travel home.

–  Providing traffic priority to organic fuel-driven trucks.

–  Smart traffic solutions: a device informs drivers of private cars which speed they should maintain in order to avoid having to stop for red lights.

–  Improved infrastructure for electrified cars.

–  Developing a universal sign for e-car charging, bicycle rental, and organic fuel stations.

GS is being scaled, and 12 similar projects are now initiated, coordinated, and collaborating throughout Europe. This may be due to GS demonstrating its solutions in many cities and exhibitions across Europe.

Lessons learned & Recommendations

GS is the first example of the Environmental Department working this closely together with private companies. The project has thus evolved into a learning process, discovering synergies between these sectors. Furthermore, IESE Business School has provided many companies with new insights from a scientific, interdisciplinary point of view. It is noted and acknowledged, however, that the project overall lacks much of a social approach, although this is not completely overlooked.

The fact that the project had access to a substantial amount of funding early on seemingly made it appear more credible to partners, partially explaining the high number of participating actors in the process.

However, with some solutions having been successful, new challenges have arisen in their wake; an example has been the newly installed heat-saving windows being unable to relieve the outside windows of frost during the long and cold winter, thus reducing visibility and light inflow.

Another example of the challenges of producing solutions within a wider and complex system is that of waste management. Envac introduced a new local waste management system using bags of different colours separated optically in order to increase efficiency of waste sorting. However, the nearest waste management station with the capacity of optically sorting these bags is currently located in Eskilstuna, approximately 110–120 km from Årsta. This naturally calls for introducing equivalent stations closer to the local area, which is currently being looked into.

Initially, some protests occurred due to the announcement of rent increases in the area. While the local rents were indeed substantially lower than those of other adjacent areas, and the renovation in itself being the main reason for the raise (rather than the GS project), this might have contributed to a reluctance towards participation in GS on behalf of local residents.

Related SDGs
  • 7.1 By 2030, ensure universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services
  • 7.2 By 2030, increase substantially the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix
  • 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
  • 11.3 By 2030, enhance inclusive and sustainable urbanization and capacity for participatory, integrated and sustainable human settlement planning and management in all countries
  • 11.6 By 2030, reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities, including by paying special attention to air quality and municipal and other waste management
  • 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
  • 11.A Support positive economic, social and environmental links between urban, peri-urban and rural areas by strengthening national and regional development planning
  • 13.2 Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning
Further reading

Digital Demo

Challenges

The public sector of Stockholm and Stockholm County needs new forms of partnership to manage some of the most urgent challenges of today and the approaching future decades. Increased pressure on health services, a diminishing supply of fresh water, and an increasing percentage of elderly are a few examples of problems that public actors can no longer handle on their own. In order to secure a socially and ecologically sustainable city, technological solutions need to be developed using a combination of academic, commercial, and practical knowledge. Digital Demo Stockholm (DDS) was initiated by KTH and the two major public actors in the region, the City of Stockholm and the Stockholm County Council. The purpose was to generate innovative solutions to societal problems using digital techniques and to establish lasting structures for trans-sector partnerships in the region.

The companies involve, of which many were already established partners of KTH and its education programmes, had a particular interest in accelerating digital innovations in order to demonstrate these to their many visitors from all over the world. Stockholm, with its relatively small population, is not an important market for any of the companies itself, but rather is an exhibition arena for global investors.

Good practices & Solutions

Forming a think tank consisting of partner representatives, DDS decided to match its demos against an already existing challenge-driven inventory of societal challenges in the City of Stockholm. These challenges were broken down into workshops during which a number of possible demo projects were picked out. The industrial partners assumed a project managing role for each demo and then applied for funding from Vinnova’s R&D programs. Openlab supported DDS with a process manager, using Design Thinking as a chosen methodology for creating innovative solutions. Testing, evaluating, refining, and re-testing is thus a regular process throughout the DDS operations and its demo projects.

“DDS … is more like a big learning process than it is a project”

DDS is heavily dependent on commitment from the leadership. Being a cross-sectorial collaboration, it demands more of its participating individuals than it would if run by only one actor. The steering group has to be ready to intervene in case there is no progress.

The procurement of innovative products and services faces obstacles from Swedish legislation. To tackle these obstacles, DDS appointed a policy council with the specific task of clarifying the necessary legal, operational, and commercial frames in which the partners need to operate.

Outcome & Opportunities

In 2018, DDS had six on-going independent demo projects: iWater, Tech Tensta, Smarta lås (Smart Locks), Smarta trafikljus (Smart Traffic Lights), Safe user-centred healthcare and social care in home environments, and Energy Efficient Healthcare. The results have been tested and presented, for example, in May 2018 at Openlab.

Lessons learned & Recommendations

Each participating actor needs to acknowledge the benefit they gain from the partnership. Municipal politicians need to understand the value of them achieving political leverage from innovation within DDS; business leaders need to see that they attract investors even though not achieving direct gains from the process; and researchers need to appreciate the relationships and networks that they build during the process.

Related SDGs
  • 4.7 By 2030, ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development
  • 6.4 By 2030, substantially increase water-use efficiency across all sectors and ensure sustainable withdrawals and supply of freshwater to address water scarcity and substantially reduce the number of people suffering from water scarcity
  • 7.A By 2030, enhance international cooperation to facilitate access to clean energy research and technology, including renewable energy, energy efficiency and advanced and cleaner fossil-fuel technology, and promote investment in energy infrastructure and clean energy technology
  • 8.2 Achieve higher levels of economic productivity through diversification, technological upgrading and innovation, including through a focus on high-value added and labour-intensive sectors
  • 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
  • 9.4 By 2030, upgrade infrastructure and retrofit industries to make them sustainable, with increased resource-use efficiency and greater adoption of clean and environmentally sound technologies and industrial processes, with all countries taking action in accordance with their respective capabilities
  • 10.2 By 2030, empower and promote the social, economic and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status
  • 11.6 By 2030, reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities, including by paying special attention to air quality and municipal and other waste management
  • 11.B By 2020, substantially increase the number of cities and human settlements adopting and implementing integrated policies and plans towards inclusion, resource efficiency, mitigation and adaptation to climate change, resilience to disasters, and develop and implement, in line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, holistic disaster risk management at all levels
  • 12.2 By 2030, achieve the sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources
  • 12.6 Encourage companies, especially large and transnational companies, to adopt sustainable practices and to integrate sustainability information into their reporting cycle
  • 13.2 Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning
  • 13.3 Improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning
  • 17.17 Encourage and promote effective public, public-private and civil society partnerships, building on the experience and resourcing strategies of partnerships
Further reading

Design for sustainable co-creation

Back to the Land 2.0 is an international multi-disciplinary design course about re-connecting urban activities with rural activities as one way to enhance food culture and security. Using a collaborative creative learning platform for preparatory work, and in a live week together shaped by the Theory U process, students will learn together with international experts and local partners engaged in food systems.

 

Good Practices & Solutions

As an innovative way of creating and managing sustainable food systems through creative disciplines, Konstfack University college of Arts, Crafts and Design coordinates an international course consisting of creative methodology learning integrated with real life testing of solutions. The course teaches and uses the Theory U-process, a model developed at MIT for transformative leadership in organisations. The fundamental statement on which the theory is based is that the inner and deeper mechanisms of leadership are a “blind spot” and need to be discovered.

The process consists of five stages: co-initiating, co-sensing, presencing, co-creating, and co-evolving. Co-initiating means to build common intent and engagement through dialogue and listening to other participants’ wishes. Co-sensing is an observing stage in which relevant places and stakeholders are approached, listened to, and analysed. Presencing is the problem-formulating stage in which the process connects its observations to its initial inspiration and will. Co-creating is a prototyping stage of designing solutions in real life situations. Co-evolving means achieving impact on a macro scale, in this case by reaching out to the particular organisation as a whole.

Outcome & Opportunities

The first half of the course consists of individual preparatory work, followed by an on- site, collaborative workshop series lasting one week. During the second half, students share their insights and co-create with the local stakeholders and other actors such as leading international and national experts.

Related SDG targets
  • 11.3 By 2030, enhance inclusive and sustainable urbanization and capacity for participatory, integrated and sustainable human settlement planning and management in all countries
  • 11.3.2 Proportion of cities with a direct participation structure of civil society in urban planning and management that operate regularly and democratically
  • 11. A Support positive economic, social and environmental links between urban, peri-urban and rural areas by strengthening national and regional development planning
  • 11.B By 2020, substantially increase the number of cities and human settlements adopting and implementing integrated policies and plans towards inclusion, resource efficiency, mitigation and adaptation to climate change, resilience to disasters, and develop and implement, in line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, holistic disaster risk management at all levels
  • 12.2 By 2030, achieve the sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources
  • 12.7 Promote public procurement practices that are sustainable, in accordance with national policies and priorities
Further reading

Konstfack – Summer Course: Design for Sustainable Co-Creation 

Rosendals Trädgård

The project has transformed and cultivated 2000kvm of land, at the organic café Rosendals Trädgård. This is an attempt to change the narrative of sustainable food production and to develop a sustainable food box out of the cultivation testbed.

 

Challenges

A just, global food production regime allows for each human being to cultivate 2,000 square metres of land. Currently, however, the distribution of land is asymmetrical and is focussed on maximising output while minimising cultivation spaces, contributing to nutrition shortage and “welfare diseases” as well as to eutrophication in the Baltic Sea, for example. Moreover, the debate around farming in Sweden is polarised between conventional versus ecological farming. There is a need to change the narrative from one positioning humans as victims and/or perpetrators to having a transformative role. 2000 kvm (English: “2000 sq. m.”) explores the overlooked concept and narrative of regenerative farming within the just space of 2000 sq. m. in an open environment located at the organic café Rosendals Trädgård. Thus, Rosendals Trädgård attempts to create means for developing both innovative business models and healthy sustainable meals for tomorrow’s cities, while re- writing the narrative of sustainable food production and visualising transformative scenarios. The concrete purpose of the project is to develop a sustainable food box out of the cultivation testbed.

Good Practices & Solutions

The team of 2000 kvm are conscious of the challenges emanating from initiating such a project. The design process in itself is rigidly structured. The project does not employ pre- designed methodologies but instead utilises three overarching structures to design and facilitate the co-creative process. First, the project’s theoretical starting point is to work with Systems Change in Open Networks, taught within GAIT (Guild of Agents for International Transformation). Many of the involved individuals share experience from GAIT, thus facilitating a common understanding.

Second, achieving a common basic view is prioritised. In order to have a functioning team, utilising official team contracts based on established joint principles is key to achieve an inclusive culture for diverse experiences and epistemologies, as one generally tends to work with like-minded individuals if principles are not outspoken.

Third, a non-coercive principle is emphasised because it is considered necessary for change processes to be voluntary and interactive. People need to be integrated and involved into the change process.

Starting from these overarching structures, methods are designed according to each structure and operation in a flexible way. The same goes for the people involved; depending on which actors are required in a certain phase, the translation of knowledge – and, consequently, the level of ambition – needs to be continuously adjusted.

The concept “Take care of your square” – with regards to global justice and planetary limits – was coined as guidance for everyone involved in testing the 2000 square metre testbed.

Outcome & Opportunities

As the 2000 sq. m. food box is realised, the expectation is that it will eventually expand into a commonly embraced concept, complementary to currently acknowledged sustainable diet options. Another expectation is that this will contribute to regenerative farming becoming an alternative to the aforementioned dichotomisation in the current discourse around sustainable farming.

Lessons learned & Recommendations

Goals of co-creation processes are not likely to be met if calculations do not include time and resources being set aside for developing the co-creative process as an acknowledged practice. Co-creation is dependent on stakeholders “owning the change process not being required to translate their thinking to the concepts of researchers”, while the researcher needs to respect the narrative of these stakeholders to be met in the co-creation process. Thus, funders need to put higher demands on these aspects; otherwise, researchers or other project coordinators might end up ruining the transformative process.

Other more general challenges for co-creation for sustainable development are the lack of concepts and vocabulary, but equally so the lack of co-creation as a practical craft. Knowledge of these aspects is usually non-existent, even though many prefer and encourage working across sectors and diverse stakeholder groups. The reason for this is that there are no professional requirements for initiating co-creation; it is open for everyone.

The creative sector – art, design, and other cultural crafts – is a valuable asset to foster co-creation. However, using artists and scientists together might be deemed unprofessional and even “fudged”, and this is a risk that might prevent some actors from enabling full co- creation.

Nature must be present in co-creation processes such as 2000 kvm, either through research, a certain space, or a craft because the work being done refers to a constellation involving both humans and nature.

Using and targeting public procurement as a means of enhancing and scaling results is a proven asset, at least within sustainable food innovation.

