Nationally for the public to get more

Nationally
and regionally, the city of Stockholm is given strong interest in capital investments,
being under great pressure to generate an economically viable interest for
Sweden. Interestingly, various development and renewal projects in Stockholm
are known to be making efforts to create stronger opportunities for citizen engagement
throughout renewal processes.        (   ).The
redevelopment of the Slussen area in Stockholm exhibited varying citizen responses,
sparking public debate and forcing politicians to consider citizen demands in
various ways. The renewal process began in 1989 and underwent many protests regarding
the functionalistic and insensitive approach of the development plan. Many
argued for the preservation of Slussen’s historical character as well as the
effect of societal changes on Stockholm’s city character. In addition, many changes
taking place in the city’s political make-up have also had a great influence on
the renewal’s public meaning and planning process. Nonetheless, citizen input
was valued throughout the Slussen renewal process, being integrated as an
integral part of the project (M).

Historically,
Slussen is known to have been Stockholm’s original “birthplace”, as different
islands linked together to form the central city of Stockholm. The Slussen area
occupies a unique geographic location, being situated between two important
waterways, the Baltic Sea to the east and Lake Malaren to the west. The early
1900’s saw immense traffic construction, praised for its modernistic design,
yet criticized for being too functionalistic, disregarding the area’s historic
character. This was identified as part of Swedish national heritage, reflecting
all the changes that took place between the 1950s and 1980s, such as the
rearrangement of streets and influx of larger businesses. In general, the area
was recognized as being a central node for transportation, offering various
transit options as well as acting as a general meeting place for the public. Citizens
have attached more emotional meaning to this area with regards to the changes
in development taking place here, allowing for the public to get more involved.

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The
Stockholm public has been offered opportunities to voice opinions and contribute
ideas in two forms being official stable and dynamic participation opportunities,
as per this project. Official Stable Participation includes more informal
government-led participative opportunities for citizens to be able to provide
their input into planning processes; a process not enforced by law.  

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