Helsingborg, Sweden

The Her City project in Fredriksdal, Helsingborg, Sweden was a joint collaboration between Helsingborg municipality, UN-habitat, Block by Block Foundation and Global Utmaning, with focus on Block 1, 5 and 8. The process was carried out within the framework of the City of Helsingborg’s work with school holiday internships and young people were engaged to influence the design of Fredriksdal. The ambition is to increase security and well-being in Fredriksdal. The neighbourhood is undergoing densification and the ambition is to make it a child friendly area with accessible green spaces. Fredriksdal is a low-income area compared to Helsingborg city at large and has a lower voter turnout.

Facts

Category: Public Partnership
Location: Fredriksdal, Helsingborg, Sweden.
Time: December 2021 – ongoing
Partners: Helsingborg Municipality Global Utmaning Block by Block.
Participants: Residents of Fredriksdal, initially 25 residents, among some of them children and young people.

Her story

Challenges 

The Fredriksdal project focuses on making the public space safer and more accessible for all. The Block by Block workshop gathered 22 adolescents between 12-15 years old. The park in Fredsiksdal was the focus area identified by the municipality. Consistent for the participants was that they perceived the park as a poorly utilised and boring place. The public space is mainly perceived as transport route and for many of the participants from other districts the area was unknown. The seating arrangements in the park was perceived as awkwardly placed, not in line with the visitors natural movement patterns, creating a uneasy and unwelcoming feeling.

During the workshop both the youth and professionals described the city as segregated. The workshop was held in the “Activity house”, Tryckeriet, which arouse a lot of interest from the participants. However, even though the participants lived in adjacent areas and were welcome to attend the activities they had refrained from visiting the activity house or the area at large. The reasoning behind it was that they did not live in Frederiksdal and therefore did not go there even if it was practical or fun.

Solutions

To answer to the challenges of an uninspiring park, the participants focused on creating inspiring meeting places and activities for all ages. Many designs were family centred and with the purpose of being attractive for several generations at once. The suggestions ranged from playgrounds, more seating areas, barbecue areas, greenery, lighting, and more trash cans to prevent littering.

The participants living in the area expressed a desire to change the narrative of Fredriksdal. Solutions in favour of the narrative shift was identity building landmarks such as addon’s to improve the look and function of the water tower. The longing to put Fredriksdal on the map and be proud of their neighbourhood was prevalent among the adolescent and was reflected in their other ideas of building pools, minigolf courses, and tennis courts.

An accessibility perspective was included in several of the design developed, from adapted toilets to the choice of surfaces on walkways. Several participant groups incorporated a child and elderly perspective from the beginning and used the exploratory walk to discuss different perspectives.

Opportunities

The workshop was a first step to build capacity for the municipal professionals on how to plan and design inclusive urban spaces. The workshop in Fredriksdal showed how young people reason when given the right tools to express their opinions on their neighbourhood. The municipality will proceed with training opportunities for their staff to independently facilitate Her City processes.

Impact

The Fredriksdal project has empowered youth through learning how to create design suggestions for public spaces, which helped them realise their potential to contribute to their community.

Lessons learned

The municipal professional’s part of the process expressed interest in using the Her City Toolbox to reach and engage youth in risk of ending up crime. The dialogue and building of trust that the process provides adds direct value as well as long-term. The Fredriksdal project showcases the multi functions of inclusive urban planning.

Results

Block 1: Stakeholder engagement

A multi-stakeholder team of girls and professionals to mainstream youth, gender and socio-economic perspectives throughout the entire planning, design and implementation process.

Block 2: City wide assessment

A city level analysis based on girls and young women’s observations and a list with their top priority spaces to be improved.

Block 3: Site specific assessment 

Collecting quantitative and qualitative data by girls and young women on the state of the space that is considered a top priority for improvement.

Block 4: Analysing challenges

A joint vision for the space based on a detailed analysis of the girls’ needs and current privileges in the space.

Block 5: Designing ideas 

A rough design in Minecraft of the new space made by the girls and professionals based on the solutions identified throughout the process.

Block 6: Recommendations

A joint action plan for the space where girls and professionals negotiate ways forward for implementation and potential impact of the project.

Block 7: Action plans

Detailed plans collaboratively developed by the girls and professionals for the construction phase including cost estimations and maintenance plans.

Block 8: Sharing results

Approval to move forward and start construction from decision-makers and community and spreading of knowledge gained throughout the project.

Block 9: Implementation and follow-up

An evaluation of the process, follow up on construction by the girls and a final report on the results of the entire project with a mainstreaming strategy to scale up similar initiatives.

Related SDGs

About

Contact
hercity@un.org

Follow us
Facebook: @HerCity
Instagram: @HerCityToolbox
Twitter: @HerCityToolbox
YouTube: @HerCity
TikTok: @HerCity
#HerCity
#UrbanGirlsMovement

Her City is a joint urban development initiative by UN-Habitat (the United Nations Human Settlements Programme) and the independent think tank Global Utmaning (Global Challenge).