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'Green residents only' for new Stockholm district

The Local/vt · 9 Nov 2010, 13:15

Published: 09 Nov 2010 13:15 GMT+01:00

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Demands on prospective residents of the Royal Seaport (Norra Djurgårdsstaden) would include sorting waste, engaging in healthy eating habits, using public transportation or cycling, buying eco-friendly brands, exercising, participating in carpools and socialising with neighbours, newspaper Dagens Nyheter (DN) wrote on Tuesday.

Special courses would also be offered so residents could learn the latest in green-living techniques.

"Living environmentally smart is obviously the most important part of the project. However, the social dimension is also included in order to create a sense of connection, as well as arranging meeting places where people can meet and get to know the community," environmental and sustainability strategist Tomas Gustafsson told DN.

The new city council passed through an environmental programme for Stockholm's new prestige project with virtually no debate. Those who move in must, according to the city of Stockholm, understand the aims and become actively involved.

"A hypothetical individual could ignore these guidelines, but people do not work like that," Stockholm vice mayor for the elderly and urban development Joakim Larsson, who is also the chairman of the development committee that is coordinating the project, told the newspaper.

Stockholmers are very environmentally conscious and many are interested in such a lifestyle, Larsson believes.

It will not be enough to simply build energy-efficient homes, find smart solutions and supply a strong public transportation system in order to achieve the ambitious goals outlined by city politicians.

Construction on the initial approximately 700 homes in the Hjorthagen area in Stockholm's northeast opposite the island of Lidingö began this year and the first residents are scheduled to move into the district in 2012. The project is expected to be completed in 2025.

A total of about 5,000 homes will be built in the area, in addition to services and commercial activities. Hjorthagen currently has about 2,200 residents and is served by the red Stockholm metro line to Ropsten station.

The development is on a former brownfield industrial area encompassing 236 hectares and is currently one of Europe's largest urban development projects. The Royal Seaport is a model for the future of Stockholm, Larsson added.

"Hammarby Sjöstad has boosted the city's reputation significantly, even internationally, but it is now almost a little like old news. With the Royal Seaport, we want to show off and market Stockholm at the forefront," he said.

Residents of the new district will receive help from a "residents' school" (Boskolan), area ambassadors, networks and different activities to take part in its environmental profile.

"People will receive help along the way. When one buys a technical gadget, one receives a comprehensive instruction book, but it usually does not come with a new resident when one moves into an apartment," said Gustafsson.

Story continues below…

In addition to learning about technical solutions such as how to use a garbage disposer, measure the amount of much water one uses and rubbish one throws away, since it is charged individually, the Boskolan will also deal with healthy eating and how to buy eco-friendly goods.

Public health and exercise are part of the sustainable lifestyle for the Royal Seaport. Every resident will be offered a personalised itinerary to and from work. The nature areas of a nearby national park will be used for health-oriented activities. Cars, boats and canoes can be rented, as well as tents and backpacks for hikers.

The city is also planning for only an average of half a parking space per apartment to discourage car ownership.

"We believe very much in carpooling. I see a change both in technology and in people's habits," said Gustafsson.

The Local/vt (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

15:31 November 9, 2010 by hogar2010
Vow, everything under command of authorities, that's dictatorship.
15:42 November 9, 2010 by Rishonim
This project is bound to fail and sole reason is this "socialising with neighbours" That would never happen. It will be particularly hard if one is not sauced up. Not in this Sweden of mine. Nope..
15:46 November 9, 2010 by millionmileman
16:02 November 9, 2010 by RobinHood
This is seriously scary. Joakim Larsson and Tomas Gustafsson are seriosly scary. When the international press get hold of this story, Stockholm is going to be a laughing stock.

Would a very rich person with a sense of humour please buy a flat at the Royal Seaport and then break all the rules. It would make a fantastic blog, or a hidden camera type documentary.
18:16 November 9, 2010 by Tusker
We are watching your comments. These will be kept on record, forever.

Renegades from the dictated norm will be converted into Green Manure and your children sent for re-education at the Pol Pot Memorial College, 300 Kms north of Haparanda.