Related SDG targets
  • 2.4 By 2030, ensure sustainable food production systems and implement resilient agricultural practices that increase productivity and production, that help maintain ecosystems, that strengthen capacity for adaptation to climate change, extreme weather, drought, flooding and other disasters and that progressively improve land and soil quality
  • 2.4.1 Proportion of agricultural area under productive and sustainable agriculture
  • 3.9 By 2030, substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals and air, water and soil pollution and contamination
  • 11.A Support positive economic, social and environmental links between urban, peri-urban and rural areas by strengthening national and regional development planning
  • 11.B By 2020, substantially increase the number of cities and human settlements adopting and implementing integrated policies and plans towards inclusion, resource efficiency, mitigation and adaptation to climate change, resilience to disasters, and develop and implement, in line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, holistic disaster risk management at all levels
  • 12.2 By 2030, achieve the sustainable management and efficient use of natural resource
  • 12.7 Promote public procurement practices that are sustainable, in accordance with national policies and priorities
  • 12.8 By 2030, ensure that people everywhere have the relevant information and awareness for sustainable development and lifestyles in harmony with nature
  • 15.9 By 2020, integrate ecosystem and biodiversity values into national and local planning, development processes, poverty reduction strategies and accounts
Further reading

Experiment 2000 kvm

eRoad Arlanda

eRoad Arlanda tests an electrified road in order to create knowledge needed for a national implementation, the test road connects Arlanda Airport with Rosersberg logistic area, a distance of 10 km of which 2 km are being electrified.
Challenges

Roughly 10% of Swedish annual CO2 emissions emanate from the transport of goods. The Swedish government has set a goal of fossil fuel-independent transport by 2030. However, road-bound transport is expected to increase with 59% by then. The challenge rests on providing new sustainable means of supporting the growing number of transport vehicles. One innovative technique enabling this ambitious prospect is the construction of electrified roads. Today, electrified vehicles are dependent on large batteries due to the small number of charging stations. If the vision of an electrified Swedish main road network is realised, batteries can be made much smaller and thus more sustainable, because charging batteries at stations will become largely obsolete for vehicles using the main national and regional highways.

eRoad Arlanda tests an electrified road in order to create knowledge needed for a national implementation of this solution. The test road connects Arlanda Airport with Rosersberg logistic area, a distance of 10 km of which 2 km are being electrified. The main vehicles using the road are larger trucks transporting goods, mainly from the state-owned main Swedish postal service PostNord. A large number of participating organisations contribute in various forms to the outcome of the testing area.

With so many actors involved, the consortium is dependent on structured co-operation and joint vision. This is in turn to some extent dependent on personal chemistry and individual engagement. Also, functioning regulations and standards for partnerships such as e-Road Arlanda are not yet sufficiently explored, leaving many questions unanswered.

Another challenge is the fact that potential customers are not demanding electrified roads, partly since it is an innovation and therefore unexpected, and partly for reasons unknown. This has proved a challenge for the mind-set of many of the actors involved because they need to firmly believe in the potential of the solution even without customers considering it.

The concept of innovation procurement poses a challenge due to its complexity, and for example lawyers of NCC are still having difficulties fully understanding what it means. Moreover, future financing is not completely secured because high speed trains are currently receiving more attention regarding funding on a national political level.

Good Practices & Solutions

The Swedish spearheading actors of e-Road Arlanda were Gunnar Asplund of Elways and the large construction company NCC. While Elways was the main innovator and developer of the electrified road technology itself, they lacked resources needed to test the roadway, which was supported by NCC.

After the Swedish Transport Administration procured the innovation of electrified roads from Elways, the prospect took on more large-scale proportions and a consortium was established for developing a test project of electrifying a longer portion of a road. The Dutch company E-Traction was an important actor in this regard because they provided the truck that was first used, whereas the company ABT was given the main responsibility for the group of vehicles. Together they used their expertise to prepare the tests. Sigtuna Municipality leased the road used for testing, previously mainly used by the police.

With many of the main actors being heavily business oriented, the idea of integrating the customer’s perspective into the collaboration project is ever-present. Equally important and common knowledge to most of the actors are the aspects of risk-taking, uncertainties, multi-organisational partnership constellations, and complex problem-solving. These prerequisites significantly aid the progress of e-Road Arlanda. With NCC being the main organising part, their experience and stability in leading projects and multi-organisational partnerships is well needed, apart from their more obvious knowledge on related material aspects such as asphalt and roads: “The facility itself is not rocket science”. The Swedish Transport Administration serves as the main steering and guiding part, but the operations themselves are managed by the various actors according to their specific expertise.

Outcome & Opportunities

Regardless of the final assessment of the test road, the opportunities for scaling up are already relatively clarified. If 5000 km of the most trafficked roads and highways – out of a total of roughly 20 000 km of roads in Sweden – were to be electrified, CO2 emissions from heavy transport is estimated to be reduced by 50%. Furthermore, the new technology would be integrated into existing infrastructure, a welcomed cost-saving procedure. Safety for drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians alike is believed to be further enhanced by e-roads, particularly when combined with autonomous vehicles.

Lessons learned & Recommendations

In a consortium of such a variety of actors and routines, it is especially necessary to be precise and clear when formulating ideas and statements. When dealing with a large spectrum of competences, it is essential to try and remain a specialist and not act as a general expert. Keeping the consortium well functioning is key because innovation projects tend to attract the attention of naysayers and sceptics, and allowing the partnership to suffer or funding money to run out could mean a backlash from outside disrupting the progress and perhaps even halting the very implementation of the innovation itself. For similar reasons, keeping good relations and dialogue with key public authorities is essential because the success of the project is dependent on their approval.

Patience is considered another virtue to technology innovation because testing processes require unusual amounts of time before generating productive outcomes, and every step taken needs to be verified: “Expect the unexpected”.

An important lesson learned is that Sweden traditionally puts much faith in the vehicle industry, with large companies like Scania and Volvo. However, due to their primary interest in selling as many of their old models as possible before they become out-dated, they were not considered as partners in e-Road Arlanda. Instead, infrastructure and transportation actors were the ones mainly approached.

Related SDGs
  • 3.6 By 2020, halve the number of global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents
  • 10.2 By 2030, empower and promote the social, economic and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status
  • 11.2 By 2030, provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all, improving road safety, notably by expanding public transport, with special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations, women, children, persons with disabilities and older persons
  • 14.1 By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution
  • 15.9 By 2020, integrate ecosystem and biodiversity values into national and local planning, development processes, poverty reduction strategies and accounts
Further reading

eRoad Arlanda

Enable Stockholm: Flaten Lake

Flaten area has been in a transition phase for the past few years and it has been the largest nature reserve in Stockholm since its founding in 2005. The focus of the project is on gathering data and knowledge about the specific conditions in Flaten and subsequently sharing these results within the larger Enable project (in which Stockholm’s Flaten is one of six cases in different cities).

 

Challenges

Urban areas undergoing substantial changes and restructuring pose challenges regarding how to navigate natural resources in relation to local residents. The Stockholm case of the EU-funded research project Enable investigates the prerequisites for optimising the value of green and blue infrastructure in the rapidly changing area of Lake Flaten. The largest nature reserve in Stockholm since its founding in 2005, the Flaten area has been in a transition phase for the past few years. This has called for an investigation into how nature is being (and could be) used for recreation as the surrounding society gradually changes, while still maintaining its rich ecological qualities. In order to produce this knowledge, local stakeholders are approached on a broad level, although each actor participates on its own terms.

The project is largely focused on gathering data and knowledge about the specific conditions in Flaten and subsequently sharing these results within the larger Enable project (in which Stockholm’s Flaten is one of six cases in different cities). Thus, the results are mainly meant to provide value for the future development of Flaten Lake and are not generalisable. However, the methods evaluated during the process will be potentially applicable in a larger context, as well as certain aspects of the research results.

Good Practices & Solutions

The research process is designed to entail testing of a participatory resilience assessment adapted to an urban context. Thus, the project is both a learning process regarding the issues stated above as well as a meta-learning process, i.e. an exploration of participatory research methods. Knowledge is co-produced with researchers, public servants, individuals, associations, communities, and other stakeholders around Flaten Lake through a work package of citizen research, workshops, enquiries, and follow-ups and regularly updating participants while preserving results along the way. Each phase is designed so that all participants are able to give feedback on a personal level, largely avoiding group-based evaluation (and thereby risking consensus).

Obstacles for co-creation between actors often appear in the form of time, and voluntary organisations and individuals cannot always show up during the same hours as public servants and researchers. There are also numerous latent and active conflicts between some of the participating stakeholders, whether related to the project or not. Some participants are public servants and architects responsible for designing new local construction projects and are likely to receive critique when encountering local residents: “When things are being built, someone will always be displeased about it.” This creates a tension that needs to be taken into account so as not to jeopardise the overall objectives.

To logistically manage a chequered group of stakeholders with diverse schedules, interests, and resources, discussions are conducted parallel to one another and never with all stakeholders present at any single time. However, the leading actors have made sure that stakeholder groups inform one another regularly so that everyone has access to the same information. Furthermore, several different processes are designed to be going on simultaneously, thus enabling diverse forms of involvement. Although the research process has been prepared in advance, some aspects of the process are being altered according to needs along the way because not all prerequisites of all stakeholders can be foreseen.

A quite different potential stepping stone for the future application of the results is the fact that no decision-makers have been part of the project, hence there is a lack of a policy- driving aspect. This has not been a definite decision, but rather a consideration due to limited resources.

Outcome & Opportunities

As mentioned, the main outcomes are aimed at an academic context – mainly producing articles presenting project results – and less towards a policy-development process. However, having managed to bring so many local residents, businesses, and activities on board throughout the research project might potentially increase locals’ interest and commitment in developing the lake and nature reserve. Moreover, the process’s learning outcomes might be acknowledged as a substantial basis for future action-oriented research processes aiming at bringing in practitioners for producing knowledge for sustainable cities.

As part of the project, a review article published in 2017 highlights the apparent knowledge gap between decision-making for enhancing urban ecosystem services through green infrastructure and biodiversity and ecosystem services relations, stating that there is still little empirical evidence to suggest that biodiversity is substantially strengthened by urban ecosystems services.

Lessons learned & Recommendations

Far from surprising, dialogue takes its toll on the schedule. Having diverse groups working with a common vision is a “continuous headache”, requiring continuous discussions and re- formulating of objectives and boundaries and coordinating different points of view into a coherent process. One notable example is the systemic perspective not being embraced or even fully comprehended by all actors because many instead choose to apply an issue- specific perspective. On a higher level, coordinating an international co-creative project requires proactive communication structures. Co-creation is considered not to work well in large group meetings; instead, bilateral dialogues are held between managers of the six different projects.

There is a danger in trying to generalise one’s results. In a case study like this, it is more reasonable to assume that the outcome will be a rather particular one and, in this case, efforts should be focused on developing the Flaten area: “We are trying to work against the scientific illusion of things being generalisable.” Thus, each of the six case studies has relative autonomy regarding problem definition and methodology. This is also a reason why Agenda 2030 has not been explicitly part of the problem definition even though the SDGs cover the issues being investigated in Enable.

Related SDGs
  • 11.4 Strengthen efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage
  • 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
  • 14.1 By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution
  • 14.2 By 2020, sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans
  • 15.1 By 2020, ensure the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services, in particular forests, wetlands, mountains and drylands, in line with obligations under international agreements
Further reading

 

Barkaby

Challenges

Barkarby is subject to the currently largest on-going urban development process in northern Europe. The area will receive a new subway connection by 2025, thus requiring large-scale efforts in construction and sustainable solutions. The plan for sustainable development in Barkarbystaden III is described in a “quality programme” co-produced using participatory dialogue and knowledge exchange within Citylab Action and between the municipality, several private actors, and external experts.

Good Practice & Solutions

The establishment of a collaborative innovation platform for sustainable urban development located in Järfälla was decided in March 2017 as part of the development process. Enabling innovation is a means to realise and strengthen the objectives of each focus area within the quality programme. Researchers will co-create with private and public actors to test sustainable urban development solutions, with particular regards to mobility and smart energy; one particular example is a testbed for autonomous vehicles. The idea to form a partnership took shape during Almedalen political week in 2015 or 2016, after which a partnership gradually formed. Barkarby Science was thus realised as a private enterprise in which the expectations of all participating actors were gathered and coordinated by the municipality. Innovative sustainable solutions are considered not only essential for upcoming projects, but equally so in the existing environment. Barkarby Science is intended to become a platform to realise this innovative environment.

Related SDGs
  • 11. 2 By 2030, provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all, improving road safety, notably by expanding public transport, with special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations, women, children, persons with disabilities and older persons
  • 11.A Support positive economic, social and environmental links between urban, peri-urban and rural areas by strengthening national and regional development planning
  • 17. 17 Encourage and promote effective public, public-private and civil society partnerships, building on the experience and resourcing strategies of partnerships
Further reading

Barkabystaden 

Barkabyscience 

 

Anti-Bullertunneln

Challenges

The concept of reducing traffic noise by constructing a tunnel covering the highway is not new; however, the technology for constructing it by utilising more sustainable methods and materials is still lacking in many aspects.In Farsta, a six-lane motorway divides the various local green structures such as allotments and housing areas. In order to strengthen the conditions for sustainable local outdoor life, pollution reduction, and increased leisure possibilities, Anti-bullertunneln was initiated by Jens Johansson from U&WE, a consultancy firm specialising in collaboration projects and partnerships for sustainability.

Good Practices & solutions

Jens’s idea is to construct a tunnel covering the Nynäsvägen highway using new technology and new materials enabling a time and resource-efficient construction process. It is important to note, from a co-creation perspective, that the process has been driven by one individual gathering relevant expertise to experiment with a pre-decided issue using a pre-decided technology field. Nevertheless, the cross-sectorial process allows for new knowledge to take shape as actors are brought together in discussions.

