Profitable Sustainability

University essay from Lunds universitet/Institutionen för kulturgeografi och ekonomisk geografi

Abstract: This thesis investigates the sustainability discourse present in two urban development projects in Malmö. The projects investigated are Sege Park in Kirseberg, and Culture Casbah in Rosengård. The City of Malmö has profiled itself as seriously invested in sustainable urban development, but it is evident that the sustainability focus is different when applied to different parts of the city. To understand this difference, socioeconomic data as well as literature on planning and sustainability has been reviewed. Critical discourse analysis is presented as a theoretical basis and a method, together with Lefebvre’s theory of the production of space, to understand this discoursal difference further. The planning programs for each project has been analysed, together with four interviews which constitute the material for the thesis. The theoretical framework has then been applied to the material to understand how and why the discourses differ in the projects. The thesis finds that the projects differ in that the Sege Park project focuses on ecological sustainability while in Culture Casbah the focus is on social sustainability. This is due to a hegemonic neoliberal formulation of sustainability, where the attraction of capital is the primary goal. Sustainability is used instrumentally for this purpose, through the use of branding and marketing. Additionally, Rosengård is not branded as ecologically sustainable even though the residents use less resources than the rest of Malmö. Lower resource use (due to lack of resources) does not create more profits, which goes against the primary goal of neoliberal sustainability. Therefore, Rosengård cannot be branded as ecologically sustainable.

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