Stråk - Planning for Connectivity in the Segregated City

Karin Grundström


“Stråk” is one of the design approaches in the current Swedish sustainability discourse, which has been developed with the objective of reconnecting so- called vulnerable districts with the urban core. This paper investigates the architectural transformation of the Rosengård stråk in Malmö, Sweden. Taking everyday movement as a theoretical starting point, empirical data was gathered through interviews with key planners in Malmö municipality and a questionnaire distributed at the two endpoints of the Rosengård stråk. The study found that the stråk contributed to the liveliness of the disadvantaged neighbourhood and that movement through the neighbourhood had indeed increased. The paper suggests that in urban design, stråk can be defined as corridors of movement that connect neighbourhoods and nodes and link local and regional scales, and, that planning for stråk imply a shift towards planning for connectivity. This approach contrasts with previous planning approaches and ideologies, which have focused on improving adjacency and accessibility to service and amenities at the neighbourhood scale. Planning for connectivity, in contrast, implies creating a network of connections with the aim of also making people leave their neighbourhood to access services and amenities necessary for daily life. The paper concludes that although investments in stråk may make it easier for people to exercise their right to move, they carry the risk of reduced investment at neighbourhood level, since when connectivity matters more, adjacency matters less.

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