ERA Architects

Toronto / Sweden: Resilient Urbanism

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Over the past several years we’ve had the pleasure of an ongoing exchange with colleagues in Sweden regarding urban design. This has included a series of research tours, participation in the neighbourhood design project Selma in Göteborg, and various events in collaboration with the Swedish consulate here in Toronto. The aim of the exchange is to tackle the challenge of  achieving sustainable and resilient urbanism in northern locales.

Some key lessons we’ve learned from Sweden include:

  • look at waste as a resource (in Sweden, solid waste is used to heat and power communities);
  • create carbon neutral neighbourhoods (Sockholm’s Hammarby Sjöstad and Malmo’s Western Harbour are built examples toward this goal as part of Sweden’s Symbio-City Initative); and
  • design affordable housing that is financially sustainable (in Sweden, public housing developments are profitable enterprises offering a range of affordabilities, where the mid-range housing cross-subsidizes housing for those in need).

Today, Graeme Stewart spoke briefly with Metro morning’s Matt Galloway about some of the lessons learned. Please listen to the interview at Metro Morning Online.