Outcome & opportunities

The tunnel project was granted funding for phase 1, but rejected for phase 2.

Related SDGs
  • 3.9 By 2030, substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals and air, water and soil pollution and contamination
  • 11.6 By 2030, reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities, including by paying special attention to air quality and municipal and other waste management
  • 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
Further reading

U&WE Anti-bullertunnel

 

Bagarmossen Smartup / Bagarmossen Resilience Center

Challenges

In 2009, the area of Bagarmossen along with the whole city district of Skarpnäck was considered an uneasy and unsafe part of Stockholm in several regards. For example, many interviewed residents perceived the district centre square as intimidating. Skarpnäckslyftet, a collaborative effort by the police, the local city district, housing companies and various youth and social workers managed to increase the average perception of safety in the area during the next 5 years. However, in order to stabilise this recent positive development, more proactive local work was considered
necessary by public housing company Stockholmshem with regards to public safety in particular and social as well as economic sustainability in general. Many residents still requested more viable and diverse public spaces with access to ecological food and social activities. The local non-profit organisations such as Folkets hus – a public facility for meetings and activities – had become increasingly indisposed to current demands from local residents.

Good practices & solutions

With key actors in and outside Stockholmshem having experience from previous development project Hållbara Hökarängen (Sustainable Hökarängen), also in south Stockholm, Bagarmossen has access to substantial knowledge regarding the implications of utilising local initiatives and knowledge. Thus, Bagarmossen Smartup was conducted from 2014 to the end of 2017 with three focal
areas; creating a living area centre, urban gardening and creativity & entrepreneurship. Bagarmossen Resilience Centre followed in 2016 and is still a key actor in the ongoing sustainable development of the local area.

Involving the local residents proved quite challenging to achieve in practice. Residents were first reluctant to the notion of external projects meddling in local affairs. Moreover, a certain fear of gentrification processes was present. Both the Bagarmossen Smartup office and later the Resilience Centre (established in the same house) were therefore used as meeting points, enabling residents to visit and discuss local issues when willing, rather than being confronted by consultants or top-down experts aiming to “solve” their challenges.

Economy is a lasting challenge for the locally driven initiatives. As the development of Bagarmossen proceeds, more and more ideas arrive at the forefront waiting to be realised, either proposed by residents or other key driving actors. Yet there are no sufficient joint resources or vision among the involved actors for promoting all ideas, nor for prioritising and selecting them according to a guiding principle.

Two of the constant guiding principles for Bagarmossen Smartup were to only sponsor initiatives who were able to support themselves financially after the conclusion of the project, and to only use local knowledge and activity whenever possible. The project was viewed as a means for reaching a desired outcome of long term safety and sustainability.

Bagarmossen Smartup co-funded two researchers – one from KTH and one from Smart Retro Innovation Demos in Helsinki – who followed the city development process and exchanged knowledge with the project leaders. Bagarmossen became one of three chosen testbeds for sustainable solutions and was presented in Smart Retro’s speculative future history scenario in three parts.

Practices supported by the Smartup project included opening of second hand clothing shops, bicycle workshops and creating opportunities for grocers and other entrepreneurs in the central square. A bicycle mechanic container was installed at the square in 2015 to promote sustainable transport and local craft professions by offering accessible repairment and classes on how to repair one’s bicycle at home.

Bagarmossen Resilience Centre (BRC) was founded in 2016 by Susanna Elfors, KTH PhD in sustainable development, together with local social entrepreneurs. The founding followed an ambition of promoting resilience and sustainable transition in a local context. It serves mainly as a co-working space and education hub for local sustainability, e.g. by giving permaculture classes to individuals. It is maintained as a co-operational society for commercial purposes. BRC:s strategy has since been to cooperate with actors commanding more resources, with BRC providing specialised expertise on sustainable development to already existing projects and processes.

In collaboration with KTH, Bagarmossen Folkets Hus, City of Stockholm, Emmaus second hand enterprise and Runö Folkhögskola, the pilot project Local Life was tested in Bagarmossen as in several other areas nationally and locally. Local Life is a digital concept for sharing economy and aims to reinforce social capital mechanisms by facilitating sharing practices between neighbours and residents in the same area. BRC was coordinating the pilot insofar as they reached out to residents on social media in order to create commitment for the project, as well as following up the
outcome of the project with interviews and surveys among residents to investigate whether their levels of interaction have increased or not.

“Skrubben” is a sharing platform tested within the Local Life project initiated by a local resident. Skrubben functions as a loaning wardrobe (Swedish: lånegarderob) that enables residents to exchange clothes in a local barack.

Bagiska Veckan was introduced in 2017 as a week of entertainment and educational activities with the purpose of promoting the UN SDGs. This initiative was co-managed and funded by Swedish international development organisation SIDA together with Andreas Sidkvist from BRC and co-developed with the City of Stockholm.

Outcome & opportunities

Stockholmshem owns roughly 75% of the buildings in the centre of Bagarmossen,enabling them to take action on a broad scale. This is an exceptional advantage,
since a diversity of private and public landlords would have demanded another approach and partnership constellation.

After the Smartup project, Bagarmossen’s residents experience a more safe andstable environment compared to the early 2010’s and have willingly contributed on their own account to various sharing, cultivating and social capital-building efforts during the period. Stockholmshem’s goals for increased perception of safety for 2018 were met or exceeded already by 2017. 3 The prerequisites of the area, including a committed population, a socially aware public housing company with a strong presence and key individuals and organisations moving matters forward, have
shaped this development and should be considered both outstanding within the region and essential to the outcome.

BRC is constantly developing and producing ideas for future local sustainable development; one of those mentioned is allotek, which can be translated as “omnibrary”: a sharing centre for things and resources. The municipality is interested but BRC would have to become a non-profit association in order for this to happen.

Lessons learned & recommendations

As entrepreneurs, the members of BRC try to work according to three rules:
economic gain, values and competence. If an idea will generate income while not compromising one’s core values and the issue is situated within one’s area of knowledge, it is worth developing. Bagarmossen Smartup owed much of its success to being receptive and focussing on providing space for local initiatives:

“[Bagarmossen Smartup] is a successful project and we owe that to us not being locked in the idea of how we are supposed to do things, but rather being perceptive and listening”. – Tobias Lind

Engaged partners & stakeholder groups

Stockholmshem, local residents, local SMEs, KTH, Smart Retro Innovation Demos Helsinki, Bagarmossen Folkets Hus, non profit associations, City of Stockholm/Skarpnäck City District Administration, SIDA.

Further reading

Bagarmossen Smartup

Bagarmossen Resilience Center

Electricity – Hammarby sjöstad 2.0

Challenges

The area of Hammarby Sjöstad has a long history of sustainable urban development. Reinvented as a sustainable best practice in Stockholm in the 1990’s, it was long acknowledged as the best example of promoting sustainable waste and heat management. The Hammarby Model (Swedish: Hammarbymodellen), the fundamental concept for planning the area through eco-governance (reduction and re-usage of energy, water and waste), is considered a promising component for Swedish service export. However, during recent years, a local self-image of having reached far enough has been challenged due to increased demands and higher sustainability goals. Calls for scaling up innovative sustainable efforts led to ElectriCITY (EC) being founded as an economic association in 2014 by Allan Larsson, an experienced driving individual in several sustainable urban development processes, and other individuals living in Hammarby Sjöstad. The initial purpose was to promote sustainable energy use by organising citizens through the many local housing associations, constituting approximately half the local population. EC became a partner to Sjöstadsföreningen, umbrella organisation for 50+ housing associations in Hammarby Sjöstad. Subsequently, EC was established as a collaboration platform for innovation between companies, research and civil organisations. Hammarby Sjöstad 2.0 was launched by EC as a process of improving local conditions for sustainable living and system transformation through eco-governance and collaboration across sectors, with high environmental requirements as those of other urban development projects. The overarching ambitions are system transformations in energy, mobility and circular economy, realised through a diverse number of projects, including the testing of a sharing economy, efficient energy and transport management and more sophisticated clean technology innovation. As Stockholm has committed to reaching the Paris agreement’s 2050 goals already by 2040, EC has committed to locally exceed these requirements in Hammarby Sjöstad as a frontrunner example, reaching the Paris goals already by 2030.

Good practices & solutions

Trough strategic partnership, EC, Sjöstadsföreningen and the housing associations have been able to attract some 40 different actors from industry, public administration, invest companies, technology innovation and research. Since the 1990s, the main approach for Hammarby Sjöstad is to conduct mission-driven innovation, in which clear objectives, time plans and a joint effort are being fostered. The innovation process is thus rendered more substantial and powerful. This fundamental strategy is being refined and developed further within EC. The mission-driven approach serves as a structure or framework for enabling sustainable co-creation, as it drives processes into selecting relevant participants from concerned sectors, then working towards various specific goals on a systemic level with the overarching objective of a climate neutral area in 2030. The many sub-projects then co-create according to their own prerequisites and objectives. EC functions as a platform, testbed and urban living lab for testing of a wide range of sustainable solutions, with individuals working and living in the area as everyday users. The solutions are developed, provided, tested and/or evaluated by actors from academia, civil society, public administration and the private sector in collaboration with the housing associations of Sjöstadsföreningen. EC thus functions as a matchmaking actor, distributing relevant actors to the associations, and a co-funder of activities initiated within the process of Hammarby Sjöstad 2.0.

Outcome & opportunities

“What we do is not that … innovative, it is common sense … obviously, [this is] how things should be done. But there is, like, nobody who thinks about that.”

EC encompasses a quite exceptionally large spectrum of activities and projects, all of which share a fundamental ambition of improving quality of life for local residents while securing a sustainable future. Main focus areas are energy, mobility and digital infrastructure, with a selection of activities and initiatives listed below.

Main areas:
System transformation in energy
Mapping of energy use has been a fundamental component for raising local awareness. The Stockholm Environmental Department (Miljöförvaltningen) contributed this mapping to EC in its initial stage.
Energy at Home (Swedish: Energi hemma); an initiative co-funded by Naturvårdsverket for increasing energy efficiency and promote better investments in private homes and associations through knowledge, idea exchange and inspiration.
Solar panels testbed
Downhole heat exchanger in about 20 housing associations
– Climate steering for decreased power requirement
– Strategic partnerships for increased investments
– Urban living lab for future energy systems
– E2B2; a project platform conducting big data analysis for energy efficiency and a virtual forum for knowledge exchange between housing associations.
Matchmaking between cleantech companies and international stakeholders.

System transformation in mobility

Charging electric cars at home (Swedish: Ladda hemma); an initiative co-funded by Naturvårdsverket for increasing the density of charging stations for electric cars with the goal of keeping 1000 active stations in local garages by 2020.
Electric car pools at home
Policy lab for accelerating electrified traffic (initiative with Energiforsk)
All taxis electrified by 2025; residents in housing associations in Hammarby Sjöstad are invited to support Taxi Stockholm’s transformation to electric vehicles by only ordering electric taxis.
Bussplan Stockholm; together with ABB, InfraNode, Siemens, Volvo, Scania and Vattenfall, EC works to promote electric buses in all of Stockholm County. It has now been scaled up on a national level as Bussplan Sverige with Energiforsk as project managing actor.
Digital meeting room; instead of flying to attend meetings, e-limousines pick up and drop off attendants to meetings that are held in Hammarby Sjöstad with high resolution technology and high performance bandwidth. Thus, attendants save time and experience improved quality of life while abstaining from unsustainable travel.
Framework agreements; instead of each housing association purchasing its own particular basic services (such as heating and facility management), all housing associations join together to purchase a particular service from the same supplier. This creates leverage for issuing demands of more sustainable procedures.
Coordinated sustainable transports; about 15 housing associations are coordinating deliveries to reduce the number of transports, while promoting transformation to renewable vehicle energy.
Strategic partnering; 13 housing associations jointly demand a service from a supplier while the supplier states their required profit. As far as both demands are met, other costs are shared within a common project of service delivery.

Snyggt & Tryggt (Nice and Safe)
An initiative for local safety measures, among others involving Nattvandrarna (voluntary night-walking groups).

Sharing Cities
A sharing economy testbed.

EC is also a partner in, among others, sustainable urban innovation programme Viable Cities founded in 2017.

As a large portion of the Stockholm region’s housing stock currently consists of housing associations 2 , the EC model for local commitment has potential for expanding to other parts of the city (Reimersholme, Gamla stan) and other cities (Trollhättan, Jönköping). Although seldom being as organised as Sjöstadsföreningen, housing associations have a good starting point for expanded collaboration in many areas. In any case, the solutions being tested are generalisable and often considered for export. Thus, if successful outcomes from EC were to spread on a larger scale, it
could have massive implications for the realisation of Agenda 2030 (for example regarding energy efficiency and carbon emission reduction) in and outside of Sweden.

Lessons learned & recommendations

The key to driving sustainable development has in the case of Hammarby Sjöstad been to organise oneself into larger contexts. The overarching mission driving the innovation process, i.e. the clear and highly ambitious environmental goals exceeding those of the City of Stockholm, has contributed substantially to results and the innovation process.

