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Stockholm council ignores Abba great's pleas on Slussen renewal

TT/The Local/dl · 13 Dec 2011, 08:05

Published: 13 Dec 2011 08:05 GMT+01:00

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“This is a historic decision that has been taken. I want Slussen to be a place where people want to spend more than ten minutes,” said Moderate council member Regina Kevius, deputy mayor for city planning and sports, to the TT news agency.

However, opposition members of the Stockholm council remained convinced the plan would be appealed.

Outside the city council’s meeting, more than one hundred people had gathered on Monday evening in a last ditch effort to halt plans to renovate Slussen, a central area of Stockholm named after the locks between Lake Mälaren and the Baltic Sea that was last made over in 1935.

Former Abba frontman Benny Andersson was among those working to put a stop to the planned renewal of Slussen, a project which has been debated in the Swedish capital for years, and which took on new life in 2009 when the city announced a new design for the busy transit and pedestrian link between Stockholm’s Old Town and the island of Södermalm.

The new design would remove many of the existing roads and create several new blocks of buildings close to the waterfront.

Not even Andersson’s pledge to reunite his former Swedish super group was enough to sway enough politicians to defeat the measure authorizing the Slussen project to go forward.

“It didn’t go well at all,” Andersson told the Expressen newspaper of his attempts to bring Kevius around to his point of view on the issue.

“She didn’t want to listen to anything I had to say, but instead answered with a stock phrase, ‘I hear what you’re saying, but I’m going to vote for the existing proposal.’”

After several hours of debate, the council eventually voted in favour of the controversial plan to renovate Slussen.

The opposition attempted to stop the measure by submitting a motion requesting it be sent back for further debate, but the motion was voted down 51-48.

Construction on the “new Slussen” is expected to start in 2013 and by completed by 2020.

Story continues below…

But Social Democrat vice mayor Tomas Rudin is convinced the plan will be appealed.

“I already know of several groups that are going to appeal,” he told TT.

He criticized the fact that such a major decision passed with such a slim majority.

TT/The Local/dl (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

11:09 December 13, 2011 by Beavis
Any ideas why people are protesting against this? Its possibly one of the ugliest,most in need of a complete facelift areas if Stockholm there is. As far as i can make out they want to take down the conctere monstrocoties and replace them with an area similar to other cities with a boardwalk and resteraunts. Are the 100 people just nutjobs or is there some harm being done here? Historical building being torn down, schools etc?
12:14 December 13, 2011 by KungsholmenGuy
@ Beavis I think that most protesters are not clinging to the old Slussen, they are simply immensely unattracted to the new design, which looks a bit like an aircraft carrier got wedged in there sideways (out with the old concrete, in with the new concrete).

The patch of greenery on the left of the image is okay, but for example have a look at picture number 2 in the www.dn.se article about the detailed plan. That monstrosity of glass that is visible from Gamla Stan looks like a huge insect nest, and does not fit in with the more historic buildings to the west, or even on the hill (Mosse Backe area). Is this some attempt to imitate the Louvre glass pyramid?

Agree that changes are needed, but the present design, or maybe the improprer way it has been showcased is behind the protests in my opinion (a couple of watercolours and plastic models, rather than a software program that the architecture company could circulate to allow us to walk, cycle, or drive around in the future slussen, to win people over, if the redesign has true merit).

This is probably the most important waterfront development project for a European capital this decade, and people do not want it to be tasteless.
14:05 December 13, 2011 by philster61
ABBA should just get together anyway. Time is marching on and it would be a shame they didn't perform together at least once before time take its toll.
14:29 December 13, 2011 by Larry Thrash
It's the worst eyesore in Stockholm. Thank goodness politicians are doing something worth while for a change. I don't understand why the project will take so long.
15:01 December 13, 2011 by Jes
ABBA was great . All its former members are legends . But this is no longer 1974 . Like anything else voices grow older . Yes , Agneta can still sing a song with a nice voice . That is what she should do sometimes , instead of trying to trun back the clock . Benny Andersson has done well by showing up every now and then with his band . Why should he stress himself by walking back to something he left behind many years ago ?

Today`s media is not the media of 1977 . Some of these old ABBA s will not be able to take the media`s interfarence of today .

They should ask Diva Diana Ross . She tried to re-unite The Supremes and ended up drinking when the whole thing come down on her ,
16:35 December 13, 2011 by Beavis
@KungsholmenGuy thanks for the info..its a bit sad they didnt listen to the people. Seems to be a regular problem with planning in Sweden. It sounds like they want to make a bad copy of Oslo harbour, which is a bit of a disaster, when what they should really aim for Nyhavn type area in Cph.
18:38 December 13, 2011 by Abe L
They should be focussing on building highways over anything else. This is just a waste of time.
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