The ECODISTR-ICT partners took advantage of their meetings in Stockholm to visit Hovsjö, one of the project case studies.
The study visit started with a presentation of the housing company, social challenges of the district and efforts to meet these. The presentations were held by Gulseren Buyukbalik, director of services to tenants at Telge Hovsjö (the housing company), and Wendela Falkenström, director of Hovsjö Hub (see below).
Hovsjö consists mainly of a low income households, a large share of the population are immigrants and the buildings are typical houses from the “Million home period” in Sweden. As part of this program, about 100.000 similar buildings were built every year between 1965-1975.
(Credit: Verbeke Stijn)
Lately, a strong focus on social aspects of the area has been done to reduce social degradation, and some of the activities carried out in the area include:
- The building Hovsjö Hub: a meeting place for inhabitants of all ages including a café, a youth centre, sports hall, etc. People from the area are involved and work here.
- Hovsjö summer: initiative providing job opportunities to teenagers of the district to work in the area during the summer (i.e. maintaining the green areas of Hovsjö). One objective is to increase young people’s sense of responsibility and decrease deterioriation in the area.
Young people living in the area have also been part of designing one of the green spaces to make it safer, opener and more inviting: removing bushes, installing a fountain and a well lit up soccer ground. Local people also designed the park benches.
The visit included a tour around the new school. It has been designed with a very modern open space and flexible design. The openness creates a very welcome impression/atmosphere. Walls had to be installed afterwards due to the need of calm environments, with less (noise) disturbance.
So far, Telge Hovsjö has not focused on energy issues of the buildings, except with the introduction of hot water individual metering and billing. Energy efficiency should be taken into consideration since energy costs represent a large share of the running costs.
Another issue recently raised is the waste management (e.g: packaging waste and remaining waste). Previously, tenants threw unsorted waste in a waste disposal chute just outside their apartment door. Currently, outdoor collection stations are launched. Partners also visited one of them. Telge Hovsjö put a lot of effort into offering tenants the new system, putting-up an information stand next to the station with staff standing there day and evening to guide the residents and answer questions about the new routines.
(Credit: Verbeke Stijn)