We already know who you smokers are, as well.

Best wishes, your true friends, the thought police
18:45 November 9, 2010 by calebian22
In the 1880's they called special places where crazy people lived, loony bins. In 2010, it is called a climate neutral district.
19:06 November 9, 2010 by Swedesmith
Sounds like a really great concept, but you cannot legislate morality.
19:26 November 9, 2010 by kenny8076
Sounds like Scat-land
19:27 November 9, 2010 by mjennin2
Communism sounded like a good idea on paper, too. And we all know how THAT turned out.

"*DEMANDS* on prospective residents...would include...engaging in healthy eating habits...buying eco-friendly brands, exercising..."

Please tell me how city officals are going to monitor these, among other things? And are tax dollars really going to be willingly spent on the enforcement of the *demands* on residents to exercise?

OMG...Sven bought a non-eco friendly tube of toothpaste...somebody report him, he needs to be fined 750Kr for that offense!
19:34 November 9, 2010 by Syftfel
"Stringent regulations when it comes to exercize, diet, liftsyle, public transportation"??? Here, for once, is a case where the DO should immediately be brought in!!! This has to be Discrimination with a big "D". Instead of, as ususal, wasting time on irrelevant topics, bring in the DO now, to investigate this blatant case of exclusivity and disctriminatory practices. I demand it!! Now!!! What's next? A town for blond blueeyed people only???
19:56 November 9, 2010 by svenskamerikansk
This sounds like a script lifted from a futuristic police state dystopia sci-fi flick ...or Aldous Huxley's 'Brave New World'.

Either way, it sounds like a version of hell.
20:14 November 9, 2010 by samwise
are these bleeding heart communists elected by the local residents? I don't care if they run experiments only on themselves. It's better than running on the rest of us I suppose.
20:24 November 9, 2010 by Tall swede
Who wrote this piece of very eco friendly fertilizer? How could you write things like "demands" and "stringent regulations" when a quote later is "A hypothetical individual could ignore these guidelines"? You just provoke the commentators to think this is some cult.

They plan to include all these things in their planning of the area, and then hand out instructions to the residents how to maximize the use of their planning and how to maximize their eco friendliness, not form a eco cult with 24/7 surveillance.
20:41 November 9, 2010 by mjennin2
@Tall swede ~ the article specifically says:

"DEMANDS on prospective residents of the Royal Seaport (Norra Djurgårdsstaden) would include sorting waste, engaging in healthy eating habits, using public transportation or cycling, buying eco-friendly brands, exercising, participating in carpools and socialising with neighbours, newspaper Dagens Nyheter (DN) wrote on Tuesday."

True, you are correct that it later says,

"A hypothetical individual could ignore these guidelines..."

But then it says in the same sentence:

"...but people do not work like that,"

Essentailly denoting that while one could theoretically "break the rules", in reality, no one would.

And it also says prior to this that "Those who move in MUST, according to the city of Stockholm, understand the aims and become actively involved."

And that "It will not be enough to simply build energy-efficient homes, find smart solutions and supply a strong public transportation system in order to achieve the ambitious goals outlined by city politicians."

If you read between the lines (or perhaps just read the article as it is clearly written!), assuredly this not only has FAIL written all over it, but that the Thought Police will be all over this community to ensure that it meets the brand standard that Stockholm is aiming to achieve in the world's eyes.
21:12 November 9, 2010 by Tall swede
Ok, we have this article, with serious inconsistencies (demands, regulations contra "could ignore"). Both cant be right. So lets see what is most likely:

The local, a newspaper that lacks all credibility and copies most articles from aftonbladet, a know sensationalist paper that exaggerates everything. The local then claims a dictatorship will form in stockholm with gestapo surveillance that will force everyone to buy eco toothpaste and socialize with neighbours under the ever watching eye of the police.

OR; city planners who try to incorporate everything in the planning of a new area. This has been done before, with tvättstugor designed to make neighbors socialize and community areas all over, but never ever been enforced in any way by anyone.

