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300 mots et une sélection de références autour d'un sujet géographique

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Idées griffonnées dans la marge des feuilles de cours

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Quelques mots des conférences, colloques, films, rencontres, etc.

Les photographies

Dans la besace du géographe, des photographies de quelques terrains parcourus

Les instantanés

Journaliste en vadrouille sur les routes de France et de Navarre

Jarla Sjö - New Urbanism

A concept back in context

One of the Eastern districts of Stockholm, Järla Sjö is of great importance for Swedish industrial history (Gustaf de Laval, Gustaf Dalén and the AGA Company). However, in the 1960s, the district suffers from decline. An architectural competition proposed a plan involving old buildings’ clearance: it met a strong reaction of neighbourhoods.

In 1998, a new project is proposed by Småstaden Arkitekter AB supported by Nacka council. In the new context of flexible production and niche consumers markets, competition between places draws on qualitative differences. After cultural tourism, cities count more on everyday life as a differential value, as well on the spirit of place.

New urbanism refers to planning practices developed in contrast to modern plans (primarily in US suburbs). They criticise the clear separation of urban functions, the preponderance of the car, and the loss of community’s sense. In order to limit sprawling, they advise for a denser and compact build environment, mixing urban functions and types of buildings. This goes along with an extension of public and pedestrian spaces, in order to reintroduce community practices. See Seaside Florida. In Europe, New Urbanism has been enhanced with the question of heritage renovation (Poundbury in United Kingdom).

A mix of urban functions and buildings

Järla Sjö comprises around 700 houses and flats. In the Western part are found towers in contrast to individual houses towards the East, with a few floors transition in the centre, nearby the industries. Accompanying this residential aspect, few services are provided: 2 restaurants (closed Saturday), school, hairdresser, decor shops. Järla Sjö is a fashion cluster principally localised in old industrial buildings (circa 300 companies - MIO, Himla, Mexx, Stockholm Mode Center-, and 1,200 employees).

A way of life

The district is organised around the lake. Car’s presence is limited in favour of pedestrian wandering around the lake. Playgrounds are designed for children, the surrounding environment adapted to strollers. Green spaces attract by their landscaping. It results in a blurring of public/private spaces in balconies, terraces, yards, where sunbathing and games are welcome.

Between community and network

The community is visually created by the urban space unification (sculptures, doors numbers), the identity memories (industrial signs) and the office of the neighbourhood community. 

The neighbourhood relies for services and retailing on Nacka kommun. Järla Sjö’s inhabitants must use public transport towards Stockholm centre for daily work and their recreation/consumption purposes. The fashion cluster appears also to be dependent on Stockholm city.

Bibliographie sélective :
GRACIE Vernon, JERSENIUS Håkan, (2001), Järla Sjö, p 72-73, in PLAN: Swedish Planning in Times of Diversity, Sweden
HUBBARD Phil, (2006), City, Routledge: London
WARF Barney, (2006), Encyclopedia of Human Geography, SAGE: United States of America

NB : Thanks to Estelle Conraux for her contribution to this field presentation