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Malmö establishes Sweden’s first cultural sound zone

The decision by the City of Malmö marks a unique momentum in Sweden to promote local culture and business within urban development.

Just as industry has noise zones, so too should cities establish cultural sound zones. Including a cultural sound zone was a key consideration in the development plans for the business area and old industrial neighborhoods within the district Sofielund. The plans aim to make Sofielund’s business area a cultural sound zone – a defined area where sound-creating activities like concerts or animations can be organized, without disturbing nearby residents.

The Sofielund business area is home to everything from factories, car repair shops, music clubs to leisure associations. The dynamic area is both a place for work and recreation for Malmö residents. The unique character of this area is both a prerequisite, and an enabling factor, for developing a cultural sound zone here.

“The plan is unique in its kind. By strengthening the site, local businesses are given more opportunities to operate and develop in the area. I think it’s great that Malmö is the first city in Sweden to give culture this status”

– Nicklas Johansson, member of the project team, Property Management Department and Streets and Parks Department, City of Malmö.

Collaboration with local actors

The strategic plan for the development of Sofielund’s old industrial neighborhoods was presented at the beginning of the year, with the vision that the area would become the city’s most important and dynamic center for cultural and business life. This spring, a well-attended citizen consultation was held which showed great commitment and interest in the initiative. One of the focus areas of the work has been about centralizing the needs of the local actors as a continuation of the city’s broad dialogue work with Sofielund.

“Establishing a participant culture is a part of the program idea. This meaning allowing local actors to participate in the strengthening of the place, based on their initiatives. It is a prerequisite for being able to take advantage of and develop an area’s character and a central part of Malmö’s urban development towards the future”

Annika Arvidsson, project manager, City Planning Department, City of Malmö.




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