And the article in DN do not use nearly as strong words to describe the responsibilities of the residents. Only "we offer to", "we have to make them understand" and "people will get help to"
22:08 November 9, 2010 by Swedesmith
If you don't comply with the eco-rules the Green Gestapo will have you vaporized in an (electricity producing) oven and your ashes composted.
00:33 November 10, 2010 by Beavis
Glad the red greens didnt get in..or else this could have been a reality!
01:18 November 10, 2010 by mjennin2
@Tall Swede: hehe, true true. Touché. :)

But then again, couldn't Aftonbladet have just used lagom ordflöde ? :D
01:25 November 10, 2010 by aab05001
I'm really sick of this hypocricy in Sweden. caring (or more rightly :claiming to care) too much about environment, animal rights and so on and so forth.....how can we belive this garbage and we have seen how the swedish police brutally mistreated a so-called terrorism suspect in front of his children and savagery pointed the guns at kids and barbarically questioned a10-year old boy?!

how are we to belive the so-called swedish peaceful and environmentally model and at the same time Sweden manufactures deadly weapons and gives it to the Americans and the so-called 'Israelis' to massacre Iraqis and Palestinians respectively....how are we to beleive the swedish model and at the same time Sweden is involved in occupying Afghanistan in which, as Whikileaks revealed, the Western forced committed brutalities and atrocities......!
07:04 November 10, 2010 by crofab
Oh please all these comments about dictatorship are ridiculous. Nobody is going to be forced to live there. It's simply a matter of making sure those who do choose to live there will agree to live in an environmentally-friendly manner -- if they don't want to, then they don't need to live there. It's as simple as that. There are plenty of us who are capable of understanding the importance of living in an environmentally-friendly manner and find the idea of living that way very enjoyable.
07:29 November 10, 2010 by sadpuppy
I'm just amazed at how many people who make comments on this website seem to hate everything (and anyone) Swedish. Has someone forced you to live there? I for one would gladly move back. Every country has it's pro's and con's and Sweden is definitely not without pro's in my opinion.
08:01 November 10, 2010 by LostInSweden
I will move there NOW - but ONLY if my income tax will be 0! and I promise to pet my plants with love and take good care of every blade of grass... Utopia I am comiiiiiiiiing!
08:43 November 10, 2010 by Rick Methven
Healthy eating?

Wonder if Mcdonalds will open up there:lol
08:44 November 10, 2010 by hilt_m
Instead of limiting the number of car parking spaces, why not increase them but only for enviro friendly cars, or use the ticketing money to improve the environment. Much of the things discussed in this are already done by many living in Stockholm.
12:48 November 10, 2010 by eppie
Anyone familiar with the bostadsrätt system in Sweden?

Also there you can be forced to move away from your apartment if you continue to break the rules the förening sets.

This is exactly the same so stop whining.
14:36 November 10, 2010 by WelshSwede
Healthy Eating? Do they not realise that buying vegetables in Sweden costs a fortune compare to UK and as for Eco friendly food?

Nice idea with most of it, but to dictate how you live is beyond mental.
14:38 November 10, 2010 by William Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha
It's not exactly the same. I don't know of any apartment rules which specify what you can eat, what you can buy or who monitor whether or not you exercise.
15:14 November 10, 2010 by seychelle_18
I agree with Rishonim. The biggest challenge among all these things are ''socializing with neighbors''. I would be very very surprise if one day my neighbor would knock on my doors and have a simple talk with me. Or maybe I could do the other way around risking the fact that they would give me a very frightened or suspicious look from their face.
18:41 November 10, 2010 by greytdogz
As far as I understand, it is YOUR choice to live there. If you choose to, you should make sure that you understand all the rules and regulations before you move.

It is a good idea for people to become environmentally/eco-friendly and there are many other places popping up worldwide that cater to eco-friendly living. Maybe not to the extent that this place will, but it was bound to happen. And there will be people that choose to live there...
01:37 November 11, 2010 by nimshubur
Socialize with neighbors? We're SWEDES. We don't do that. That would be like talking about emotions, or something equally wrong.
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