Pocket parks enhance the city

Creating attractive outdoor environments is increasingly challenging as cities grow and become more compact. Pocket parks, or mini-parks, provide green areas and space to breathe in Solna Business Park.

The way in which our workplaces and offices are designed is just one aspect of what makes us happy at work. The environment outside the office is just as important, and most people like to see a bit of green and some life and movement in the vicinity of their offices.

“We set up pocket parks in Solna Business Park after requests from our tenants,” says Brita Lindqvist, Business Developer at Fabege.

“They’re very popular – office workers eat their lunch there and it’s a place for young people to hang out in the evening. They produce flowers and attract insects in the city environment and in winter, the beautiful lighting means they function as art installations.”

Soon Solna Business Park will also have a few ‘parklets’. A parklet is a park on a platform that fits into a parking space and can be moved as needed. The concept comes from San Fransisco. It can be a smart solution by a construction site, or as a temporary pop-up solution in other places where there aren’t yet any usable meeting places or green spaces.

Learning from others in City Lab Action

For just over a year now, Fabege has been involved in work on the City Lab Action model for Solna Business Park. Together with eleven other companies, Fabege has been testing a process to improve the city and its street space. The aim is to develop the city in a thoughtful way and make conscious choices and priorities as part of this work.

“We’ve learned about others’ projects, many of which have been housing areas that are keen to bring in more offices, and we’ve shared our views. At the same time we’ve gained valuable opinions on our own projects,” says Brita. “It’s been a rewarding experience, in which we’ve shared ideas and knowledge between various urban building projects.”

One issue that has been examined is how to design exterior lighting to fulfil more than one purpose, making it functional, social and to lend character to an area.

“We’ve realised we need to work on reducing the amount of heavy traffic in Solna Business Park,” says Brita. “The effect is that we have a safer and more pleasant street space, while reducing noise levels. Working on the exterior environment is extremely important, as we want people of all ages to enjoy living and working in our districts.”

About City Lab Action

Citylab Action is a programme for sharing knowledge of sustainable urban development, organised by Sweden Green Building Council (SGBC). In the first round, Solna Business Park participated alongside other urban development projects such as Masthuggskajen in Gothenburg, Norrtälje harbour, Täby Park and Barkarbystaden in Järfälla.

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