A Living Story of Parks : Urban History Research of Stockholmsskolan

University essay from KTH/Urbana och regionala studier; KTH/Urbana och regionala studier

Abstract: Our thesis started with a continuous discovery of theory and observation. As a group work of landscape architect and architect, during the study of our Urbanism program, we were both curious about the urbanism theories within Europe. Among them, partly in terms of the landscape background, we were particularly interested in the theory of landscape urbanism and its practices in Europe. Spontaneously, this became our original thesis topic.   However, after reading and collecting, we realized landscape urbanism theory was never as a main agenda in European academic world as in U.S. On the contrary, the role of landscape in urbanization is unignorable and has been examined for decades in Europe, which is one thing what landscape urbanists try to achieve. Moreover, during our reading of Swedish landscape and planning history, we noticed a series of significant parks which were built between 1930s-1950s, belong to a hardly forgotten design style named Stockholm School (Stockholmsskolan). This particular style and period of time is a fundamental part of Swedish landscape and planning history, deeply influenced the following park design as well as city planning in Stockholm. Almost all the parks of Stockholmsskolan nowadays become attractive spots for citizens gathering together, relaxing, and doing outdoor activities. Some of the parks are our personal favorite places in the city. Nevertheless, we choose this study not only to appreciate the significant parks but also to try to introduce them to other readers who might not be familiar with, especially to those who live outside of Europe with a different natural and cultural context.   Our brief study could be the start of further research, and the tool of photography plays a key role in different stages of our thesis. As K.W. Gullers introduced Swedish lifestyle to the world through a photo about life in park seventy years ago, it would also be our honor if our booklet could interest readers to appreciate and rediscover the contemporary Swedish public space and urban life.

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