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Wikström, Elina, 2022. In search of softness : design strategies for improving walkability and soft mobility in between Spånga station and Rinkebydalen. Second cycle, A2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Urban and Rural Development



For millions of years humans have been walking to move from one space to another. And even though the landscape has changed significantly throughout history, walking remains an essential mode of transport in all environments across the world. Yet af¬ter years of technological development and innovation, other forms of transportation such as cycling, rolling a wheelchair, pushing a stroller or riding an electric scooter have broadened the possibilities for moving throughout the streets and sidewalks of cities. Today, many urban environments around the world are reshaping their street networks to make space for soft mobility and move away from the past notion of prioritising motor-traffic. In doing so, planners and designers must ask what is walkable and how both the physical environment and the services within it affect walkability.

This public life study develops site specific design strategies for strengthening walka¬bility and soft mobility in between Spånga station and Rinkebydalen in Stockholm, Sweden. It does so through point in time public life observations where both human and non-human actors are observed to understand the relational qualities of a space. Moreover, the findings are analysed against an existing set of key dimensions for crea¬ting walkability. The result highlights problems and possibilities with walkability on site today and illustrates how walkability could be improved for several forms of soft mobi¬lity purposes. Additionally, the study highlights more general strategies for strengthe¬ning walkability which could be applied in a broader discussion on walkability and soft mobility.

The study concludes that what is walkable highly depends on the purpose of walking or moving in another form of soft mobility. Furthermore, human senses such as sight, smell, sound and touch all affect soft mobility patterns together with non-human actors such as natural and built objects and micro-climate. Understanding how one actor affects another is essential for designing walkable spaces.

Main title:In search of softness
Subtitle:design strategies for improving walkability and soft mobility in between Spånga station and Rinkebydalen
Authors:Wikström, Elina
Supervisor:Lundvall, Anna
Examiner:Nordh, Helena and Yigit Turan, Burcu
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2022
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:LM009 Landscape Architecture for Sustainable Urbanisation - Master's Programme, 120.0 hp
Supervising department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
(LTJ, LTV) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
Keywords:walkability, soft mobility, physical and service environment, relational qualities, design strategies, Stockholm
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Landscape architecture
Deposited On:01 Sep 2022 07:16
Metadata Last Modified:02 Sep 2022 01:02

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