Examining Spatial Change in the Form of the 15-Minute City and Its Capability to Address Social Inequalities in Stockholm, Sweden

Detta är en Master-uppsats från KTH/Urbana och regionala studier

Sammanfattning: The aim of this paper is to explore contemporary trends in the field of urban planning in Stockholm, Sweden, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The aim is furthermore to, from an urban justice perspective, investigate the potential application of the “15-minute city” in Stockholm, a planning model with the central premise of residents having no longer than 15 minutes to basic services and functions by foot or bicycle. A variation of the concept is the “one-minute city”, used to describe the street transformation projects Framtidsgatan and Street Moves. The findings suggest that the pandemic has more or less confirmed the strategic direction of the city, rather than changing it. The 15-minute city model is not explicitly mentioned in any strategies or planning documents, but the city’s planning seems to be guided by principles in line with those of the model, for instance in the centering of components such as proximity, density and (physical) diversity. The 15-minute city model and relevant street transformation projects further primarily seem to address justice issues through spatial redistribution. On the street level, this entails transforming space intended for cars into recreational space, to the benefit of pedestrians and cyclists. On the regional level, it entails a restructuring of the built form in compliance with components such as proximity, density and diversity, in order to bridge the gap in accessibility to basic services and functions between different social groups. The analysis suggests that spatial changes in accordance with the 15-minute city model can have some positive effects in furtherance of justice but that this is highly dependent on these measures being implemented in socio-economically vulnerable areas as well as there being measures in place to assure that local residents are not displaced through gentrification, among other things.

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