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Swedish firm Kjellander Sjöberg wins Nordic design competition

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The winning proposal for the Nordic Built City Challenge

The winning proposal for the Nordic Built City Challenge

The project It Takes a Block has been announced as the winner for the design innovation competition – The Nordic Built City Challenge – for the Swedish site in Sege Park in Malmö.

Kjellander+ Sjöberg developed the winning proposal along with the Danish landscape practices Sted and BOGL, Atkins consultancy and students from LTH. It presents affordable housing based on climate-smart and community-based solutions for liveable and sustainable smart cities.

The challenge is a part of Nordic Built Cities – a lighthouse programme in the Nordic Co-operation Programme for Innovation and Business Policies 2014-2017. Denmark is lead country for the programme and responsible for its implementation in cooperation with the four other Nordic governments, the Nordic Council of Ministers and Nordic Innovation (NI).

The competition driven bottom up project that tried to mobilise both local communities, city governments and the business community via a three step approach: first it engages citizens and municipalities in proposing sustainable development projects needed in their local community; then it engages businesses to solve these challenges, and finally it promotes an export programme of the Nordic solutions emanating from this process.

For instance, in Malmo, Sweden, Sege Park, an old hospital area, was the focus of the competition, how to turn it into a showcase for sustainable urban development and a climate-smart lifestyle. The City of Malmo issued a sustainability plan for the area that describes its ambitions concerning energy self-sufficiency, mobility solutions and the community’s benefits of the site’s green spaces.

“The challenge is to find solutions to how we can build climate-smart neighbour-hoods at a reasonable price for the people who live and work there,” says Project Manager Linnea Uppsäll of the City of Malmo.

“Our aim is to have solutions that contribute to meeting the IPCC’s goal of not exceeding a CO2 load of two tons per person per year.”

Specifically, the proposal combines a number of strategies in order to support a sustainable lifestyle with a focus on sharing as a way to reduce resource consumption. There are several common facilities within the urban block, such as a canteen and a cultural centre.

The roof terraces are equipped with greenhouses and a water centre with a bath and a laundry room. These shared functions and spaces allow for smaller living spaces whilst maintaining or even improving the living quality.

Open and flexible spaces connected to space-efficient functions are a common theme for both the indoor and outdoor design. The residents are encouraged to use the block and living areas as efficiently and innovatively as possible to suit their needs. The prize was awarded during the Nordic Built Cities Benchmarking Forum in Helsinki.

Mr. Johan Pitura told The Guardian “we have applied our model to the specifics of a single block in Sege Park. We have also explored a deeper role for trees through the urban arboretum, as a long-term investment in green identity for the area, and a way to engage Malmö’s citizens in the area before the building of the area starts.

“Sege Park will house a research center, where research and development of the potentials of trees can take place – both for trees as urban element and material. Increased use of sustainable wood in construction could contribute to a more sustainable growth, cheaper and better construction and new jobs. New timber products and timber construction techniques have been developed, offering highly sustainable solutions – something Sege Park will explore and develop further.”


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