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Scandinavian Housing Design since the Mid 1990s: Selected Lessons from Practice

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Recent Scandinavian housing has been widely admired for its perceived high-quality design. Much has been written about individual places and projects. This commentary takes a slightly different, comparative approach. It uses case studies from four cities РStockholm, Malm̦, Copenhagen and Helsinki Рto investigate what common factors and differences may have led Scandinavia to be seen as a beacon of housing excellence. Some of the case study areas are already well known; others less so. Architectural culture; the nature of the development industry and its responses to demands for better design; aspirational local leadership; multi-organizational collaboration; creative use of land ownership rights; promotion of environmental sustainability; infrastructure investment; astute use of governing documents; responsiveness to community and consumer demands; technological and institutional innovation; application of learning to new projects; and the particular cultural and political milieu of Scandinavian society are found, in combination, to be of defining importance in procuring the best housing design across all four cities.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 July 2015

More about this publication?
  • 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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