In eight different types of dialogues – ranging from drawing narratives at Björkdungen preschool to physical surveys outside the Coop – residents in the area have given their opinions on how they want the Sveafältet/Lundagård district to change to become more pleasant, safe and attractive. The results will now be used as a cornerstone for the development of the area.
– I dare say that this is a completely new way of thinking when it comes to community development,” says Ann Sundberg, Head of Democracy, Communication and Security at the Municipality of Boden.
We come back to the dialogues, what is planned and what is already happening in the district, but stay for a moment with what Ann Sundberg says. Surely Boden is not the first municipality to collect wishes and opinions from citizens?
Definitely not, but what makes this process special is how the work continues after the dialogues.
The descriptions of how the area is used and perceived, both by those living in the district and those living outside, will be central to the continued development of Sveafältet/Lundagård. In concrete terms, this means that the starting point is that future projects should be planned on the basis of the social context of the inhabitants. How they move in, from and to the area. Where they meet other people, how they feel about safety and what actions they would like to see to develop these elements.
A concept that will eventually become part of the future development of the community in Boden.
– We are now starting in the autumn with Erikslund, Fagernäs and Norra Svartbyn. This will be a way to capture the uniqueness of each district and what needs to be developed, both in terms of content and design,” says Emma Lundqvist, urban development strategist at Boden municipality.
This time it was Sveafältet/Lundagård because there have been signals that the district is perceived as unsafe and in some parts maintenance has been neglected. Analyses of the municipality also show that living conditions differ from other residential areas, while it is clear that the district has untapped potential.
To address this, Boden was granted funds from the Delegation Against Segregation (DELMOS). These are now being used to develop the district together with Bodenbo.
It all started with eight different forms of dialogue where over 300 residents have had the opportunity to share their needs, hopes, experiences and use of the site in relation to developing the district. The dialogues have taken place via:
- Physical survey with map outside Coop Svea
- Interview with residents of the detached house area
- Drawing-storytelling with Björkdungens preschool
- Photo diary with families living in the district
- Interviews with newcomers at BIS
- Interviews with pensioners and a well-being group in the district
- Digital survey of traders operating in the district
- Digital survey to residents
A recurring request from citizens was to use the district’s green spaces more intelligently in order to create more meeting places and activity areas for recreation and spontaneous activities.
That’s why the Rifle meeting place is being created. An area that will be developed in three stages and will include a playground, spontaneous activities and the possibility of something that has been requested for a long time and recurred in the conversations and surveys. The possibility of creating plots.
The image above summarises what will be done to the green space and where the different elements will be placed.
The dialogues also revealed that the proximity to the city centre, the neighbours and the diversity that exists in the district create a sense of pride and satisfaction. The grocery store was highlighted as an important hub seen as the center of the neighborhood. The newly built preschool feels inspiring and a symbol of a positive image of the future. The district is perceived as green with large areas and fields where various walking paths are frequently used.
The word ‘close’ is used again and residents feel that they have access to most of the things they need in their daily lives. It is also the proximity to the city centre that is cited as the major advantage of moving to the area.
At the same time, the surveys show that the district is perceived as deprived and a low priority. Views such as unsafe and noisy environment are highlighted. Parts of the area are also not considered suitable for families with children and the environment is visually unattractive. It also points out that integration has failed.
To change this picture, respondents suggest that the perception of safety could be enhanced by improving lighting, reducing the speed of car traffic on certain stretches and reviewing the design of pedestrian and cycle paths as the district has traffic passing through the area.
The dialogues also propose the development of meeting places to bridge language barriers and cultural clashes in order to achieve better integration. Also more activities to achieve this.
Respondents also want to see a refurbishment of cleanliness, facades and public spaces such as noise barriers, traffic lines and footpaths.
These opinions have resulted in five different solutions that will form the basis for the future development of the district. These are summarised at the bottom of the text.
– The hope is that this will lead to a neighbourhood that is perceived as safer and more pleasant, together with Bodenbo and other actors who are building homes in the area. If we look at the area geographically, there is a lot of untapped potential. That makes this project very exciting,” says Ann Sundberg.
Walking areas and trails: connect the green areas and fields of the district with walking and jogging trails in the surrounding area (Pampas, Pagla). Ensure that pedestrian and cycle routes are safe, accessible and well planned with good lighting and well-designed routes for use in all seasons of the year. Use should be made possible for multiple activities, such as commuting, exercise, recreation and for easy travel to and from the city centre. All in all, this provides opportunities for an active lifestyle, close contact with nature and accessible solutions for movement in everyday life. For the residents of the area, the opportunities are close and selective, and for neighbours in adjacent areas, there are natural and logical ways to move in and through the district.
Common square for flexible activities and events: develop a central hub square. The analysis has shown that at present this can be linked to the role of the grocery store, which is the informal centre of the district. A clear and accessible square can provide a physical platform for multiple purposes, activities and events. Which can contribute to community and integration.
Recreation and sports activity areas: the district has the potential to be Boden’s premier outdoor environment with a focus on activity. By developing walking areas with linked activity areas, the area can be characterised by life, movement, natural meeting places and spontaneous activities. The activity areas should be accessible and usable during our different seasons.
Parks and gardens: parks and gardens can be created in the various green spaces and fields of the district. Berry bushes and fruit trees are planted and can be used by everyone. The analysis has shown that it is advocated that quiet and safe areas are created by nature and greenery. Urban farming has proven to have activities that everyone has in common, no matter where you come from or what language you speak. It can provide a platform for independent meetings.
Geographical nodes and hubs: the analysis identified a number of geographical nodes which were identified in the dialogue as relatively passive spaces with no directly definable function or use. These spaces hold development potential for the district and therefore need to be included in holistic solutions.