Completing the Circuit : Connecting and Transforming Hovsjö and Måsnaren

University essay from KTH/Samhällsplanering och miljö

Abstract: My project will focus on the neighborhood of Hovsjö in the city of Södertälje, located in the south of Stockholm county. Through this project I will examine aspects of this neighborhood’s isolation from the rest of the city. Using a mix of quantitative and qualitative approaches, I explore the nature of this isolation and question how much of this segregation is a result of its spatial orientation, as well as various cultural and social factors. As Hovsjö is an area with a high concentration of members of the Assyrian/Syriac immigrant community, it has natural affinities to surrounding immigrant neighborhoods, but its spatial arrangement inhibits this affinity. Furthermore, Hovsjö is also isolated from its surrounding environs; I will explain how it is cut off from its immediate neighbor to its south and west, Lake Måsnaren, a nature area with many recreational amenities. I show in my research that the lake is not well used by the residents of Hovsjö, despite their proximity to it. Investigating the physical structure and the layout of the area between Hovsjö and Måsnaren, I will show that this separation is due to physical factors as well as an inappropriate programming of the green spaces. Using this research, I will to suggest a series of interventions with will break down both types of isolation and thereby fully integrate Lake Måsnaren into Hovsjö, and Hovsjö into the rest of Södertälje. This integration will lead to the creation new cultural landmarks for both the city of Södertälje as a whole as well as its Assyrian/Syriac immigrant community in particular, and the results will link Hovsjö more deeply into Södertälje’s urban fabric and end its isolation.

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