What is experienced as "good" or "bad" among ordinary people often goes un-articulated and is ignored in urban planning and design processes. Instead, solutions are often based on temporary aesthetic trends, economic beliefs and priorities of planners, politicians or architects.
However, such beliefs are often detached from the everyday experiences of the people. Better knowledge about these experiences can help create a more inclusive design and planning process.
The Stockholm Resilience Centre in collaboration with Färgfabriken, an exhibition centre and meeting place for architecture and urban development, have designed a website that helps visualise the daily experiences of people living in Stockholm.
Personal experiences of Stockholm
On the Var är ditt Stockholm? website (now closed) inhabitants of Stockholm could map places in the city that are associated with both positive and negative experiences. The website was developed in conjunction with an exhibition at Färgfabriken called "Experiment Stockholm".
"We want to give people in Stockholm the possibility to express themselves as co-creators in the development of the city"
Matteo Giusti and Stephan Barthel, project leaders
Researchers from Stockholm Resilience Centre argue that the relations between physical landscapes and the routines of the inhabitants in Stockholm form their image of the city.
"Cities are more than streets and buildings, they are our stories, memories and feelings for certain places," says Matteo Giusti.
Good and bad places
Giusti and Barthel want to explore how the different areas of Stockholm allow for a wide variety of experiences.
"Some enjoy Stockholm’s urban forests because they trail run or mushroom hunt, some prefer to socialize by the waters of Stockholm, while others enjoy more being immersed in the commercial vibe of Drottninggatan, one of the city’s main shopping streets."
However, they also want to know what areas are connected with negative experiences and feelings.
"We are also looking for examples of areas that for various reasons give the people of Stockholm a negative experience. These are just as important when it comes to future development of the city," they say.
The results obtained from the project will be presented and explained to public authorities in December 2015.
Matteo Giusti is a PhD student. His Ph.D. project "Urban Reconnection with the Biosphere" revolves on how to
create spatial configurations of urban nature that support the
psychological foundation for environmental stewardship – identification with nature.
Stephan Barthel's research focuses on environmental issues in metropolitan landscapes, with focus on social features that have a bearing on the capacity to manage and design for urban biodiversity and ecosystem services.
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