The Biskopsgården district of Gothenburg has a very bad reputation, both among outsiders and among the residents themselves. Now the city’s red-green government wants to make the area more attractive and create an environment where residents do not feel unsafe.
– It is very important to have a long-term plan. The program looks several years into the future, and there is a strong political consensus on urban development in the area, says Johannes Hulter (S), chairman of the city’s planning committee, of the program, which now awaits political approval.
Over the past four years, residents, politicians and civil servants have had their say on how the area should be developed. The idea is to create a clear plan for how Biskopsgården should be shaped over the next 10-15 years, says local newspaper Mitt i.
“The focus is on creating a safe and attractive urban environment that is connected both within the area and to central Gothenburg – which is no more than fifteen minutes away by tram“, they say, and the inspiration is the traditional garden city.
– Absolutely, that’s how it will be. We want to create an urban structure that we recognize from places like Kålltorp and Kungsladugård. Lower houses, interconnected streets and pleasant green urban environments where children like to play, but also where it feels safe to be. And with nice buildings, so that people are proud of their neighborhood and at the same time get more variety through architecture”, Hulter continues.
When asked if the plans risk gentrification and displacing the neighborhood’s residents, he says no.
– It’s important to us that people are not afraid of change. We are not going to push people out of their homes, but we want to create a greater mix. There should be a mix of people and types of housing. This will be done by building new townhouses, new cooperative housing, and rental housing, by all means. But not by converting or selling rental apartments.
The transformation of Biskopsgården is expected to take a long time and so far includes 4,100 homes – including 1 150 single-family homes – a school, a preschool, a retirement home, a sports arena and a library. There will also be about ten parks and a new city park.
A garden city is usually defined as a community with small-scale development, where the majority of residents live in single-family homes or townhouses, often with associated kitchen gardens. This type of area already exists in places such as Örgryte, Landala and Änggården in Gothenburg.