Sustainable Mixed-Use Districts: Mitigating land-Use Conflicts inIndustrial Cities​ (Sustainable urban Development course, 2015)

Project Site & Mission
Luleå is a city characterized by many industrial developments within its inhabited urban core. This has been mainly the consequence of the historic vocation of the city as an industrial and harbor hub for resource-rich Norrbotten, in the north of Sweden. It is also crucially the result of previous land use policies and master plans that have facilitated the proliferation of industrial areas throughout the city.
However, during the last decades the city has strived the service sector and increasingly towards the knowledge industry (see the Aurorum area and the expansion of the university campus). This, in turn, has attracted new residents from within the region and abroad and therefore has boosted the demand for dwellings in the urban core.

This rapid demographic growth coupled with an increasing percentage of the population with a tertiary education has exacerbated the land use conflict between residential and industrial areas. It has also further the social and spatial divides within the city.

The aim of this course is to map these divides and the infrastructural gaps of Luleå’s residential areas encroached by industrial clusters to suggest strategies and interventions to mitigate the existing and future potential land use conflicts. 

The projects below show the potentials of many existing urbanized areas in the inner town. This urban regeneration approach is antithetical to the current developments in town:
- many of the projects concentrate in upgrading brownfield areas rather that green ones.
- density is crucial but it is always declined to increase the "intensity" of activities and social interactions and not for speculative purposes. 
- finally, all developments promote walking, cycling, and public transit rather than car-centred development.
We hope that these projects will foster a change of mentality in Luleå's city makers towards a more attractive, sustainable and just urbanism.

Declining, transition and slow rural territories

As metropolitan areas around the world keep expanding, behind them, rural areas continue to be affected by greater rates of depopulation. This is not a new phenomenon: rural to urban migration has been reported in the developed world at least from the period between the two world wars. However, recent rural depopulation trends have dramatically intensified in both the developed and the developing countries worldwide. In planning literature, greater emphasis is placed on the “urban–rural” divide, that is, people leaving the countryside to look for better opportunities in urban areas. However, a growing body of literature points to the fact that not all rural areas are declining at the same rate. Indeed, some rural towns have managed to retain population and even to grow. Therefore, at least in developed countries, an “intra-rural” divide notion is emerging. To exemplify this notion, we have studied rural towns in Southern Italy.
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Qualitative characterization of rural territories.

Transdisciplinary urbanism: Three experiences from Europe and Canada

The decreasing pace of urban development in economically-troubled Europe allows time for urban practitioners and actors to re-think planning action and its outcomes. In Canada where urban development seems unstoppable, contemplative breaks are as important. From the rubbles of recent environmental and economic crises around the world, in this article we discuss the emergence of a new theoretical approach in urban design and planning that is at the intersection of Socio-Spatial Research, Complexity Theories of Cities, and Urban Activism: Transdisciplinary Urbanism. We deploy three relevant, research projects we have been engaged with to analyze issues, challenges and limitations of Transdisciplinary Urbanism. The time frame of these interventions spans almost a decade.
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“My Public Living Room” on the 26th of June 2014, the last day of the public display.

Source: Galanakis, picture taken in 2014.

City of Science in Luxembourg: Urban Redevelopment of a Steel Mill Areain Esch Sur Alzette in Luxembourg

The new City of Science in Belval, nearby the town of Esch Sur Alzette in Luxembourg, is one of the latest examples of urban redevelopment of a former industrial site to a knowledge-oriented function. Interestingly, part of the area is still used as an industrial site by one of the subsidiaries of the Luxembourgian-Dutch conglomerate ArcelorMittal, one of the main stakeholders in the region (before being a financial hub, Luxembourg was a well-established steel production centre).

The regenerated City of Science hosts the offices and educational facilities of the University of Luxembourg and several other buildings such as new national research facilities, banks, a shopping mall and several residential buildings as well as cultural spaces such as a museum adapted in the former furnaces of the steel mill, concert hall, etc. More information about the project can be found here:

The project is perhaps not the most advanced example of urban redevelopment of a former industrial area. However, it shows clearly the urban potentials of industrial sites located nearby urbanized areas. The City of Science in Luxembourg is an interesting exepirement of a mixed-use development in a former heavy-industry area. In a small scale, perhaps, a city of science could be imagined in a city like Luleå, which, not without controversies, apires to transition its economy from a steel and iron ore manufacturing centre in to one of  the leading knowledge cities in the nordic arctic region (Pictures by A. Rizzo, 2015).

Urban Regeneration of Haparanda City Centre (Climate Adaptation Project course, 2015)

The municipality of Haparanda is located some 81 km south of the Arctic Circle by the shores of Torneå River. Its twin city is Tornio, located just across the Torneå river in Finland. This unique configuration has allowed Haparanda to grow and to attract a number of retail firm (e.g., Ikea) to serve the northern part of Scandinavia and Finland’s Lapland.

Haparanda is undergoing a number of urban transformations such as the  development of a shopping area in the northern part of the municipality. However, the municipality wants to strengthen the old city centre. The idea is to complement the shopping-based economy of Haparanda with more cultural functions.The cultural and planning departments in Haparanda have delivered a series of suggestions on how the old city should look like in the near future. Political consensus is needed to go ahead with the project.

The partnership between the Municipality of Haparanda and the Master in Climate Sensitive Urban Planning at Luleå Tekniska Universitet (Luleå University of Technology) will be strategic in order to develop a climate-sensitive, urban regeneration project for Haparanda.

The project was presented in May, 25 to the city of Haparanda and to the political board of the twin city Haparanda-Tornio.

Supervisor: Agatino Rizzo
Students: Broekhuizen, Ico, Pérez Lobera, Julia, Rovers, Twan, Sanchez Lopez, Sara
Haparanda Kommun: Jytte Rydiger, Goran Wigren