How can socioducts contribute to urban social sustainability? A case study of the two eco/socioducts in Hammarby Sjöstad

University essay from Göteborgs universitet / Institutionen för ekonomi och samhälle

Abstract: Since traditional methods of bridging physical barriers, such as roads and railways, have not fully solved the problem of creating safe and attractive environments, new solutions have emerged. Socioducts aims to bridge barriers, provide safe and inviting environments for pedestrians and cyclists, create social cohesion and connectivity. The construction is mentioned in several comprehensive- and detailed development plans around Sweden, but there are few completed examples that can be compared to its planned design. This study aims to investigate how socioducts can contribute to urban social sustainability, which is analyzed through qualitative interviews. The study seeks answers to which needs are guiding the planning of the construction and how users perceive socioducts. In order to understand how urban residents perceive socioducts, a case study has been conducted in Hammarby Sjöstad where two combined eco/socioducts have been built. Through qualitative interviews, users were asked questions related to the social aspects of the passages in order to understand what values of urban social sustainability the users perceives in socioducts. The findings show that the purpose of socioducts in creating social cohesion, providing an inviting environment and increasing accessibility, can be related to urban social sustainability in regard to several factors. From a planning perspective the need to create accessibility for vulnerable groups is highlighted where the socioduct may fulfill an important function. The studied cases can be attributed to aspects of urban social sustainability, as it appears that users of the passages in Hammarby Sjöstad perceive the constructions as safe, accessible and inviting, which in addition can be interpreted to have created cohesion and connectivity. It also becomes apparent that there is a need to separate the socioduct from its relation and banding to ecoducts in order to optimize its social effects.

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