The Redesign of Public Space in Rosengård: An Assessment of Bennets Bazaar, Örtagardstorget and Rosens Röda Matta

University essay from Malmö högskola/Kultur och samhälle

Abstract: After having built many housing units and even district to fulfil the requirement on the million homes program to meet the need for housing, the city of Malmö is now working on improving the quality of its living environment. This program was a part of a further reaching project aiming at solving the problem of access to housing and improving the quality of the built environment. The million homes program, which lasted for around a decade in the 1960’s and 1970’s, was part of a bigger scale urban development project aiming at providing housing to people moving from villages to cities. The challenge faced by the city of Malmö today is not only to build enough to meet the demand, but also to make public space welcoming and attractive and to improve the environment created by the million homes program. This is a part of the new urban development project for the city of Malmö. This thesis is an assessment of the redesign of public spaces through the example of redesign projects which took place in Malmö, more specifically, in three areas in Rosengård: Bennets Bazaar, Örtagårdstorget and Rosens röda matta. Our research is mainly based on Jan Gehl(2006)’s theory, but we also used works from authors from other related fields such as Kärrholm (regarding territoriality), Shabout (regarding public space in Iraq) and Sawalha (regarding the use of space by women in Middle Eastern countries). The research for this thesis was carried out through theoretical research, interviews and observations. The results of observations and interviews show that in daily life Bennets Bazaar is the most used public spaces among the three. Nevertheless, it fails to attract people from the rest part of the city as expected. As for Örtagardstorget, people seldom spend time there. It seems to be a passing area between the parking zone behind it and Bennets Bazaar. Rosen Röda Matta achieved the aim of serving as a stage but is hardly ever used in normal days. The four factors, which are comfort, identity, culture and accessibility, are concluded to be the key elements that influence the current outcomes of the three target areas. This thesis also shows the limits of Gehl’s theories when applied to a multicultural environment like that found in the studied places in Rosengård. It highlights also the important role of concepts such as those of the culture, identity of a place and perception of public space.

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