Architecture in Effect - Social Space and Daily Commuting

To develop urban station communities is one way to plan for a sustainable way of living. It is about how to design for quality of life, spaces and places for living, working, meeting and travel. Public transport is also a milieu that strips away social levering. This is a knowledge building project aiming at illustrate an area that need new knowledge and innovation. Starting with a case study of Ale municipality it aims at cooperation between stakeholders and users. Ale, with 28.000 inhabitants, is a municipality with some smaller trade centers and industries along Göta River. The development of a new railway for commuter traffic and a new motorway placed Ale nearer to Gothenburg. The situation reminds of an island suddenly getting a bridge to the mainland and where the inhabitant was not prepared for this change. The method consists of observations and interviews analyzed with a phenomenological perspective. ‘Place memory’, embodiment and situated knowledge are notions within phenomenology and cognitive research that links to: Heritage/mind mapping, history/transformation and identity/character. These could be used as catalysts for an (urban) sustainable development pointing out new perspectives for thinking and acting. Urban station communities – what are they and what will they become? Which unique lifestyle values could be threatened by exploitation? How can we build public space that is not anonymous? And, instead develop public spaces providing a sense of ownership and belonging?

Start date 01/10/2014
End date The project is closed: 31/12/2015
To develop urban station communities is one way to plan for a sustainable way of living. It is about how to design for quality of life, spaces and places for living, working, meeting and travel. Public transport is also a milieu that strips away social levering. This is a knowledge building project aiming at illustrate an area that need new knowledge and innovation. Starting with a case study of Ale municipality it aims at cooperation between stakeholders and users. Ale, with 28.000 inhabitants, is a municipality with some smaller trade centers and industries along Göta River. The development of a new railway for commuter traffic and a new motorway placed Ale nearer to Gothenburg. The situation reminds of an island suddenly getting a bridge to the mainland and where the inhabitant was not prepared for this change. The method consists of observations and interviews analyzed with a phenomenological perspective. ‘Place memory’, embodiment and situated knowledge are notions within phenomenology and cognitive research that links to: Heritage/mind mapping, history/transformation and identity/character. These could be used as catalysts for an (urban) sustainable development pointing out new perspectives for thinking and acting. Urban station communities – what are they and what will they become? Which unique lifestyle values could be threatened by exploitation? How can we build public space that is not anonymous? And, instead develop public spaces providing a sense of ownership and belonging?

More information:
FORMAS, Architecture in Effect – Rethinking the Social in Architecture :“Social Space and Daily Commuting”
Project leader

Lena Hopsch

Funded by

  • Formas (Public, Sweden)

Page manager Published: Thu 31 May 2018.