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Five perfect cafés for studying or working in Malmö

Malmö is home to a growing number of students, while the city’s creative industries have brought a large number of freelancers. Here are some of our favourite cafés to head to with your laptop in Sweden's third city.

Five perfect cafés for studying or working in Malmö
The new university has brought a lot of students to Malmö. Photo: Kentaroo Tryman/Imagebank Sweden
Bröd och Vänner 
 
An oasis of cosiness on the otherwise bleak Nobeltorget square, Bröd och Vänner (Bread and Friends) is a favourite for freelancers and students, with just as many customers tapping away on laptops as chatting over lunch or breakfast.
 
Christer Havung started the café to fulfil a passion for sourdough baking, after fleeing Stockholm’s advertising industry. It shows. The bread — especially the levain, roffe and malte loaves — is fantastic. The cinnamon and cardamom rolls are contenders for Malmö’s best, as are the almond semlor which are just coming into season. If you want a more substantial lunch, the salads, soups and quiches are good too.
 
The best thing, though, is the atmosphere. The clientele is diverse, taking in everyone from builders to local hipsters, the music is unobtrusive but deftly chosen, and the slightly kooky staff keep it all humming along nicely.
 
Address: Nobelvägen 44 
 

 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 

 
 

 
 
 

A post shared by P4 Malmöhus Sveriges Radio (@p4malmohus) on Oct 15, 2018 at 1:39am PDT

 
St Knuts Café and Bageri 
 
There is nothing trendy about St Knuts Café & Bageri. Lebanese owner Walid Ahmad Charif refuses free coffee refills and grumbles about people just coming for the wifi, but nevertheless it is popular among digital nomads. 

It is good value, however, particularly if you go for the 55-kronor omelette and coffee combo. Lebanon’s French influence means Charif and his team make decent croissants. And it somehow feels like a Swedish konditori despite the soundtrack of classic Arabic music. From spring to autumn, the cafe puts tables out on the square, making it one of Malmö's best places to while away a summer afternoon. 
 
Address: S:t Knuts torg
 

 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 

 
 

 
 
 

A post shared by Ahmad Ahmad ???? (@ifbbpro_ahmad) on Nov 17, 2015 at 1:31am PST

 
Kaffé Doffeln
 
Under his contract, co-owner Jakob de Vries had just two weeks to decorate this café space by Malmö’s Triangeln station before opening it at the end of 2012. Making it cosy has been a gradual process, with a new floor, new lights and new furniture arriving piecemeal over the years.
 
Originally intended to serve commuters to Lund and Copenhagen, Doffeln is increasingly drawing a crowd of freelancers and students drawn by its relaxed atmosphere for working. Croissants and coffee are priced to tempt the commuter crowd, so are good value, although you do have to pay for refills. 
 

 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 

 
 

 
 
 

Öppettider 30/4 kl. 8-17 & 1/5 kl. 8-17? Ha en trevlig helg!

A post shared by Kafé Doffeln (@doffeln) on Apr 27, 2018 at 2:38am PDT

 
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Camoccia Café
 
When Median Zannoun opened Camoccia café on a corner of Malmö’s Möllevången Square in 2014 he said he wanted it to be a place where “all types of people can meet — rich and poor — everyone”.

With its unusual fake cavern interior and Italian ice cream, the café is arguably one of the most integrated places in the city, drawing the city's intelligentsia, who loudly debate politics and play backgammon on the tables outside, as well as freelancers and students with laptops in tow.

 
Address: Smedjegatan 1 
 

 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 

 
 

 
 
 

 

A post shared by @ donacharlotta on Aug 13, 2017 at 4:40am PDT

 
Jord 
 
Jord is another popular spot for laptop warriors. Light streams in through the glass windows which make up two of sides of the long rectangular rooms, where a mostly young crowd (early 20s to early 30s) chat, type, or plot their film scripts in expensive looking notebooks. The food is vegan or vegetarian, with an all-day breakfast buffet featuring imaginative healthy fare such as “carrot cake porridge”. 
 
