Skellefteå (Sweden)2023-05-11T10:18:01+02:00

Skellefteå, Sweden

The City

Skellefteå is a city situated along the coast of the Gulf of Bothnia in Northern Sweden, home of approximately 73.000 inhabitants on an area of 6800 square kilometres. Located around 300 kilometres south of the Arctic Circle, Skellefteå has a vibrant mix of sparsely populated countryside and a dense city centre. With a history of entrepreneurship based on forestry and mining, the city has developed into an area where renewable power and the long industrial experience with a strong intellectual infrastructure support the growth of new industries.

The Pilot

Transforming an old landfill area into a residential and educational area using green & blue solutions

The pilot site is located a couple of kilometres from the centre of Skellefteå, close to an old city landfill. The landfill was covered up prior to the development of industrial buildings, road works as well as a district heating facility and a fuelling station. A new residential area with family housing of different kinds is built on the landfill in the area Erikslid and the pilot area Klockabergsparken (the Klockarberget park) will tie Erikslid to the Sjungade dalen residential area, thereby creating a green connection in between.

The main challenges of this pilot site are the handling of stormwater coming down Vitberget, as well as the need to make the area a more socially connecting place for people to interact. With regard to health and well–being, the goals are to improve the sense of safety, recreation, and relaxation, as well as reduction of stress.

Five visionary solutions will be financed by VARCITIES with the objectives of creating urban resilience through natural infrastructure, increasing biodiversity by creating a wetland bed, and advancing citizens’ awareness of climate change and the importance of biodiversity.

Several co-creation events were already organised as part of VARCITIES:

  • In June 2021 the 1st co-creation workshop was organised online; participants were introduced to the project and shared useful ideas and information
  • In November 2021 the 2nd co-creation workshop was organised in-person in a house by the pilot area. Stakeholders were invited to give their feedback on the design of the Visionary Solutions and a walk through the pilot area was organised
  • In November 2021, Skellefteå organised their Town Hall Event to present the progress made on each VS before the start of the implemtentation phase. The event was combined with an exhibition and an activity-day for pre-school and school children.

The Visionary Solutions

VS 1: Build natural infrastructure to create urban resilience

VS1 provides improvements of the waterways in the park, making it more attractive to visitors and nearby residents, encouraging people to spend more time in the park. The project also measures water flow and quality by placing measuring devices at four points, as well as incorporating results from existing measuring points (another project). All measures of water quality and flow are completed, the results are yet to be summarised. Adjustments of ditches and ponds were made in another project.

VS 2: Creation of a wetland bed to increase biodiversity  

This solution aims to use stormwater to create wetland bed by allowing the new green space area to be partially flooded and to foster planting of indigenous species on the wetland bed. The unventory of species has been made. The wetland bed has been created in another project by buying pieces of meadow and placing it on the ground.  VARCITIES will complement this with planting of species if necessary.

VS 3: Innovative lighting solutions

This VS foresees the installation of smart lighting to contribute to an inviting environment and encourage activities in the park. The sensors for the lamp posts have been ordered and The cables for the lamp posts have been installed.

VS 4: Educating and engaging citizens to level-up their awareness of climate change and the importance of biodiversity

This Visionary Solution provides information, educational material, and interactive solutions to educate and engage citizens on the solutions in the park. An information campaign will be addressed to nearby residents, pre-schools, schools, and city residents to impart knowledge about pilot goals, and to enable them to get project updates. Information signs in the park will help engage and educate visitors about the nature-based solutions. The design of the information signs was discussed and needed to be adjusted to fit the visual identity of the municipality. The designs will be completed during Winter 2022 so the signs themselves will be installed in the pilot area in Dpring 2023. A large bee hotel (for children playing) was installed in the framework of another project.

VS 5: Creation of a space in the park with bee hotels/insect habitats, permanent school material (school in nature, bee hotels)

This Visionary Solution provides open-air classrooms to young students so that they may receive education in natural settings. It includes creation of space in the park with bee hotels/insect habitats plus building material that students can use to create hotels/habitats, and permanent educational material such as signs about different species. The outdoor classroom has been designed and ordered. It will be installed in the pilot area in spring 2023. Ground works have been done on the spot where the classroom will be built.

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