Housing associations are characterised by low commitment and a tranquil trust in the free market. Generally, holding a association board’s position is considered a necessary evil or duty rather than an important mission. Furthermore, association boards outsource facility service delivery in order to save time and responsibility. This has, among other things, lead to inefficient housing and facility management. By bringing associations together in strategic partnerships, commitment can be kindled and harnessed to improve local quality of life and continuity in association management. ElectriCITY is thus an example on how to utilise the potentials of local commitment for accelerating sustainable development.

All pilots and tests of solutions need to be financed, not only with in kind contributions but facilities and equipment; this is a constant challenge, also problematising the open question of ownership. Companies have a traditional linear production procedure, in which they ultimately engage lawyers to establish certain exclusive rights over products or services and control of communication. Such routines need to be modified in joint projects.

Engaged partners & stakeholder groups

Civil society: Global utmaning, Sjöstadsföreningen. Research organisations: KTH, RISE, IVL, Energiforsk. Public sector: City of Stockholm Environmental Department, Invest Stockholm.
Public companies: SEK, Vattenfall. Businesses: IBM, Intel, Skanska, Siemens, SBAB, Volvo, Nissan, E-On, JLO Invest, DEFA, Bengt Dahlgren, Enstar, Envac, Hertz, Imek, Infranode, Länsförsäkringar, Charge Amps, Saab, Renault, ABB, Innenco, L&T, NetPort, Xeric, STIK, Teyi, Taxi Stockholm, Veidekke, HSB, Sweco, CyclEurope, BoTrygg, Stockholm Cleantech.
Architect firms: Tengbom, White, Atrium Ljungberg. Other: Teknikföretagen, Riksbyggen.

Further reading

Hammarby Sjöstad 2.0

Matlust

Challenges

Södertälje Science Park emerged as a consequence of huge medical producer Astra Zeneca in 2012 choosing to phase out its vast research operations based in Södertälje. To not lose its well-educated workforce and to maintain a positive growth speed in the area, the local governance wanted to promote the science park by investing in new business categories. Södertälje Municipality is mostly known for having a large first and second-generation immigrant population and for its industrial legacy. However, the area also has a tradition of ecological farming, foodstuff production and foodstuff research spanning much of the 20th century. One of the municipality’s objectives was therefore to add another brand to the area, i.e. sustainable food production. Already in 2001 Södertälje municipality had taken a political decision to use public meals as an instrument for sustainable development, which later led to a cooperation with the research project BERAS (Baltic Ecological Recycling Agriculture and Societies). Södertälje Municipality decided to initiate the Matlust project as a part of the Södertälje Science Park.

Good practices & solutions

Matlust has engaged numerous local SMEs in accelerating and innovating their production using locally grown foods. One of them began to re-cultivate the more or less forgotten gråärtor (“grey peas”), similar to chic peas, which were subsequently used for making falafel. Hen meat, primarily used for animal fodder but well suited for human meals, was also introduced in a pita roll named Södertäljerullen (the “Södertälje Roll”) developed by famous chef Mattias Dahlgren of Grand Hôtel.

On the social level, Matlust has to a limited extent managed to introduce unemployed local residents to their food SMEs and also giving them job opportunities of making rolls at promotive events. Different kinds of local SMEs usually consist of either mainly immigrants or mainly swedes, but through Matlust, they have been given the opportunity of meeting one another more frequently than before. The independently running Södertälje project Map 2020 provided the connection of unemployment assistance to Matlust.

LEAN is being used through KTH Leancenter as a tool for developing the operations of participating SMEs. LEAN is a re-structuring of operational procedures that considers the individual’s knowledge and values when creating new workflows and a more efficient work environment.

The degree of making individual residents and citizens co-creative participants seems to have been limited. The food is being tested in school kitchens, kindergartens and care centers using enquiries for participants. Rather, each SME functions as a testbed with a certain level of creative freedom to explore meals and foodstuff, with researchers analysing these testbeds. Researchers have also been interviewing roughly 30 of the participating SMEs and produced a report in 2018.

Outcome & opportunities

Matlust’s vision for future prospects is to establish Södertälje as a regional node of knowledge in food production and sustainability, engaging actors from all societal sectors. Using the results of Matlust and the public meal as a starting point, they hope to be perceived as a regional and maybe nation-wide good example of sustainable production. A stated possible next step is to expand into the whole Mälardalen Region.

Scaling up innovative ways of more resource efficient and socio-ecologically sustainable food production may have considerable lasting impact on climatic effect. Since most public meals are provided to children, it creates the possibility of educating future generations on how to produce in new, sustainable ways.

Lessons learned & recommendations

The amount of available resources makes all the difference. Matlust has had broad political support and prospects of funding on local, regional, national and even EU levels, which contributes to explain their wide and largely successful impact. In addition, local legacies and inherited knowledge has contributed heavily. This means that they have had an ample selection of experts on the issues in question, such as consultants. Matlust consider consultants a valuable asset, since they themselves have not had all the expert knowledge on food production, especially regarding the
process level. A healthy balance between employees and hired experts is advised. As a project lasting 5 years, the aspect of future funding and continued efforts is a pressing matter. The ownership is also a difficult question. It is not self-evident that Södertälje Municipality would be the most relevant partner steering the process of establishing the area as a node for sustainable food innovation. If the local governance would still be the major leading (and funding) part, the question of what’s in it for the taxpayers demands concrete response.

Engaged partners & stakeholder groups

Matlust: Södertälje Municipality, local SMEs, KTH, Saltå kvarn, Acturum Biovation, Södertälje Science Park, Destination Södertälje, chefs.

Further reading

Matlust

Elastiska Hem (Elastic Homes)

Elastiska Hem is an innovation and research project that explores diverse forms of shared living and shared economy in local housing areas.

Challenges

Sweden needs to reduce consumption, energy and material use while managing an alarming housing shortage, while simultaneously preventing non-voluntary loneliness
and fostering a strong social capital in growing cities. One particular challenge is the high percentage of single households, especially prevalent in Stockholm. For architects, used to being assigned contracts for conventional housing construction with isolated single households, this challenge may appear out of their reach. Kod Arkitekter decided to initiate Elastiska Hem as a way of exploring alternative housing solutions in a society demanding increased sharing in terms of living and consuming. The home is a powerful base from which to perform experiments of sustainable lifestyles, and architecture is an important tool for achieving this. As architects, Kod Arkitekter are used to co-create their results with other professions, but the user’s role – i.e., that of the resident – is seldom emphasised in their daily work. As new innovations are needed to overcome today’s complex housing challenges, the Elastiska Hem project was deemed a productive response to Kod Arkitekter’s perceived frustration over status quo procedures in construction, planning and housing design.

Good practices & solutions

Elastiska Hem is considered a user-centered and co-creative process focussing on using a large variety of knowledge and experience to develop and test prototypes iteratively with and for the individuals who are supposed to inhabit the new housing areas developed during the project. Consciously designing this process entails letting go of much of the otherwise centrally conducted project management, instead spreading responsibilities and power over the process to a number of working packages, each with their own participating and steering actors, albeit not independent of the project. Service designers were picked out as participants at an early stage in order to achieve as user-centered a perspective as possible.

Whereas the process itself, out of perceived necessity, is rigorously structured from the beginning, the methodology is explored along the way. No existing concrete methods has been tested; rather, tools have been utilized according to the needs of project participants and users. Testing various methods is considered part of the process. However, a substantial part of the methodology so far could be directly found in Design Thinking and various design process tools. Also, scenario sketching and design fiction methods are utilized.

Prototypes and results will be employed in three different cases operating on three different societal levels; structural level, area level and neighbourhood level, which ensures that the project’s potential for societal impact is more easily realised. Keeping up to date with news and innovation in housing policies is key; participating company Kairos Future is conducting a business strategic planning on a national and international level in order to bring as much knowledge as possible into the process.

Outcome & opportunities

“One should not underestimate the importance of the home in building social
networks”

The vast scope of Elastiska Hem enables creating impact in several complex societal challenge areas; lack of housing, reducing consumption, loneliness and mental health, as well as strengthening social capital in local areas. The economic perspective is also somewhat present; it is already suggested that 10% of the population wants to share more within their housing context, which suggests that there is a market ready to scale the outcomes and models created during the project. There is also a possible step 3 in the funding programme, in which the housing companies would be willing to expand the results into larger prototypes and actual buildings and apartments, ready for people to move in to. However, there is no ambition to influence existing housing legislation, but rather to utilize the given system in order to change behavior and habits of living.

Lessons learned & recommendations

The challenge driven innovation programme of Vinnova is considered a valuableasset, as it allows for much creativity regarding problem formulation. Also, the UN SDGs provide a common language and set of concepts created for working with the given issues. These are two of the more structural mitigating factors. On a more operational level, an important prerequisite for Elastiska Hem is to approach actors with the ability to reach the reality of the user. Instead of focussing on organisations, it is important to consider the individuals working within these organisations, as the co-creation process is always heavily influenced by particular personal thoughts, competences and chemistry.

The administrative aspect may be less obvious, but is nevertheless an obstructing factor; it is a “horror scenario” for any project manager to coordinate the economy of such a diverse project. However, as Elastiska Hem is a pre-defined, carefully structured process, this significantly helps the coordinating effort. To have 60 individuals working in a randomly ongoing process would be unlikely to yield valuable outcomes, says Åsa Kallstenius, project manager.

Engaged partners and stakeholder groups

Bio Bo, BoKlok Housing, Bo Tillsammans, Boverket, City of Stockholm, Ebab, Ericsson, Fastighetsägarna Stockholm, Hyresgästföreningen, Igeia Health Labs, Kairos Future, Kollektivhus Nu,
KTH (Architecture, Green Leap), Stena Fastigheter, Stiftelsen Tryggare Sverige, Södertörn University, Telge Bostäder, Trygg-Hansa, Usify, Vitec.

Further reading

Elastiska Hem

 

HÅLLBARA LEKMILJÖER (SUSTAINABLE PLAYING ENVIRONMENTS)

Hållbara Lekmiljöer is a testbed project for transforming urban playgrounds into digitalised, sustainable, user-friendly green play environments.

Challenges

Planning a city with its children in focus is becoming an increasingly compelling incentive in sustainable development. This has resulted in the predominating design of playgrounds for children receiving critique. The archetypal playground consists of one or a few swings, rubber asphalt, and tools and structures for play. Research on out-door play however, show that such playgrounds have a low play value compared to environments that are more nature-like with more abundant resources for play. The trend today is to down-prioritize play environments close to homes and schools in favour of play parks located further away. This makes everyday play hard to access for children, being especially problematic for children with special needs. Moreover, it produces unnecessary strain on environmental functions in an urban environment in need of more efficiently used green spaces, as well as paying little or no mind to the proximity of dangerous traffic. In fact, detailed interferences in playgrounds do not create lasting qualitative play value for children. Thus, the concept of ‘playground’ (Swedish: lekplats) is gradually being replaced by ‘play
environment’ (Swedish: lekmiljö). The project Digitala och fysiska lekmiljöer/Hållbara lekmiljöer i staden has, in various steps since 2013, elaborated on how to innovate these environments by bringing together relevant housing and construction companies, municipalities, landscape architects, playground designers, researchers and local children in testbeds in which the natural environment is utilized in combination with digital components for better outdoor play value.

Good practices & solutions

Digitalisation and utilisation of existing natural conditions are guiding factors in the process, thus allowing for more green spaces and ecosystem services. The constellation of partners has been involved in a hands-on manner, often engaging physically with the environment themselves by working collaboratively on-site. Thus, all stakeholders have viewed the consequences of their ideas in real environments, helping them to screen some of the less constructive prototypes. Children, naturally, have been involved as the chief evaluating actors regarding play value together with
the partners. Digital tools have been integrated into the natural environment, using sound and light effects to inspire play with natural materials.

Local actors have had a substantial role in shaping the outcome; in Vårby gård, a stigmatised low-income suburb of Stockholm, the local housing company Balder helped create commitment among local children in formulating their challenges and possibilities. Children were temporarily given cameras for documenting their everyday life and expressing their needs and wishes regarding playing opportunities. The project has experienced several phases, during which some actors have been brought in and others have stepped out. Prisma Tibro was brought in by the project manager Eva-Lotta Sallnäs Pysander at KTH who realised that the company produces exactly the kind of robust materials for outdoor equipment that the project needed, but for a totally different kind of product.

Outcome & opportunities

Apart from producing a buyer’s competence guidebook (Swedish: beställarkompetensguide), the project has established a new area of competence within KTH as a coordinating actor but equally so a new business model among playground designers, architects and housing companies emerges. The concept of play environment is gradually becoming more accepted among the partner
organisations and potentially on a broader national level.

Lessons learned & recommendations

Designing the dialogue process has been a key concern; traditional dialogue meetings with target groups and stakeholders do not work well enough in this type of project. Asking people, including children, what they wish for in their playgrounds is not an efficient way of creating the optimal playing environment, as these questions produce archetypal answers. Instead, you need to ask different questions focussing on children’s concrete experiences and habits of play in a specific setting, observing children’s behavior and response to play environments, and experimenting
iteratively in order to evaluate what creates positive prerequisites for play as an activity. Research shows that play is intense and that children exhibit a browsing behavior in archetypal playgrounds, and that play is more long-lasting and engaging in natural environments. Combining the engaging mechanisms in digital play with known benefits of play in an environment with vegetation, terrain and natural materials can create innovative play environments with a high play value accessible to children in their everyday contexts.

