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Sweden: The Life and Death and Life of Great Neighbourhood Centres

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Swedish planning after World War II had many similarities with The Netherlands. In the 1950s planning in general resulted in human scale neighbourhoods and centres. They were planned with the intention of creating pleasant environments that would foster democracy and culture. But during the ten years around 1970, these ideas faded, and the prime objective was to produce one million dwellings in ever larger neighbourhood units, as the retail lobbyists required larger and larger catchment areas.

Today, the neighbourhood centres face problems of survival. Many small centres have ceased to be centres for the neighbourhood as the former grocery stores have been replaced by pet shops, dry cleaners etc, with a regional scope. Some large centres, like Vllingby in Stockholm, are subject to massive investment, to enable them to compete on a regional scale; a few, like Rinkeby also in Stockholm, are trying to adjust to the local population needs, in this case with a large proportion of non-native Swedes.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2006-04-01

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  • Built Environment is published quarterly in March, June, September and December. With an emphasis on crossing disciplinary boundaries and providing global perspective, each issue focuses on a single subject of contemporary interest to practitioners, academics and students working in a wide range of disciplines. Issues are guest-edited by established international experts who not only commission contributions, but also oversee the peer-reviewing process in collaboration with the Editors.

    Subject areas include: architecture; conservation; economic development; environmental planning; health; housing; regeneration; social issues; spatial planning; sustainability; urban design; and transport. All issues include reviews of recent publications.

    The journal is abstracted in Geo Abstracts, Sage Urban Studies Abstracts, and Journal of Planning Literature, and is indexed in the Avery Index to Architectural Publications.

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