Address: Falsterbogatan 1
 

 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 

 
 

 
 
 

A post shared by frukost, fik och butik. (@jordmalmo) on Nov 17, 2018 at 5:16am PST

 
 
 

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SHOOTINGS

US criminologist lauds Malmö for anti-gang success

The US criminologist behind the anti-gang strategy designed to reduce the number of shootings and explosions in Malmö has credited the city and its police for the "utterly pragmatic, very professional, very focused" way they have put his ideas into practice.

US criminologist lauds Malmö for anti-gang success
Johan Nilsson/TT

In an online seminar with Malmö mayor Katrin Stjernfeldt Jammeh, David Kennedy, a professor at New York’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice, said implementing his Group Violence Intervention (GVI) strategy had gone extremely smoothly in the city.

“What really stands out about the Malmö experience is contrary to most of the places we work,” he said. “They made their own assessment of their situation on the ground, they looked at the intervention logic, they decided it made sense, and then, in a very rapid, focused and business-like fashion, they figured out how to do the work.”

He said that this contrasted with police and other authorities in most cities who attempt to implement the strategy, who tend to end up “dragging their feet”, “having huge amounts of political infighting”, and coming up with reasons why their city is too different from other cities where the strategy has been a success.

Malmö’s Sluta Skjut (Stop Shooting) pilot scheme was extended to a three-year programme this January, after its launch in 2018 coincided with a reduction in the number of shootings and explosions in the city.

“We think it’s a good medicine for Malmö for breaking the negative trend that we had,” Malmö police chief Stefan Sintéus said, pointing to the fall from 65 shootings in 2017 to 20 in 2020, and in explosions from 62 in 2017 to 17 in 2020.

A graph from Malmö police showing the reduction in the number of shootings from 2017 to 2020. Graph: Malmö Police
A graph from Malmö police showing the reduction in the number of explosions in the city between 2017 and 2020. Graph: Malmö Police

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In their second evaluation of the programme, published last month, Anna-Karin Ivert, Caroline Mellgren, and Karin Svanberg, three criminologists from Malmö University, reported that violent crime had declined significantly since the program came into force, and said that it was possible that the Sluta Skjut program was partly responsible, although it was difficult to judge exactly to what extent. 

The number of shootings had already started to decline before the scheme was launched, and in November 2019, Sweden’s national police launched Operation Rimfrost, a six-month crackdown on gang crime, which saw Malmö police reinforced by officers from across Sweden.

But Kennedy said he had “very little sympathy” for criminologists critical of the police’s decision to launch such a massive operation at the same time as Sluta Skjut, making it near impossible to evaluate the programme.

“Evaluation is there to improve public policy, public policy is not there to provide the basis for for sophisticated evaluation methodology,” he argued.

“When people with jobs to do, feel that they need to do things in the name of public safety, they should follow their professional, legal and moral judgement. Not doing something to save lives, because it’s going to create evaluation issues, I think, is simply privileging social science in a way that it doesn’t deserve.”

US criminologist David Kennedy partaking in the meeting. Photo: Richard Orange

Sluta Skjut has been based around so-called ‘call-ins’, in which known gang members on probation are asked to attend meetings, where law enforcement officials warn them that if shootings and explosions continue, they and the groups around them will be subject to intense focus from police.

At the same time, social workers and other actors in civil society offer help in leaving gang life.

Of the 250-300 young men who have been involved in the project, about 40 have been sent to prison, while 49 have joined Malmö’s ‘defector’ programme, which helps individuals leave gangs.

Kennedy warned not to focus too much on the number of those involved in the scheme who start to work with social services on leaving gang life.

“What we find in in practice is that most of the impact of this approach doesn’t come either because people go to prison or because they take services and leave gang life,” he said.

“Most of the impact comes from people simply putting their guns down and no longer being violent.”

“We think of the options as continuing to be extremely dangerous, or completely turning one’s life around. That’s not realistic in practice. Most of us don’t change that dramatically ever in our lives.”

He stressed the importance of informal social control in his method, reaching those who gang members love and respect, and encouraging them to put pressure on gang members to abstain from gun violence.

“We all care more about our mothers than we care about the police, and it turns out that if you can find the guy that this very high risk, very dangerous person respects – literally, you know, little old ladies will go up to him and get his attention and tell him to behave himself. And he will.”

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