It is interesting to note the generational differences inherent in the process, as younger architects and planners are generally devoted to the idea of natural playing environments whereas older generations are more used to the notion that children only feel safe to play in traditionally designed and secluded spaces. However, enthusiasm is not sufficient if the still rather radical and disruptive principles in the project are going to become commonplace in policies and construction operations. The positive outcomes need to be effective enough but also comfortable enough to uphold in order to be lasting and sustainable.

An essential starting point has been a common goal among the project partners. With regards to the co-creative process, it has proved vital to the project that all actors need to be involved not merely as decision-makers or in discussions but in the actual operations occurring on-site. Vinnova’s Challenge Driven Innovation programme states the need for concrete product development showing alternatives to existing solutions, thus encouraging physical engagement in the creation process among all participants. This creates understanding of one’s own role in the larger creation
chain, trust in the process and confidence in the jointly created vision. Team building has been fostered through hands-on working procedures and site visits rather than just meetings. Commitment cannot be successfully created unless an actor has been present in shaping the physical result with other actors. Moreover, the steering committee has been dedicated, which is considered a main prerequisite for success. Sending a representative to convey messages is insufficient; direct contact needs to be established between coordinators, steering committee members and driving spirits within the various organisations.

All things considered, fostering a buyer’s competence among municipalities and other clients of children’s outdoor play environments is considered one of the key effects with potential of transforming outdoor play environments for a sustainable urban development.

Engaged partners & stakeholder groups

Balder housing company, Children, Hags, HIQ, Huddinge Municipality, Hälsoträdgården, KTH, NCC, Nordic Parks, Prisma Tibro, SLU, Uppsala University, Urbio AB, Örebro Municipality.

Further reading

Hållbara Lekmiljöer

CULTIVATING CITY BAZAARS

Cleantech Högdalen is a cluster of environmental technology businesses in the Stockholm industrial suburb of Högdalen and run as a project and budgetary assignment from the City of Stockholm. It was founded by Tillväxtverket (Board of Enterprises), Vinnova (Board of Innovation), Stockholm Cleantech, IVL, Svensk Solenergi, Science Partner, Högdalsgruppen and the County Administrative Board of Stockholm. Despite initial lack of interest from local actors, Cleantech Högdalen managed to establish testbeds such as organic waste management development. Throughout the project, a network of more than 100 private and public enterprises focussing on sustainable energy, systems integration and energy optimisation has been established.

Challenges

Local property owners in Högdalen prospected for new ways of improving existing buildings in innovative ways. Cleantech Högdalen decided to test indoors cultivation of food products, since this concept was largely unexplored in Stockholm. While the promotion of green technologies and local businesses was the main objective, a driving vision was also to create job opportunities for people with professional disadvantages while creating prerequisites for more sustainable food production. Thus, Odlande Stadsbasarer was initiated in 2017, cultivating greens in abandoned
facilities in central Högdalen.

Good practices & solutions

In 2016, the municipality of Botkyrka had intended, with support from Vinnova, a pilot of cultivation in garage buildings, but had soon withdrawn due to highly calculated costs. Learning by their example, Odlande Stadsbasarer made sure only to use existing and unused buildings in order to keep down expenses. From an early stage, dialogue within the consortium was centered around recognizing approaches and operations with positive results and then cautiously scaling these up. Enterprises with sufficient financial capacity would cover their own expenses and risks when overtaking property targeted for growing, since it was considered unsustainable to demand this risk to be taken by public actors.

Furthermore, moving from a general business innovation approach to a more particular focus on each involved enterprise proved more feasible. Keeping the main focus of supporting local business and commerce innovation, rather than “improving the world”, has also guided the project.

KTH researchers investigated the results with regards to sustainable cultivation. Participating actors were left free to communicate and promote their efforts, sometimes in isolation and other times in collaboration.

Outcome & opportunities

The project established a small-scale underground food cultivation in Högdalen, using and selling its products in local establishments. The entire project in Stockholm and Helsingborg has contributed to employment of 10 people, 2 have gained employment in Högdalen as a result of the project.

Region Stockholm’s Growth and Regional Planning Department has given financial support to Invest Stockholm for investigating whether 10% of Stockholm’s food production could be realised in a similar fashion.

Possible scaling up will first show pilots of the project and promote the philosophy behind urban indoors food cultivation and then evolve into testbeds. Other future plans include the establishment of a local and vibrant co-working space, combining Food Tech and Clean Tech.

Lessons learned & recommendations

Co-creating innovation driven collaboration in itself was deemed a considerable challenge by the organising partners, above all the prospect of creating something previously unexplored. Coordinating the consortium demanded high levels of openness and letting go of prestige. The other main challenges concerned knowledge and acceptance. KTH, SLU (and Swedish research in general) had scarce experience of investigating the concept of urban gardening, although it is a vital part of many international urban regions such as Singapore. Few actors, public or private, allow for or support progressive development of property or estate. The public sector is also not considered a frontrunner for innovation in general, which creates a stepping stone for scaling up the project.

Funding agencies such as Vinnova could support projects further, i.e. by using recommendations from previous technological insights. Public social authorities or researchers are the actors best suited for calculating the socio-economical pros and cons of a project such as Odlande stadsbasarer. It is also highly advised to map international urban systems and urban policies in general to see what is going on in with regards to sustainable innovation without assuming that Stockholm is at the forefront – which is far from always the case.

Engaged partners & stakeholder groups

Invest Stockholm, KTH, Rågsveds folkets hus, Citycon, City of Stockholm, SLU, local residents, local
start-ups, CleanTech Högdalen.

Further reading

Odlande stadsbasarer

Testbädd Gröna Solberga

The test bed in Solberga is a form of research and demonstration facility where small companies, researchers and various organizations cooperate with the residents to find solutions together for the housing sector’s environmental challenges.

Challenges

Housing accounts for roughly 40% of energy use in Sweden, making apartment and facility renovation and innovation an essential prerequisite for reaching SDGs 6 and 11. Moreover, many urban areas in Sweden are facing increasing risks of flooding from heavier rainfalls due to climate change.

The current standard procedure when launching a testbed is to address particular residences and almost never local communities as a whole. This was partly the reason why the Solberga Testbed, labeled by its organisers as “The most living testbed in Sweden”, was launched in February 2018 by IVL and Stockholmshem, funded by ERUF platform Grön Bostad.

The main objective of the testbed is to promote better management of stormwater, surface water and waste. Companies and researchers are invited to join the testbed for experimenting with new solutions and behavioural change for reducing energy use in various contexts while contributing to a viable area and its social value.

Stockholmshem have clear financial goals in attracting business and residents to Solberga, where they own a considerable amount of apartments. The residents are included insofar as they are able on a voluntary basis, endangering a broad long-term citizen commitment. Grön Bostad wish to improve the environmental management conditions in Solberga while attracting private and public actors as well as citizens to keep the process going, hopefully by far outliving the project itself. On top of that, the structural fund has to approve of the results reported.

Good practices & solutions

Using a smaller community for trial-and-error activities with the possibility to fail repeatedly is considered crucial for a successful testbed. Therefore, creating good relations with the residents is key, thereby creating acceptance for a quantity of ideas to be tried out in their daily life. Companies wanting to be a part of the trials is also a welcomed feature.

Residents are invited to participate in test projects such as urban gardening and surface water management through workshops and casual activities. Stockholmshem is known to house many environmentally committed tenants, further facilitating the ongoing work of the testbed.

Outcome & opportunities

Of the solutions tested, notable examples are surface water being diverted into urban gardening use and reducing smell in local waste management in order to facilitate placing waste collecting stations close to residents. Surface water, putting significant pressure on water treatment systems, will be led through specially designed drain pipes instead of down the general municipal draining system. Preserved in local facilities, it will be utilized in hydroponics (water-only gardening) managed by urban gardening company Kretsloppsbolaget. The smell-reducing technology is provided by waste management company Bioteria. In a longer perspective, the organisers hope to contribute to an enhanced circular economy in the area. The project is open for new cleantech companies as long as they want to be included, with Stockholmshem also harboring hopes of appealing to the social aspect as well as the ecological, for example involving the residents in urban gardening, thereby improving social trust and community in the area.

Lessons learned & recommendations

Involving citizens can be difficult, as they do not possess the same time schedules and possibilities as other involved actors; it is particularly necessary to foster good relations with them, as well as with housing owners. Being allowed to fail with experiments occurring in their own environment requires a high level of trust and understanding. Collaborative projects cannot be written, they need to be equally conducted and tried in practice as they need to be prepared and planned. This may be obvious to many, but in academia it is hardly commonplace.

Engaged partners & stakeholder groups

Grön Bostad, Stockholmshem, local residents, cleantech SMEs, IVL.

Further reading

Gröna Solberga

Södertörnsmodellen

Södertörnmodel works for a knowledge-driven, co-creation and value-creating urban development.

Challenges

Sweden’s municipalities and regions face the dilemma of building a vast variety of apartments during a short period of time, in order to provide housing for its rapidly increasing population, while simultaneously implementing the UN SDGs in order to sustain long-term viability. Municipalities’ priorities differ when it comes to urban planning, and none of them can guarantee that (e.g.) ecosystems services and fundamental social considerations will be sufficiently applied in daily practice and construction processes.

Södertörnsmodellen emerged out of a mutual understanding concerning these challenges between an already existing umbrella organisation called the Södertörn Municipalities, representatives from KTH, and committed individuals at White architect firm. Together, they decided to initiate a pre-study which also involved technology consultancy firm WSP (who participated during phase 1 and 2). Large company Skanska and public development cooperation organisation SKL International also joined at this first stage. During the last stage of the project, housing company Wallenstam contributed with a more long-term perspective than which is generally provided by constructors. The Gothenburg Regional Municipal Federation and Region Stockholm also entered the project during this phase.

Good practices & solutions

Involving decision-makers at an early stage in a workshop format yielded some fundamental insights that would aid the course of the project. It became obvious to the project participants that ambitions for a more sustainable urban development was not a main issue, nor was mustering ideas on how to reach this; the main issue was that, for a diverse range of reasons, no one actor had attempted a practical process in which such ideas were to be implemented.

However, there exists some practices in which certain actors or groups within organisations try to alter the status quo of public administration. Since existing planning and construction legislation (Swedish: Plan- och bygglagen, PBL) does not allow for rapid sustainable development, other ways of moving matters forward faster have been approached by the municipalities, such as development plans not directly emanating from specifications within PBL (naturally without outright violating the law). A non-hierarchical structure and a self-critical outlook have from the start been important features of Södertörnsmodellen’s internal and external operations. Everyone’s voice is equal, regardless of being a researcher, entrepreneur, municipality or private sector executive. Different idea groups or working groups have been established as centers of reflective discussion regarding the different municipalities’ ongoing work within Södertörnsmodellen. Also, a form of meta-dialogue with residents was conducted in Flemingsberg, Huddinge, in which residents were asked on which issues they felt a need for addressing the municipality. Participatory dialogue in general has been utilized as a productive tool as well as problematised in order to develop its strengths and mitigate its weaknesses. Consultants from White developed a template aimed at the municipalities for being reflective as to why they are conducting participatory dialogue, whether being used in order to, for example, increase public trust or to enhance the planning process; “It feels rather ‘basic’, but there are so many ‘basic’ things that are not working.”

Parallel to this, saving all relevant gained results digitally on a regular basis is considered important for the outcome of the project. Furthermore, a strategy for achieving a more bottom-up perspective has been the walking tours conducted in some of the areas that Södertörnsmodellen work closely with, to which are invited property owners, municipal employees, decision-makers and other stakeholders. One unique aspect of Södertörnsmodellen has been a quite different starting point in relation to ordinary research or innovation; rather than focussing on a topic and pointing towards gaps and needs for new knowledge, the project has targeted the municipal working ground without a prescribed change agenda. Thus, Södertörnsmodellen has identified means for improving many operations already
existing rather than inventing new ones, and generally shaping project operations according to the specific needs in each municipality.

Outcome & opportunities

Södertörnsmodellen has delivered 3 method packages: value-creating, co-creating and knowledge-driven urban development. Together, they utilise the Södertörn Analysis (Swedish: Södertörnsanalysen), a user-friendly, analytical visual tool for providing decision-makers with a deeper knowledge basis for urban development. The tool was developed with help from Hans Rosling’s Gapminder. Variables within the Södertörn Analysis include mapping of ecosystem services and indicators for socio-economic development over time in a given area. 12 insights for a social sustainable urban development has also been generated throughout the project:

1) There is no universal indicator for social sustainability.
2) Increase understanding!
3) Establish concrete and measurable objectives.
4) Identify physical and non-physical measures that will help realise these objectives.
5) Strengthen collaboration across departments, sectors and professions through dialogue for improved results.
6) Assess the social consequences of different considered alternatives in planning processes.
7) Continually follow up on objectives versus outcomes. This requires established measurable variables.
8) Allow citizens to co-develop solutions by creating forums in which they can answer questions of how and why, without creating false expectations.
9) A space is used by others than those living in the area; finding the relevant stakeholders requires considerable mapping.
10) Use participatory dialogue, transparency and communication as tools to create planning value and trust value among citizens. Report on how dialogue has affected end results to achieve and preserve trust between public administration and citizens.
11) Instead of maximising the level of participation, finding the right form of participation throughout different stages of a planning process is more productive.
12) Gather, save and structure the knowledge generated from a participatory process.

