Sunday, 9 September 2018

A Scandinavian Safari: Part 2 - Swedish SuDS & Silence

Last week was a little introduction to a series of posts about my summer adventures in (part) of Scandinavia. This week, we head 400km east to Malmö, Sweden's third largest city.

There's a fair bit going on in Malmö in terms of construction and the delivery of new homes. During my wanderings, I came across a development in the Västra hamnen neighborhood to the north of the city, home of the Turning Torso, Scandinavia's tallest building and a former industrial area.

I'll be talking more about the city's walking and cycling infrastructure in a future post, but this week, I want to talk about a new residential development which I stumbled upon in the west of the neighbourhood.

Squeezed in a corner by the coast and the Turning Torso, the new development features high density (but not high-rise) residential dwellings, some restaurants and public open spaces. It's 2km from the heart of the city and so dead easy to travel around by cycle. The photo above is of Barometergaten which loops around the site. Interestingly, a planter has been stuck in the middle of the street to stop motor traffic and despite there being nowhere to drive through to, I wonder if this is an attempt to split up local traffic movements.

Barometergarten is a residential street and in common with large parts of the city, the lines between the road and the footway is blurred, being on a level surface, although the footway area is protected by parking bays entering the street from the larger roads around it, you'll see a "home zone" type sign where cars are the guest. As you move deeper in the development, the space becomes a network of pedestrian priority streets where access is presumably allowed to residents' parking bays and for servicing.

As you can see in the photos above and below, there is parking going on, but it's cycles in the majority. Cycling round this little enclave it became apparent just how quiet it was (although kids were at school at the time).

The space is broken up with planting and hard features to ensure that anyone driving in (and indeed cycling in) do so slowly and we have the feel of a courtyard. There is very little parking and it tends to be associated with the houses rather than the flats - I'm not sure there is much other parking around, but frankly, being 2km from the city does make lots of car ownership pretty pointless. You can see a garage within a house in the photo below.

Another feature of the development which struck me was the surface water management system which starts with downpipes and surface water being directed into little rills (see photo below in front of the pink house).

The rills then connect to larger basins full of plants (two photos below).

Eventually, it all connects to a larger canal within the development (below).

The water then finds its way into the sea via a weir at one end of the development and a canal link to the beach (below).

It's all very nice and according to Wikipedia, it probably helps to explain why this neighbourhood is one of the most expensive in the city!

1 comment:

  1. Just wanted to say that I found this really interesting - inspiring ways our construction industry could better design the urban landscape to make it cycling friendly and accessible. Thanks for sharing!