The Rosengård housing estate in Malmö was built as part of the Swedish ‘Million Homes’ programme during the 1960s and 1970s. With 10,000 apartments and 25,000 residents, it is one of the largest housing areas in Scandinavia. But Rosengård, like many large-scale schemes, turned into a socially and economically isolated area, and it counted as one of the most deprived areas in Sweden. Furthermore, less than 1% of the vast expanses between the high-rise buildings consisted of private gardens and terraces.
For a city to be successful there is a need for good public spaces. This fact is also more and more recognized as an important factor for prosperous city by city administrations across Europe. Furthermore, public spaces have the ability to revitalize and create economic and social development opportunities. But for many municipal governments it is hard to find ways to build and maintain healthy public spaces.
It is very difficult to find a place to sit and relax in an urban environment primary designed for transport with asphalt roads, concrete sidewalks and brick buildings. Hence, towns and cities are transforming parking spots in parklets – public seating platforms that convert curbside parking spaces into vibrant community spaces. They’re mostly designed with a place to sit, greenery and sometimes bike racks.