The produced methods and knowledge are meant to be open to any public, civil or private actor willing to use it in their ordinary processes. The fundamental idea is to spread these concrete outcomes to other actors and regions, for example the Gothenburg Regional Municipal Federation (who joined Södertörnsmodellen in the later phase).

Lessons learned & recommendations

Many diverse actors and departments in public administration who influence sustainable development factors are seldom coordinated or even lack knowledge about each other’s operations. Public organisations may not have data and knowledge collected in a structured way. Although largely possessing a highly educated and skilled workforce, municipalities generally lack a structure for
improvement work, as the private sector is known to have. Moreover, today’s implementations stem from yesterday’s decisions, sometimes going back several years or even decades. Civil servant procedures may be virtually cemented while policy-makers’ decisions aim for high levels of innovative sustainable development. Involving the citizens has proved a different type of challenge. While there exists an outright will by decision-makers to further involve opinions and knowledge of local residents, the process by which this is done is currently mainly reactive and not proactive. Moreover, not getting back to people on a matter already subject to public participation may result in decreasing levels of trust in the administrative and political system. In this regard, turning existing participatory governance processes into an institutionalised proactive dialogue has been a priority for Södertörnsmodellen. Politicians as a group are particularly hard to influence due to their dependence on votes every 4th year; this reality creates a pressure that risks resulting in dispensing with certain crucial decisions for sustainable urban development, or that politicians are hard to reach in general for actors such as Södertörnsmodellen. Municipalities have been reluctant to admitting entrepreneurs into the co-creation process at an early stage, whereas entrepreneurs on the other hand are eager to enter the process as early as possible. A commonly shared controversy however concerns costs, for example regarding pre-studies; assigning these costs to particular actors is a topic not easily agreed upon.

A fundamental lesson has been to approach people where they are operating, instead of inviting them to a seemingly alien forum. This way, one can assess what is already in place in a given context such as driving spirits, values and commitment. A challenge that has arisen from this starting point is that results have been rather
difficult to backtrack. Many employees within participating municipalities cannot acknowledge the contributions of Södertörnsmodellen to their particular operations, although there clearly exists a connection between those operations and the project’s contributions.

A general insight regarding the transformation process towards sustainability is that it is mainly composed of projects, which poses a substantial challenge. Invididual projects spanning a few years cannot achieve transformation by themselves unless they together contribute to the formation of a greater process. This applies to all forms of societal planning. Of particular interest is the manner in which public employees regard this process, as their respective assigned budgets are tethered to specific plans rather than a process, whereas municipalities need to constantly reevalute themselves and work with their particular improvement process. The interconnection between project and process is thus of tremendous importance to sustainable urban development as well as society in general.

Further reading

Södertörnsmodellen

 

Leader

Leader is a method for rural development elaborated in the 1990’s, also useable in urban areas. The leading principle is to make local communities participants in developing their future. A specific area or region can choose to become a Leader area, of which there are currently 48 existing in Sweden. Each area has a central office to which local cross-sectorial development and innovation projects can apply for funding and support. An earlier Leader development project in the Stockholm Region, UROSS (Utveckla Roslagen och Stockholms Skärgård, “Developing the Roslagen Area and the Stockholm Archipelago”) 2007-2013, effectively utilised Leader and confirmed its potential for creating local participatory initiatives and hope for the future.

Challenges

The Stockholm archipelago, with its roughly 30 000 islands (of which about 200 are inhabited), together with the vast rural areas surrounding the city comprise a substantial part of the Stockholm Region. The archipelago alone hosts around 3 million tourists every year. Much of the region’s wildlife, green areas, cultural heritage and nature reserves are located in these areas. Although sparsely populated, with a total of 113 991 stable residents in 2014, of which only 7 348 lived on the islands all year round, the countryside and archipelago together comprise around 5% of the total regional population. However, these areas are generally overlooked while facing major social and ecological sustainability challenges. Tourism has dramatically raised estate prices, especially in the archipelago. Establishing stable internet connections is still a challenge in most areas. The large local fishing business is challenged due to previously  unsustainable draft. Unemployment is relatively low in the archipelago (est. 2,5 % in 2014) but dramatically higher in the inland rural areas (est. 17% in 2011). The access to public services in the Stockholm archipelago is generally considered to be equally remote as in some northern parts of Sweden (Norrbotten).

Out of the 50 Swedish islands regarded as depopulated in 2013, 22 were located in the Stockholm Region.  In conclusion, the residents of the archipelago and rural areas of Stockholm are in need of empowerment in order to strengthen their own local businesses as well as creating feasible and sustainable living conditions.

Leader Stockholmsbygd was initiated in 2014 as a development project and non-profit organisation envisioning “an archipelago and a countryside in which local initiatives, interacting with the surrounding world, develop sustainable and attractive societies, spreading hope for the future.” It was approved in 2016 by the Swedish Board of Agriculture, meaning that Leader Stockholmsbygd was officially one of 48 approved Leader areas.

Good practices & solutions

Priority efforts for Leader Stockholmsbygd are the development of a local community attractive to visitors and inhabitants, promoting local foodstuffs and markets, creating a good environment and increasing sustainability. One aim is to further diversify the local community and its actors through increased collaboration around distribution of local products and services, logistics and marketing. This will also entail increased knowledge exchange and new meeting fora among the actors and with the surrounding world. Finally, a particular goal is to increase local knowledge about ecosystem services and sustainable development in order to strengthen the biological diversity of land and sea in the concerned areas.

The project/non-profit association functions mainly as a central resource of support for locally initiated projects. These projects are able to apply for funding and are supported in this process. Approval of funding depends on a set of criteria as a broader benefit to the leader area, locally-based approach and participation, collaboration with other stakeholders and sectors and last but not least contribution to one of four focus areas (smart villages, tourism, local food production and marine/nature conservation). Once approved, projects can receive investment funding as well as network building support, since Leader Stockholmsbygd has knowledge about potential collaborators. Leader Stockholmsbygd explicitly states a desire to promote cross-sectorial collaboration, diversity and synergies between stakeholders.

In 2014, 13 bygdemöten- meetings with local neighborhoods – were held, in total attracting around 140 participants. Participants included fishing associations, SME associations, neighbourhood associations, environmental activists, sports clubs, womens’ associations, farmers and local branches of Naturskyddsföreningen, the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation. During each meeting, a SWOT analysis was made to guide the discussions about needs and possibilities for future efforts.

Potential initiatives included increased local food production, tourism development, local investment companies, more rental apartments and recreational activities. Leader professionals are the target group of a particular academic course offered by the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), in English “Innovation – coaching innovative processes”.

Outcome & opportunities

The whole area has a rich tradition of voluntary associations, family and small-scale businesses and social entrepreneurs. A certain self-made mentality pervades the area and its people. Instead of public meeting spaces, the civil society offers the most scenes for dialogue and community. Also, being a close neighbour to Sweden’s largest urban centre does provide certain opportunities that can be exploited further. As tourists are already numerous, an increased profiling of locally and organically grown foods could be further marketed to the environmentally aware urban consumers or attract visitors. Further use of digital marketing is considered especially beneficial to these areas, since they lack sufficient infrastructure. Being a more niched, entrenched and accessible project partner to stakeholders, Leader Stockholmsbygd has an advantage over other EU funds.

Lessons learned & recommendations

As the project attempts to grasp a diverse and wide area, the conditions for enabling local initiatives vary significantly. For example, the level of commitment and resourcefulness usually decreases with proximity to urban areas, as responsibility is expected from other actors rather than the local community. Due to budget restraints, LEADER Stockholmsbygd does not have the capacity to create a common platform for the different initiatives to meet and exchange knowledge. Lack of investment for local initiatives is  common. As mentioned in the above section, local investment funds is framed as a general alternative to applying for investment from larger actors. The younger generation is generally considered difficult to engage, partly due to the perceived lack of future possibilities, the main challenge in this regard not being work opportunities per se, but rather the lack of accessible societal services and housing. Involving a sufficiently large number of local actors is key. A well-balanced mix of required expertise is usually present in most areas. Balancing the local and global aspects is particularly difficult. Local residents need a stronger sense of community while achieving stronger bonds with and openness towards the rest of the world. If this is not achieved, matters will not move forward.

Related SDG targets

 

URBAN ICT ARENA

A sustainable and connected Stockholm needs an up-to-date digital infrastructure and ICT services that enables not only a decent but a pleasant life for its residents. Aspects concerned with this need are, for example, innovative traffic technology and mobility services.

Urban ICT Arena was founded in 2016 by the Electrum Foundation in the well established ICT cluster of Stockholm suburb Kista. Kista is currently the largest ICT cluster in Europe. The guidelines of the Urban ICT Arena’s operations are sustainable urban development, future job creation and accelerating innovation. Urban ICT Arena uses the concept “Not Boring” as an approach and methodology.

“We need to meet and great to achieve an exponential learning curve, but instead, everyone sits in a corner inventing the wheel. This is one of the more important things our platform enables.”

A central approach is not setting too specific goals, but rather very well defined needs or pains. The we can “play around and fail in small scale” with cutting edge technology while maintaining a vision of a sustainable city. The mindset is that we cannot know exactly what the digitalised IoT-based society will look like.

Another essential feature of Urban ICT Arena is to strongly consider and involve actual people instead of organisations; the Not Boring 5G Bike was introduced by Petra Dalunde, chief operating officer. IT equipment was provided by Ericsson, two students developed its security features and professor Mark Smith of KTH helped with construction. The testbed consists of four layers – Hardware, Software, Smart Services and Business Model – with the desire to add a fifth: Enabling Citizen Layer. The last layer is intended to ensure that the value created by digital innovation effectively reaches people living in cities. According to Petra Dalunde, CEO, 15% of the process consists of innovation whereas the remaining 85% consists of organisation and mindset. The ecosystem of innovation cannot be sustained without enterprises, without the SMEs and start-ups you only have needs and finances.

Engaged partners and stakeholder groups

Electrum Foundation with Ericsson, the City of Stockholm, ABB, IBM, KTH, RISE ICT, Region Stockholm, Stockholm University.

Notable outcomes within Urban ICT Arena for social-ecological sustainability

As the Arena is still growing, there are numerous projects and prototypes being tested and several have already made a certain impact on decision-makers.

5G Bike

The 5G bike is essentially a mobile wireless modem, visualising some social and entrepreneurial potentials of the Internet of Things. Anyone can try it out as part of the testbed in Kista.

Autopiloten

Engaged partners and stakeholder groups

Klövern, KTH, Urban ICT Arena, Ericsson, SJ.

Autopiloten is Sweden’s first autonomous vehicle to be publicly tested and is available for a short route in Kista between 7 AM and 6 PM.

GCity

Engaged partners and stakeholder groups

First stage: representatives from Stockholm University, ESRI, KTH, Urban ICT Arena, Swedish Cycling Association, cyclists, one private ICT consultant.

Second stage: City of Stockholm, Nacka Municipality, Stockholm University, ESRI, Tidma, Urban ICT Arena.

Challenges

“We still don’t quite know which problems will be solved with this solution.”

The project was initiated in 2018 to explore innovative traffic technology and mobility services for alternatives to cars. The first stage resulted in the consortium approaching further stakeholders such as public governance.

GCity explicitly uses Design Science and Action Design Research, methods from the engineering sciences. Design Science is closely related to Design Thinking but differs in that it defines the problem already in the first stage, rather than after initial empathy work. Iterative testing in close contact with municipalities as well as cyclists and car drivers is considered essential for successful results.

One of the key representatives, from the Swedish Cycling Association, unexpectedly passed away during the course of the first stage. This event revealed the project’s dependence on personal chemistry and commitment, as the association has not shown the same interest since then. Person-based collaboration is indeed a double-sided coin, since knowledge about each other’s particular expertise may also be a great asset to a group, sometimes referred to as a transactive memory system.

Good practice & solutions

Starting as a shorter conceptual project with a limited budget and timespan is a good way to form a well-knit consortium and prepare take-off for more substantial operations. Entering a large project from the beginning can be intimidating for many important societal actors.

Kista Mobility Week

Engaged partners and stakeholder groups

CityMobil2, Drive Sweden, Ericsson, Kista Science City, Nobina, politicians, Swedish Transport Agency.

Kista Mobility Week demonstrated various innovations within mobility challenges such as autonomous buses from the EU project CityMobil2 (ended in 2016) in order to highlight the value of collaboration within Urban ICT Arena between ICT companies and public transport administration. The event gathered some 3 000 visitors, including high-ranking politicians such as the (then) Infrastructure Minister of Sweden and the Mayor of Stockholm.

Grow Smarter: traffic monitoring in Slakthusområdet

Engaged partners and stakeholder groups

Facility Labs, IBM, Need Insights. 

