Problems and opportunities in a large scale suburban housing estate: The case of Råslätt, Jönköping, Sweden

Document type: Bookchapters
Full text:
Author(s): Eva Öresjö
Title: Problems and opportunities in a large scale suburban housing estate: The case of Råslätt, Jönköping, Sweden
Translated title: Problem och möjligheter i storskaliga bostadsområden: Fallet Råslätt i Jönköping
Book: Large scale housing estates in Northwest Europe: Problems, interventions and experiences
Year: 1999
Volume: 17
Pagination: 153-161
Editor: Birgit Krantz, Eva Öresjö, Hugo Priemus
ISBN: 90-407-1928-4
Publisher: Delft University Press
City: Delft
Organization: Blekinge Institute of Technology
Department: Department of Spatial Planning (Institutionen för fysisk planering)
Dept. of Spatial Planning S-371 79 Karlskrona
+46 455 780 00
Authors e-mail:
Language: English
Abstract: In 1965, in order to remedy an increasingly difficult lack of housing, the Swedish Parliament decided that one million new apartments were to be built within ten years. The program was called ‘the million dwellings program’ and its goal was bold and politically controversial. Never before had so much been built in such a short time.

The million dwellings program had only been in progress for a few years, however, when a critical debate was sparked off. Public criticism was massive and was not only aimed at the physical design of the buildings but also indirectly towards the people who lived in them. Living in one of the program’s most identifiable areas became socially stigmatising, and all those who could move away did so.

Dissatisfaction with the million dwellings program’s large-scale suburban areas was directly reflected in the number of apartment vacancies. This number rose quickly, especially in the municipal, non-profit stock. In 1975, the Government appointed a committee to propose solutions for suburbs with turnover problems (SOU 1979:37). These were the first governmentally initiated and financed pilot projects in the million dwellings program’s problem-ridden areas. But they were not to be the last.

20 years later the million dwellings program’s large-scale suburban neighbourhoods have once again ended up in focus for community planning. The background is formed by the research and commission of enquiry reports of recent years which show that there is increased polarisation between those estates in the urban landscape which are pleasant to live in and those which are least attractive; this is where the poor of society live, many of them with an immigrant background. Thus, once again strategies for change in the million dwellings program’s areas are being lively discussed, along with the experiences that earlier renewal measures have provided (e.g. Olsson Hort, 1992; SOU 1995:142, Öresjö, 1996b; Bohm & Khakee, 1996:1; SOU 1997:118).
Subject: Spatial Planning\Local Planning
Spatial Planning\Social Planning
Keywords: Large scale suburbans, social planning