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Stormwater + Art

Malmö, Sweden Design Survey
by Christine Mondor

Scandinavia is known around the world for good design; whether you’re into products, graphics, architecture, or urban spaces, a visit to the region can inspire creative thinking. Over the summer we visited the city of Malmö, Sweden, an industrial-era harbor city which has reinvented itself as a modern sustainable cultural center. In particular, Malmö’s Western Harbor is known for its innovative approach to water infrastructure, which made our visit especially relevant to our urban strategies work here in North America.

During our stay, I surveyed the city’s Västra Hamnen (Western Harbor in English) area, in which urban design and art are celebrated via the stormwater management system. Water flows through neighborhoods in a series of interconnected channels and streams, sometimes emerging in a public square as part of a sculpture.  The water eventually empties into the sea, without contamination from waste-water or contaminants from the brownfield site, which are treated separately.

Here in the states we are helping agencies and communities creatively meet similar stormwater challenges.  We will report back soon on the exciting strategies that are emerging!

Below you can view my sequenced photo-tour of the area in a slideshow format.

 

Click on the bird’s eye view of the Västra Hamnen below to open an interactive overview. Hover your mouse over the white circles to see highlights of the playful, yet functional elements in the city’s stormwater flows.

Västra Hamnen, photo by Mark Finney, 2011
Västra Hamnen © 2011 courtesy Mark Finney