News 2016-09-19

Safer neighbourhoods with resident-driven refurbishments

Feelings of security and inclusiveness are fostered when inhabitants play an active role in the renewal of their urban districts. This is apparent in the recently completed SuburbanLab project, aimed to modernize and upgrade urban areas built during the Million Programme public housing era. In the Stockholm suburb of Alby residents have participated in the design of new outdoor lighting for a hill walkway and in the creation of urban farming plots.

Half of the world's population already lives in an urban environment. Creating attractive and sustainable cities and suburbs together with those who live and work there has become increasingly important. Forums for co-creation, known as Urban Living Labs, have enabled the inhabitants of Alby to involve themselves in the development and implementation of several local refurbishment projects - among these the illumination of a hillside walkway.

– Since the introduction of the innovative ambient illumination and lighting installations, designed by residents, the sense of security has increased along the walkway and the route has become more attractive. On top of that has the energy consumption halved by the LED technology. There is also great potential to scale up to other districts, both within the municipality and elsewhere in Sweden. This will save energy and leverage security even further, says Anja Karlsson, project manager at IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute.

The SuburbanLab project has focused on a wide range of sustainability aspects. In addition to renovating living spaces these have been made more attractive by creating sustainable social corridors between housing – where security is a key factor.

In addition to the “New light on Alby Hill” initiative, two other Urban Living Lab have been carried out in Alby, and three in Peltosaari in Finland. As an integral part of the projects, the Urban Living Labs are continually evaluated to gauge impact on sustainability issues.

Find out more about Urban Living Labs and read the report here.

For more information, please contact:

anja.karlsson@ivl.se, +46 (0)10-788 66 49