Reconsidering city access roads – experiences of pilot projects in Sweden

Bucht, E. & C. Wingren, 2001, Reconsidering city access roads – experiences of pilot projects in Sweden, in: ECLAS (J. de Vries), ‘Integration of infrastructure and landscape architecture’, Larenstein University of Professional Education, Velp

  • Author : Bucht, E. & C. Wingren
  • Year : 2001
  • Published in Book : Integration of infrastructure and landscape architecture
  • Pages : 19-34
  • Abstract in English : Since the beginning of the 1990s, the Swedish Road Administration and local communities in Sweden have initiated several pilot projects in order to develop remodelling solutions for large access and through roads in cities. These roads were mostly built during the 1970s and 1980s in order to meet the rapidly increasing transport demands. They were constructed according to the grammar of the traffic apparatus that Manuel Castells characterises as the architecture of the flow or network society. All remodelling projects have had two main goals, the reconstruction of the existing roads in order to “heal the wounds” to the surrounding city environments caused by the violence of the new big roads, and the improvement of traffic safety. The authors of this paper have been involved in several of these projects, among others a comprehensive study of all large access roads to Gothenburg, the second biggest city in Sweden. The experiences of these projects are interesting from a theoretical as well as an empirical point of view and have resulted in a PhD project focusing on some of the questions raised. A sequential model for analysing these roads is quite dominant in the Swedish projects. This paper discusses why a soft grading from a countryside road concept to a city concept seems to be the ideal within the Swedish design context, compared to e.g. models addressing a contrast between the rural and the urban. In Sweden, traditional tree-lined avenues seem to be another general remodelling design solution even though rows of trees are looked upon as serious traffic safety dangers. This paper questions whether such historical spatial solutions are efficient tools for controlling the conflict between the new large roads with their own flow logic and the historically grown city.