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Boden and Luleå – the sustainable cities of the future
Boden and Luleå – the sustainable cities of the future

How can the perceived distance between Boden and Luleå be bridged? Some of Sweden’s foremost architects, artists and designers will delve into this question. Four teams have been selected to visualize the future habitats in Boden and Luleå.

In Norrbotten and Västerbotten, one of the largest investments ever in green industry, technology and infrastructure is currently underway. The investment places increased demands on labor and attractive, sustainable environments that make those who live here want to stay and new ones want to move here.

Within the project Imagine: the north, eleven creative teams have been selected to think new about the sustainable, inclusive and beautiful living environments of the future. The project is part of the Council for Sustainable Cities and the EU’s New European Bauhaus initiative. Six municipalities in Norrbotten and Västerbotten get the chance to, together with architects, artists and designers, think freely in the Imagine: the north initiative. Sketching will take place in each municipality during the spring with regard to current restrictions and then the sketches will be refined. The result will be finalized by the summer of 2022.

– New cities and living environments are best created if many different disciplines work together and this is exactly what the call is about. It is an incredibly competent team that now, together with the municipalities, sketches out concrete challenges. Imagine: the north act as a catalyst for future development and provide input to the municipalities’ work and also be able to inspire others, says Helena Bjarnegård, national architect and chair of the Council for Sustainable Cities.

To strengthen development in the region, Luleå and Boden have signed a joint declaration of intent. The vision is for the municipalities, through collaboration, to strengthen their common attractiveness as places of residence and activity for people, companies and institutions.

Luleå Municipality’s city architect Johan Eriksson-Buhr:

– Today it is not enough to just live and work. The municipalities must also be attractive living environments where all hours of the day contribute to a positive and meaningful life. Luleå and Boden have the same labor market and housing region. Together, we can help each other succeed in this transition and with the challenges we face in terms of skills supply and being an attractive region to live in.

– We need to work together to create a common future where our two cities are role models when it comes to attractive living environments. What synergies can we draw from each other’s differences and similarities as cities? How can architecture and design help and contribute to reducing both the physical and mental distance, says Johan Eriksson-Buhr.

Gustav Hamlund, planning architect in the municipality of Boden, believes that the municipalities are facing an unprecedented change and he hopes that the project will lead to the development of the relationship between Boden and Luleå.

– How can we bridge the perceived distance between Boden and Luleå? The question we ask is intentionally open. It’s probably not even the same issue for you as it is for me. If two cities want to get closer to each other, what can it look like? says Gustav Hamlund and continues:

– For us planners, it can mean one thing, but what does it mean for a cultural geographer? A commuter? We need to be humble in the face of not having all the answers, we believe and hope that this project can be part of understanding how we, Boden and Luleå, can develop the relationship between the municipalities.

Team TIP ++

Facts:

  • Behind the call Imagine: the north are, among others, the National Board of Housing, Building and Planning, ArkDes, the Swedish Energy Agency, Vinnova and Formas, through the Council for Sustainable Cities, together with the municipalities of Kiruna, Gällivare, Boden, Luleå, Skellefteå and Umeå.
  • Sketching will take place in each municipality during the spring with regard to current restrictions and then the sketches will be refined. The result will be finalized by the summer of 2022.
  • The result and the project will, among other things, contribute to raising the level of the conversation about the sustainable living environments of the future and be able to be implemented in the municipalities’ strategic planning. The idea is also that it should be possible to spread it to other actors within the large international EU network around the New European Bauhaus.

Boden & Luleå’s case- Twins in the north. How can we bridge the perceived distance between Boden and Luleå?Team: Luleå: Nordic Future Björn Ekelund, Warm in the Winter
Nisse Örnberg, Warm in the Winter
Erik Giudice, Erik Giudice Architects
Gustav Magnusson, Erik Giudice Architects
Christina Eneris, AFRY
Camilla Fransson, AFRY
Lia Ghilardi,
Lia Ghilardi / Univeristy College London
Lisa Torell, Lisa Torell
Press contact for the team: Björn Ekelund, Warm in the Winter, 070 334 77 39

Team Luleå: Fieldstudio
Hildegun Varhelyi, Varhelyi + Varhelyi / SLU
Isabelle Sahba, architect / artist
Michaela Frycklund, Umeå Academy of the Arts
Eliot Axelsson, designer / BOSMAN.XYZ.
Shueyb Abshir Mohamed, Luleå University of Technology
David Varhelyi, Umeå Academy of the Arts
Maryan Abshir Mohamed, Luleå University of Technology
Press contact for the team: Michaela Frycklund, Umeå Academy of the Arts, 0702471012

Team Boden: HallemarHejdelind Veronica Hejdelind, HallemarHejdelind / Committee for the Promotion of Increased Physical Activity, Government Offices
Dan Hallemar, HallemarHejdelind
Carmen Izquierdo, Esencial
Mariano Tellechea, Esencial
Ida-Maria Classon Frangos, Landskapslaget Johannes Samuelsson, freelance / own company
Press contact for the team: Veronica Hejdelind, HallemarHejdelind, 0730-727274

Team Boden: Team TIP ++ Anna Sundman, Theory Into Practice (TIP)
David Väyrynen, freelance / own company
Magnus Björkman, TIP Nils Björling, Chalmers ACE
Nils Borg, Borg & co
Veronika Borg, Borg & co

Press contact for the team: Magnus Björkman, TIP ++, 0736-476594

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