From industrial past to sustainable future : Arboretum Lövholmen; generating trees for a greener future
Abstract: Old industrial sites bear witness of the unsustainable industrial developments in the past. Today many of them stand abandoned and empty, old structures lacking function in our present society. We have in this thesis participated in a visionary student competition arranged by IFLA, International Federation of Landscape Architecture by developing a proposal based on a vision of how Stockholm can stimulate a greener development. We have done this by turning an unsustainable industrial site in the city into an ecological node; Arboretum Lövholmen. Our aim is to develop an entry for IFLA’s visionary student competition by creating a new sustainable design for the industrial area of Lövholmen in Stockholm. We have worked with the following research questions: How can we create a visionary design proposal for Lövholmen that promotes sustainable development with the help of ecological design? How can the competition format be a design tool? How can the working process developing a competition entry progress? The competition demands have shaped our working process and functioned as a platform for the structure of this thesis. Design and site research have been a parallel process, later accompanied by a theoretical study. The competition influenced the choice of working with the industrial site of Lövholmen in Stockholm. As a partly abandoned and degraded urban area it fitted requirements of the competition. The competition emphasized the need of thorough research. Since Lövholmen is privatly owned, closed and hard to explore we were forced to find alternative ways of doing this. Model making became an important tool in both research and design phases. Based on our analysis of the problems of Lövholmen, we chose to do a theoretical literature study on Ecological design, Brownfields and remediation processes. We have in this project made our own interpretation of the concept sustainability and ecological design and and these definitions have shaped our design proposal. We consider that an ecological design needs to recognize each site as a being a part of a bigger ecological system. Ecological design should promote biodiversity as well as rising awareness in the community considering ecology. Sustainability is according to us a long term development that takes in social, ecological and cultural aspects. The vision of our proposal is based on the idea of reversed processes. Instead of spreading pollution over the city, Lövholmen could be turned into a green catalyst producing new city trees to be planted in the city. Our interpretation of an Arboretum is that it can be a green public space where trees grow, with focus on knowledge, recreation and social activity. We succeeded in handing in the competition entry and it fulfilled all formal requirements. Some aspects of ecological design and sustainablity could have been developed further, for example biodiversity. Our proposal did not give detailed solutions but focused on main structures and visions. We believe the growing city needs its green areas to be sustainable. The proposal we handed in was a vision based on visionary thoughts about the growing city and the need for a vital green structure within it.
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