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Wright, Hannah, 2019. Sollefteå ungrowing : a shrinking perspective on public space from within a growth dependent system. Second cycle, A2E. Alnarp: SLU, Dept. of Landscape Architecture, Planning and Management (from 130101)



This thesis explores public space in shrinking communities and how the development of these spaces is affected by common growth ideals that exist within urban planning. Through literature studies it is found that growth-led planning, driven by the possibility to increase economic value of the urban space, has embedded a dependence on private investors in the development of urban environments. Even though shrinkage is a common phenomenon, acceptance is often low and urban planning usually continue to use conventional planning methods aiming to regenerate growth. This approach is usually unsuccessful and can create issues connected to public space, for example vacant space and negative effects on the social space.

Further, this thesis looks at alternative concepts and phenomena within urban development that take place outside of the growth-paradigm to see what these approaches might offer public spaces within shrinking contexts. A relational view on space and the landscape is identified as one of the key notions when looking at what these alternative approaches can offer shrinking communities. Through this perspective, the complexity of shrinkage and public space in shrinking contexts can be emphasised through an open-endedness and process-focused approach to space that can facilitate to address challenges that exist in these contexts and to base development on current conditions rather than visions of growth.

The topic is then put into a Swedish context through a case study in Sollefteå municipality. The results presented in the case study indicate that the municipality show some of the dynamics described above, where planning is approached through a conventional perspective where the shrinkage has still not been fully accepted and growth continues to be a dominating notion and aim in planning documents. Challenges concerning vacancy, difficulty to carry out plans and challenges in creating attractive social spaces are also observed. The similarities between case and theory, as well as the challenges observed in the case study, indicate that Sollefteå might find opportunities through alternative approaches to planning that have not been offered by the conventional planning currently practiced.

Main title:Sollefteå ungrowing
Subtitle:a shrinking perspective on public space from within a growth dependent system
Authors:Wright, Hannah
Supervisor:Vogel, Nina
Examiner:Farsø, Mads and Mellqvist, Helena
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2019
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:LY002 Landscape Architecture Programme, Alnarp 300 HEC
Supervising department:(LTJ, LTV) > Dept. of Landscape Architecture, Planning and Management (from 130101)
Keywords:shrinking city, public space, growth, alternative planning, Sollefteå
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Landscape architecture
Deposited On:26 Feb 2019 14:00
Metadata Last Modified:02 Jun 2020 13:57

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