Grow Smarter used the expertise of IBM for its solutions regarding heavily trafficked areas in its testbed of Slakthusområdet (see separate section on Grow Smarter). IBM developed monitoring solutions together with Need Insights and Facility Labs in order to provide data for increasing efficient pedestrian traffic to reduce car use in the area.

Urban mobility and logistics done differently

Engaged partners and stakeholder groups

Ericsson Research, KTH students, UID students.

Ericsson, together with groups of design and engineer students, developed a safe, sustainable and human-centred logistics solution. The concept is based on individuals taking it upon themselves to deliver a package sealed within a light, locked box providing live data, thus never getting lost. Boxes are placed at pick-up points and each distributor can drop them off somewhere along the way. Deliveries are secured by contracts between agent and receiver, ultimately eliminating the need of a logistics actor.

Global Goals Lab

Engaged partners and stakeholder groups

Quantified Planet.

The Global Goals Lab is an initiative from open data association Quantified Planet with the aim of showcasing examples of sustainable projects and testbeds from all around the world.

Further reading

urbanictarena

MO-BO: architecture for sustainable mobility

Challenges

Mo-Bo is a project attempting to solve the challenges of juxtaposing sustainably built housing stands with a sustainable transport system, in which fewer vehicles carry more residents and resources are used in a more efficient way. Contemporary architecture – the “Normal” – is considered insufficient to meet the challenges of sustainable mobility and housing as it still puts private car driving at the centre. Thus, for example, parking lots are still highly prioritised in construction and design processes, obstructing ambitions of transitioning to sustainable housing policy and practice. With Mo-Bo, coordinating actor Theory Into Practice wishes to explore and develop a “New Normal” housing concept, expanding resource efficient transport capacity while tending to the needs of residents.

Good practices & solutions

With KTH/SLU and Trivector providing qualitative and quantitative evaluation respectively, the living lab and testbeds will be spaces of experimentation during one year. Among other procedures, travelling habits of residents are measured in intervals, steering documents such as development contracts are developed and tested, and different practical solutions are tested in the housing testbeds, including shared economy models and digital innovations. Spaces and functions are designed according to mobility needs, green value and desired behavioral change among residents. The developed architectural models are then to be spread and scaled up to substantially influence and alter the current housing policy, thus changing “Normal” into “New Normal”. The theoretical framework for this is Transition Management (TM), a structured process of change in which three levels are considered: niche (innovative environment), regime (the status quo of social and technological practice) and landscape (societal values). In order to influence the regime level, TM strengthens the niche through active reflection and joint activity within the project partner constellation. For example, Learning History is used as a reflecting tool. Thus, the operational process is pre-designed on a detailed level, attempting to address the issue from a holistic perspective.

For the KTH researchers, Mo-Bo is less of a challenge compared to previous experiences, in which KTH participants have risked becoming too dominant. In this case, with Theory Into Practice leading the process, researchers have a much more designated and limited role; this means that researchers do not need to focus on enabling co-creation. As designers and architects, Theory Into Practice are considered an experienced actor with regards to co-creating with different sectors and knowledge groups. However, co-creation has not been at the center of focus or a conscious part of the design.

Outcome & opportunities

As municipalities are a central part of the project, issues of policy development are a priority objective. If the tested solutions are to be scaled and normalised, co-operation of public actors are a necessity. If successfully conducted, the project will launch potential innovative business models and opportunities for mobility.

There are several gains from a social-ecological perspective; as parking lots diminish, the soil surrounding the buildings is allowed to be thicker, thus enabling further gardening and cultivation. “You cannot separate [social and ecological] aspects from one another in housing.”

Lessons learned & recommendations

Coordinating the various interests of the actors is key to knitting together the collaborative effort. Researchers have an inherent interest in publishing their work which has to be met along with the interests of Theory Into Practice, whose main objective remains creating generalisable and sustainable solutions.

Applying for research funding proves to be a complicated matter in multi-stakeholder projects such as Mo-Bo; organisations rarely receive full or equal financial coverage, with private companies easier obtaining larger funds as their interests differ. The increasing incentives for researchers to participate in co-creation with other sectors is contradicted by the fact that funding is insufficient. Moreover, working hours are nearly impossible to assess, especially when considering time for developing products or services in innovative processes.

Engaged partners and stakeholder groups

KTH, LaTERRE, local residents, SLU, Theory Into Practice, Trivector, Upplands Väsby Municipality, Uppsala Municipality, Urbio AB.

Further reading

Theory into Practice

Mo-Bo

Divercity

Process and policy development project for joint building ventures.

Challenges

Current Swedish housing construction is a complex process, usually spanning at least 3-4 years, involving municipalities and a handful of building contractors at the very least but, perhaps more delicate, requiring the participating construction companies to co-finance the process long before the first buildings have been erected. Alternatives to this system are rarely tested, which risks jeopardising the well-needed acceleration in sustainable construction over the next decades for the rapidly growing Stockholm region. Moreover, although housing may indeed be satisfyingly built, procured companies may be less keen to secure a diverse and equal community and functioning local services for the residents. When comparing Sweden with, for example, Germany, where alternatives such as joint building ventures (Swedish: byggemenskap, henceforth JBV) are well prominent, there is a perceived need of experimenting and developing policies concerning housing and construction in order to improve the prerequisites for a just and sustainable city.

JBV is a model in which users – the intended residents of a house or neighbourhood – participate in the planning process as a co-operative society and exercise influence over all or most of the decisions. They are currently rare in Sweden and are also largely unknown to the banks that can fund them. Individual co-operative societies usually lack the sufficient funds and organisational stability to be regarded as reliable project partners from the perspective of Vinnova. Instead, the Society of Joint Building Ventures (Swedish: Föreningen för byggemenskaper) is the coordinating actor of the Divercity project initiated in 2016. The goal of the project is to create leverage for more JBVs in Sweden, using their co-operative societies as testbeds while experimenting with construction process design and construction policy development.

There are several indicators as to why JBVs are worth strengthening. If end users are included from the start, their commitment to the constructed neighbourhood is stronger, promoting a socially sustainable area. Moreover, as end users share the costs of materials and processes, JBVs are more likely to contribute to a resource efficient construction, more lasting materials and thus better potential for sustainable buildings. Furthermore, JBVs potentially constitute an addition to democratic participation in urban development.

Good practices & solutions

“What we seek to achieve requires several actors”

Co-creation between architects, urban planners, joint building venture co-operatives and researchers is a fundamental feature of the process. The project has 18 organisations participating altogether and the various stakeholder groups had hitherto had limited understanding of one another, which demands a conscious process design in order to guide each actor towards a common vision. Several workshops have been conducted to foster a common view of the challenge and the funding application was written collaboratively. There is also a regularly maintained ambition to involve stakeholders – the co-operatives – on the same terms as project partners in the co-creation process, as they are formally asymmetrically involved due to Vinnova’s requirements.

There is, moreover, a generally accepted view among the participants that a process needs to be framed by a particular methodology. In order to facilitate co-creation, the Step Dialogue is used, a process design allowing several spaces for reflection individually and in groups, gradually aiding the participants in becoming more conscious about their common core values guiding the process and their main objectives.

During step 1, a process description was developed, providing an initial overview of what needs to be done in order to realise a construction project with JBVs. The description is partially used as a supporting tool for architects, often unused to working with JBVs, but primarily for the municipalities to better understand their own operational conditions. The description covers core issues for the project, such as regulations excluding JBVs and important steps included in construction processes. It is used as a basis for step 2, in which the JBVs become testbeds for trying out various solutions and evaluating the JBVs’ potential for sustainable urban development, while municipalities are experimenting with policy labs. RISE is responsible for these policy labs as well as evaluating the JBVs and their role in sustainability aspects, whereas researchers from KTH are conducting evaluation research, for example jointly with the City of Stockholm. One notable case is the city’s pilot project Fokus Skärholmen, in which one land assignment is designated for testing a JBV project.

Divercity uses a bottom-up perspective, in which different working packages deliver output to a steering group assigned with the task of developing and spreading jointly created knowledge within the project.

Outcome & opportunities

The main long-term potential for the project, if successfully conducted and scaled, is a systemic change of Swedish housing construction policies, in which end users participate and influence the process on a broader scale than previously known.

Lessons learned & recommendations

The constellation and choice of participating actors is crucial and needs to be consciously thought-through, with particular regard to achieving a satisfying breadth of expertise. Involving the National Board of Housing, Building and Planning (Boverket) gives Divercity a credibility otherwise not gained, member-governed bank Ekobanken provides the financial perspective and Coompanion contribute their expertise on and experience from all forms of co-operative organisations.

Utilising these different knowledges separately needs to work parallel to establishing a common ground between all actors, as well as each part acquiring a driving force on their own as a result of appreciating the common benefits of the project.

Engaged partners and stakeholder groups

Alsikebolaget, Nils Söderlund Architects, Boverket, Coompanion, Ekobanken, Föreningen för Byggemenskaper, City of Gothenburg, inobi, KTH, City of Malmö, omniplan, Orust kommun, Region Gotland, RISE, Röd arkitektur, City of Stockholm, Theory Into Practice, Uppsala Municipality.

Further reading

Theory into practice 

Fyrklövern

Challenges

Upplands Väsby has roughly 45 000 residents and is a fairly stable municipality that, for various reasons, experienced a decline in construction in the 1990s and onwards, preventing the municipality from growing in concordance with the rest of the Stockholm region. These conditions, coupled with a slowly increasing risk for social problems and unrest, led to measures being taken by the centre-right political majority for altering the housing stand considerably. Public housing company Väsbyhem was to a large extent sold to private companies in order to promote a higher diversity of residents and choices of housing. The Fyrklövern area was a natural choice for a new development project in which different forms of new apartments could be constructed. Altogether, some 2 000 apartments will be built by 14 different construction companies. The main objective for the project is to densify, renew and refine an already existing city centre.

Good practices & solutions

In order to reach the high ambitions, external consultancy was acquired, as well as a participatory dialogue process called Väsby Labs. This developed into an experimental, co-creative process involving citizens, construction companies, architects, politicians, private sector, schools and preschools, students and other actors in a series of workshops, of which one took place in the middle of the city mall. The process resulted in a steering committee coordinating the future work with the Fyrklövern project.

Interestingly enough, although the municipality produced a ready plan for development, no construction companies were committed to accept it due to various reasons, including high prices and Väsby being regarded as too peripheral. In order to overcome this stalemate, the working committee decided to proceed with the 54 most promising ideas from Väsby Labs and develop them into a “menu” for potential contractors. The contractors would select which ideas they would be willing to realise and at what cost. This system resulted in 15 land assignment deals during 2014, allowing the municipality to proceed with planning operations.

An external jury of 7 experts from academia, architecture and construction assessed the various propositions from the contractors in an iterative process in which each proposition was being reworked in several steps. The jury assigned points to each proposition, each point reducing the cost per square meter with 1 SEK.

Outcome & opportunities

The various involved stakeholders have experienced surprisingly little disagreement over the issue and the project has attracted much attention from various directions. Fyrklövern is regarded as a potential for maintaining a diverse community by inspiring new income groups to move into the area.

Lessons learned & recommendations

Construction companies, and to some extent architects, however skilled and experienced, lack creativity regarding many aspects of the construction process. They turned out to be surprisingly standardised in their idea formulations during the project. For future prospects, alternative stakeholders would be interesting to try out, such as joint building ventures, in order to inspire more diversity.

The point-based system proved valuable to all involved, as it ensured a richness in the construction plans that otherwise would have risked getting lost along the process, as was often the case in previous experiences. The point-based system empowered the municipal civil servants in their dialogue with the contractors, as these had agreed to develop the area in a certain way that they later had to follow up accordingly regardless of their financial considerations.

Engaged partners and stakeholder groups

Construction companies, local residents, Upplands Väsby Municipality. Interdisciplinary sustainability expert group from research, construction and architecture (Senior experts from Gehl Architects, Jernhusen, KTH, Stockholm Resilience Centre, Sweco, Utopia arkitekter)

Further reading

Upplands Väsby municipality

Smart Kreativ Stad

EU regional development project for film in sustainable urban development

Challenges

The film industry in Stockholm is, in some ways, a neglected business, with most of its performers suffering from short-term contracts and low wages. Moreover, the business of distributing film has changed significantly during the recent 5-10 years, demanding new ways of exploring deployment of film vis-à-vis audiences. Simultaneously, it is a diverse field of production and co-creation, as it needs to accommodate a vast range of talents and knowledges in order to function. Beata Mannheimer from the regional film foundation, Film Capital Stockholm, realised the potential of this creative industry in transforming the urban public spaces when Tillväxtverket announced their funding programme for regional urban development.

Stockholm has the potential of being a more open and inclusive region by using its public spaces. The challenge from which the project Smart Kreativ Started was, thus: How can film be used to promote sustainable urban development?

Good practices & solutions

Prior to the launching of Smart Kreativ Stad, a pre-study was conducted in which actors such as Kista Science City, IBM, game developer Dice and other stakeholders in the film business were approached. The inclusion of knowledge into the subsequent project was managed so that anyone could apply to the board of Smart Kreativ Stad for funding with an idea for a pilot project, whether as an individual artist or as a team. The project has thus been divided into smaller pilot projects during 2-3 years. Finally, a scaling and expansion phase will carry on 5 themes into further implementation, while additionally implementing the project’s outcomes within the organisation of Film Capital Stockholm itself. A participatory researcher has been following the process during the total course of the project.

