PLUS_PLUS och 2021

PLUS_PLUS and The Growing City 2021

As mentioned under the heading ‘UNO and the SDN’s new regulations,’ in 2011 the city districts were given a new duty. The new regulations involve the delegation of responsibility for citizen dialogues on urban development – concerning the physical environment – to the city district level. This has been received with enthusiasm at the local level in Hammarkullen. Both civil servants and active residents are mobilized to take on the new challenge. Suddenly they have an opportunity to coordinate the social and physical environment, which has been difficult for the city district councils in the past, when they were responsible for ‘soft’ issues, while ‘hard’ issues were dealt with centrally. A development process is now beginning where residents are involved in driving it forward.

As a part of this work, the pilot project was working on an idea that could make Hammarkullen a forerunner in linking social and environmental aspects, which in turn could positively affect Hammarkullen’s reputation. The goal, however, is to do this without gentrification and without exclusion. The idea behind PLUS_PLUS is that one building – and eventually perhaps a whole area – would be renovated in such a way as to give ‘plus’ energy, not just electricity or heat, but also a ‘plus’ for social aspects such as democracy, security, inclusion, openness, creativity, etc. The question is, thus, how we can create ‘plus’ energy buildings in a way that promotes the existing social environment – the people who already live there, in their housing units, their associations, their businesses and their stores. The idea is that PLUS_PLUS should be a collaborative process in which the city district’s various community developers create something together. Those working now to push the idea forward are, in addition to the pilot project and residents of Hammarkullen, the Technical Research Institute of Sweden, the City District Committee of Angered, Göteborgslokaler (a city-owned commercial property company) and Bostadsbolaget (a city-owned housing company).

This is a very interesting theme to focus considering that Gothenburg will celebrate its 400th anniversary in 2021. The question is: What should we celebrate and how? In 2011, the city executive board appointed seven groups to develop their different visions of what is worth focusing on and what the process should look like during the ten years left in which to realize these visions. The pilot project was part of a group called ‘The Growing City,’ and stressed the question of what importance resident influence has in city development in relation to globalization, climate change and society’s changing governance, with its increasingly prominent elements of network management and partnership.