Gothenburg is the second largest town in Sweden with 526,000 inhabitants. Since the 1970s, the former industrial city has become a “knowledge city” thanks to the University of Gothenburg, and the Chalmers University of Technology. Gothenburg has a rich cultural life, but it is also one of the most segregated cities in Sweden. As a result, social sustainability and integration are a priority on the city’s agenda.
As part of the EU-GUGLE project, the city intends to refurbish several blocks of buildings in the area of Hammarkullen, located northeast of downtown in the district of Angered, one of ten city districts of Gothenburg. With its agricultural landscapes and large housing areas, the district of Angered was part of the Swedish “Million homes programme” with houses built between the late 1960s to early 1970s. In Gothenburg there is a serious housing shortage having a large impact on the area of Hammarkullen, where many families live in overcrowded conditions. In this district, it is not unusual for 6-10 people to live in a two-bedroom apartment.
One of the largest challenges in Hammarkullen is to break the stigma on the area so that people want to stay here even when they have the opportunity to move somewhere else. Another challenge is to find financing models to renovate the building stock without increasing a lot the rents, so that those who live here can afford to live here also after renovation. Finally, there is a big challenge in finding housing companies that want to build new homes here.
As a member of the Replication Cluster, the city of Gothenburg intends to learn more about existing financing models for building refurbishment while sharing knowledge and experiences with other European Smart Cities.
Wenche Lerme – City of Gothenburg