In Gothenburg, Helsingborg and Stockholm, streets have been turned into areas for activities, meetings and movement for people in the area. And the results have exceeded all expectations.
20-30 %* of cities today are covered by streets and the increasing urbanisation puts pressure on creating cities that are healthy, safe and sustainable. This creates a need for new solutions and a new way of thinking.
The Swedish Innovation Agency, Vinnova, has together with actors from academia, companies, citizens and the city of Stockholm for two years tested a new way to make innovation happen, so-called mission-oriented innovation, with the goal that all streets in Sweden will be sustainable, healthy and full of life.
A mission-oriented approach is about changing entire systems. This requires an individual-centred and interdisciplinary perspective as well as commitment from actors at all levels. It is about breaking silos and letting actors who otherwise do not meet discuss problems and solutions. The purpose is for everyone to start working in the same direction with a common objective in focus.
Together, the actors have created streets with less traffic and more spaces for recreation and social activities. By using wooden kits that can be modified to different needs, multifunctional areas are created, with more room for play, urban farming and gyms, but also charging stations for shared electric cars and parking spaces for electric scooters.
A survey from analysis and research company Novus showed that over 70 % of the asked residents in the area are positive about the new so-called mobility hubs.