 Outcome & opportunities

To manage working conditions for film creators, a pool for obtaining work opportunities has been realised during the project. The diverse results and knowledges produced during the project are planned to be spread to a wider audience and implemented in urban development processes, thus potentially contributing to a city with improved leisure and safety levels. A number of meeting forums have emerged between citizens of different areas, but also between different societal actors.

 Lessons learned & recommendations

Breaking perspectives is an important prerequisite for co-creation and collaboration in this type of project. Working in lab formats creates a learning environment for all involved, including the ones leading the process. However, everything cannot and should not be connected all the time; certain processes need to be isolated in order to flourish, depending on participants and specific prerequisites.

Regarding urban planning, Smart Kreativ Stad have identified a lack of “soft” and “human” value methods in current standard procedures. Another interesting realisation is that the movie business harbours an inherently well-prepared workforce regarding participatory dialogue. Documentary movie-makers are well used to these types of processes and therefore pose a great potential for future urban development. The movie business, in general, has substantial experience and potential for co-creation between a relatively vast range of disciplines. However, actors in cultural industries are known to regard themselves as underdogs towards “stronger” actors, such as municipalities and corporations.

Conducting such a complex process entails that communication needs to be shared among several actors, not only the coordinators. Results and progress also need to correspond to actual, established needs, otherwise nothing productive will come out of it. Building trust, in this regard and generally, is a constant challenge; speaking the same language (as in vocabulary and discourse), agreeing on basic values and problem definitions and having shared time schedules are crucial prerequisites. The civil sector can be quite fast in decision-making compared to public organisations, for example, which demands that every actor works in alternative ways to some extent. A valuable concept mentioned during the interview was förväntansavklaring (English: clarification of expectations), describing an essential process of transparent planning in the early stage of the project.

Engaged partners and stakeholder groups

City of Stockholm, Film Capital Stockholm, individual film creators, KTH, Nacka Municipality, Stena fastigheter, White arkitekter.

Further reading

 

Smart kreativ stad

 

Norra Djurgårdsstaden

Challenges

Developing Norra Djurgårdsstaden (NDS), a completely new urban district for 12 000 residents and workplaces for 35 000 people, has been a significant feature of the last two decades of planning in central Stockholm and, naturally, a huge challenge. It was, however, only half-way through the process that the Stockholm City Council in 2009 decided to profile NDS as an internationally competitive hallmark of sustainability, inspired by the previously successful development of Hammarby Sjöstad. This serves municipal marketing purposes while it promotes sustainable and innovative models of urban planning, construction and development that can be adopted by future projects.

Good practices & solutions

Developing a sustainable city district cannot be done by merely assigning the task to the Development Administration at the municipal administration; close co-operation is needed with other departments, construction, housing and other companies, residents and academia. A particular organisation was built up solely for working with NDS, with thematic groups of experts breaking down the many different project goals into specific sustainability requirements. Co-creation of problem definitions and ideas was also present at an early stage by necessity, as those involved in the long and complex development process had different experiences, knowledge, vocabulary and view of the problem, meaning that they needed to develop common frameworks in order to work together. In 2008, KTH conducted a series of future workshops, gathering experts and stakeholders around issues such as transport and energy, in order to gain a broad understanding of the challenges and possibilities of NDS. The outcome of these workshops implied a way forward for developing NDS. In 2010, a World Class Agreement (Swedish: världsklassavtal) was developed by around 100 different actors – including construction companies – regarding NDS. Again, when revising the NDS sustainability vision and targets in 2017, a similar process was conducted, in which researchers, different city administrations and companies, developers, by then established residents and others were involved in working out future challenges and objectives. Requirements specifications have been emphasised throughout the project. First, sustainability requirements are set at a high level.

Second, from an early stage, assigned developers need to declare their data on a regular basis so that requirements can be carefully followed up. Third, the main incentive for living up to requirements is not, as is usually the case, a fine, but open declaration of achievements in NDS’s annual sustainability reports. Not wholly unexpected, many developers anticipated a failure to meet requirements; thus, developing sustainability competence became a highly emphasised part of the process at an early stage. Forum för hållbara lösningar (Forum for Sustainable Solutions) was initiated in 2012 and has held around 20 events where material industry can meet developers to talk about innovative products and businesses. A capacity development programme is held since 2010 of knowledge sharing between involved actors in construction and sustainable development processes. The capacity development programme particularly demonstrates the progress of NDS, but also generally discusses innovative solutions to building sustainable housing. While many actors initially showed reluctance to participate, it only required for a few to join the competence development process for others to follow and subsequently compete with each other regarding learning about sustainability. The close dialogue with constructors also helped to improve project management’s requirement specifications.

NDS works with 5 overarching strategies, each encompassing the three dimensions
of sustainable development:
1) A vibrant city.
Emphasising the public space as an important area for equality and accessibility for all.
2) Let nature do the work
Harnessing green and blue qualities in improving life quality; for example, laying green rooftops is essential in order to meet requirements.
3) Accessibilty and proximity
Providing proximity to societal services and making fossil fuels as redundant as possible by promoting cycling and pedestrians.
4) Resource efficiency and climate responsibility
Creating smart management systems of energy, waste and engaging in a sharing economy. Moreover, a particular centre for re-use and restoration of used materials
and goods creates new value for artisanry connected to these practices, thus enabling a form of circular knowledge.
5) Participation and consultation

Local collaboration within and between neighbourhoods is emphasised through digital and analogue means. In order to experiment and push boundaries in NDS, R&D projects were welcomed to create innovative solutions with NDS as testbed. All projects were coordinated by the NDS strategic sustainability group, promoting projects in particular areas of interest to form a balanced and diverse portfolio of  outcomes. Projects mainly worked according to triple or quadruple helix models, including C/O City, who developed new tools for assessing green qualities in built environment. 7For the NDS project management, the internal anchoring process of the unusual collaboration forms with construction actors, other cities and research institutesultimately took approximately 3-4 years to accomplish; however, the dialogue that has originated out of this process has become particularly beneficial and probably unprecedented for the City of Stockholm. Moreover, the close dialogue format breeds a higher level of respect and understanding due to mutual learning between actorsand their objectives, as well as an environment of constructive criticism.

No particular method has been utilised to foster co-creation apart from general project management tools; managing the chain of ownership by establishing contact higher up in the municipal management structure, and horizontally between departments, has been key to having the right expertise present at as many meetings and forums as possible.

Outcome & opportunities

NDS is currently the home of 6 000 residents having successively moved in since 2012. NDS won the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group Awards in 2015 in the category of sustainable city district, awarded at the UN Paris Climate Conference. Through its high requirements, NDS has implemented a rich variety of sustainable solutions and more are waiting to be implemented. While apartments will be costly, the new land allocation agreement assigns developers to shaping properties in order to maximise accessibility in public spaces to attract a diversity of citizens.

Lessons learned & recommendations

The early stage is crucial for success in terms of co-creating sustainable solutions and knowledge. Aspects in need of particular attention in this regard are: clarifying the objectives and involvement of each actor, working on a strategic level, harnessing leadership, not giving up, have the courage to evaluate regularly, internal anchoring, revising targets, supporting the creative process and a general intuitive feeling. A particular significance is paid to including sustainable goals from the beginning, instead of pasting it onto already existing structures. A challenge hitherto unmanaged in NDS is the continuous documentation and preservation of knowledge generated in the process, in order to ensure that it lives on into other projects.

Further reading

Norra Djurgårdsstaden

DECODE – Community Design for Conflicting Desires

Research project for designing participatory processes in urban development. National platform for applied research. Based at KTH, research conducted in all participating municipalities of which 5 are within the Stockholm Region.

Challenges

Participatory urban planning processes are gaining more and more relevance in municipal decision-making as the Stockholm region grows. With increasing demands for housing projects, the needs of various social groups need to be taken into account so as not to increase segregation. Decode’s mission is to develop mechanisms in participatory processes for balancing power relations and conflicts of interests.

Civil servants and politicians experience ambiguity regarding the ownership of these types of issues. Relations between municipalities are furthermore structured by complex power dimensions, sometimes aggravating attempts at wider collaboration. Meanwhile, most urban development projects are conducted by default standards, without bringing in new perspectives.

Decode was launched in 2012 by Björn Hellström (then at Konstfack College of Arts and Design) together with researchers from various other disciplines, Upplands Väsby municipality, Sweden Green Building Council (SGBC) and Tyréns architect firm. The initial purpose was, based on the above problem formulation, to develop methodologies for facilitating cross-sectorial and cross-disciplinary collaborations in urban development with a particular emphasis on realising social sustainability goals. SGBC became a particularly essential partner during the course of the project due to them already having created Citylab Action, an educational programme for urban development processes. Citylab is a certification tool for sustainable construction, and Decode is the managing part of Citylab’s process management education.

Good practices & solutions

Since its inception, Decode has been driven by two principles: interdisciplinary methodological development and conscious process design. Together, these principles imply a loosening of disciplinary, professional and sectorial affiliation between participants in order to break up “silos”. Emphasis lies less on contributing to particular fields of knowledge and more on designing the process of urban development for increasing social values for the users.

The above founding partners jointly agreed on emphasising qualitative perspectives rather than quantitative in pursuing these principles. There was from an early stage a general agreement among the participating actors on a well-defined fundamental norm from which the project’s work would emanate; this may be difficult to achieve among so many actors, especially concerning a politically incentive issue such as social sustainability, but Decode managed to find the common denominators of the project group. Although working in different fields, the participants share similar outlooks on the issues of urban development. “We have been a few steps ahead”, says Björn Hellström, as a rather large group have had opportunity to work in the same way within the project. Extensive iteration of project work has also been mentioned as an important asset in this process, which, naturally, requires its due time. A well-needed strength of the project was therefore the stable funding received from Vinnova during successive phases.

Five aspects are seen as essential process leading factors in need of a conscious strategy; organising the project, collaborating within the project, participation (i.e. dialogue and consultation with citizens), communication and innovation. Regarding the innovation aspect, the objective is never to create innovation oneself, but to structure environments and conditions enabling innovative solutions to emerge.

Outcome & opportunities

The knowledge produced by researchers within Decode has been directly applied to the certification system of SGBC’s Citylab. This has provided the certification and education processes with fresh insights of which variables and issues to consider in participatory urban planning. As of now, 17 different research initiatives have been launched and are being published as reports, popularised science (e.g. short movies), articles, et cetera. The idea is that current urban development projects should take advantage of the results of Decode.

Moreover, high level decision-making is a prioritised target for Decode’s results. Of the projects within Vinnova’s Challenge-driven Innovation gaining funding for phase 3, all have been working in one way or another with policy development at a high level, and Decode is no exception to this.

Other observable results of Decode include extended and well-needed contact and meetings between different municipalities. A network of inter- and transdisciplinary urban developers has emerged. “We have created a large … spider’s web”, Hellström concludes.

17 different research studies have been initiated. Results of the researchers’ investigations are all incorporated into the CityLab certification system. This means that sustainability research becomes directly applied into city development processes.

Lessons learned & recommendations

“I don’t believe in one method called co-creation … but I think that the methodology could be a form of co-creation, although then it is about using several different methods”

A clear insight is that urban development projects lack general “stop rules”; there is no way to ultimately and definitely solve a social problem, rather, you need to go over them time and time again in order to manage them.

Citylab Action and Sweden Green Building Council in general have been important indicators of the continuous progress; by using the certification system as a way of trying the relevance of Decode’s overall results and its research processes, the project outcomes have likely been rendered more meaningful and societally useful than they otherwise would have. However, the certification system in itself has proven to be a sometimes blunt tool for practical problem-solving in local contexts, being at times far too generalising instead of locally embedded and also insensitive to many of the inherently qualitative issues of social sustainability.

Dependency on individuals has been a clear experience throughout the project. Whenever certain participants have been replaced, it has required a considerable effort bringing the new one in, not only as an employee, but as a committed driving spirit. The driving spirit dependency is particularly obvious within the participating municipalities. If matters turn towards business-as-usual, progress risks faltering.

Various forms of higher education could be positively affected by specialising in the interdisciplinary methods used by Decode, such as design practices and mindsets in urban development processes. It is particularly difficult to manage a coherent design strategy for urban development processes. The complexity of these processes poses severe obstacles for working as a team; Decode has rather preferred to work with a pluralistic perspective and multiple strategies for dealing with the various cases that participants have approached, instead of choosing one single strategic approach.

Engaged partners and stakeholder groups

KTH, Konstfack College of Arts and Design, Stockholm School of Economics, RISE, SWEDESD (Uppsala), Stockholm University, Södertörn University, Gothenburg Research Institute, Stockholm Centre for Public Sector Research.

Tyréns Architect’s Office, Älvstranden Utveckling.

Sweden Green Building Council.

The Public Art Agency Sweden, National Board of Housing, Building and Planning.

8 municipalities: Norrtälje, Järfälla, Täby, Stockholm, Upplands Väsby.

Outside the Stockholm Region: Gothenburg, Sorsele, Uppsala.

Citizens and city districts.

Further reading

Decode