Skellefteå (Sweden)2024-04-04T15:47:47+02:00

Skellefteå, Sweden

The City

Skellefteå is a city situated along the coast of the Gulf of Bothnia in Northern Sweden, home to 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, the Klockarberget Park, 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 has beem built on the landfill. The pilot site will create a green connection between the Erikslid and Sjungade Dalen residential areas.

The main challenges of this pilot site are the handling of stormwater coming down the Vitberget and turning the public space into an area where citizens can social connect. 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:

  • June 2021: the First Co-creation Workshop was organised online; participants were introduced to the project and shared useful ideas and information
  • November 2021: the Second 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
  • November 2022: 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

VS 1 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. VS 1 also measures water flow and quality by placing measuring devices at four points, as well as incorporating results from existing measuring points (implemented in another project). As of 2023, all measures of water quality and flow are completed. Ditches and ponds in the park improvement were also made in the area as part of another project.

VS 2: Creation of a wetland bed to increase biodiversity  

VS 2 aimed 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. As of 2023, the inventory of species has been made. The wetland bed has been created in another project by buying rolls of grass and placing them on the ground. VARCITIES will complement this with planting of species if necessary.

VS 3: Installation of smart lightning to contribute to an inviting environment and encourage activities in the

VS 3 saw the installation of smart lighting to contribute to an inviting environment and encourage activities in the park. As of 2024, the sensors for the lamp posts and the cables for the lamp posts have been installed.

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

VS 4 provides information, educational material, and interactive instruments to educate and engage citizens on the different VS implemented in the park. An information campaign wasbe 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 were completed during Winter 2022 so the signs themselves were installed in the pilot area in Spring 2023. A large bee hotel (for children playing) was installed in the framework of another project.

VS 5: Creation of space in the park with bee hotels/insect habitats, permanent school-material

VS 5 provides the deployment of open-air classrooms for young students so that educational activities can be organised in a natural setting. It includes the creation of a specific space in the park with bee hotels/insect habitats, as well as building material at the disposal of the students to use to create further hotels/habitats, and permanent educational material such as signs about different species. The outdoor classroom has been designed and ordered. It was installed in the pilot area in spring 2023.

The Visionary Plan on VARCITIES Health & Well-Being Platform

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