Public discussion: Urban Rehabilitation in Sweden

This conference forms part of the series entitled "Villes de demain: innovations d’Europe du Nord"/ “Cities of Tomorrow : Innovations in Northern Europe”, held from January to June 2022 in Paris libraries. What makes the city so special as a meeting place and a forum for ideas, and how do cities stand apart from one another in positive ways?

The towns of Vårberg/Skärholmen, in the inner suburbs of Stockholm, were developed in the 1960s and 1970s using an urbanistic approach inspired by the modernist movement and high-rise estates. Like many “new towns” during this period with similar features, these towns later encountered problems necessitating extensive renovation and social integration programmes.

One very ambitious renovation project, “Fokus Skärholmen”, was launched by the Stockholm city council and Skärholmen town council. Rehabilitation, construction and restructuring work was carried out in stages, actively involving residents. The project received a number of awards recognising, among other things, the importance given to dialogue and the role of the arts as essential vectors of change.

Comparisons will be drawn with the rehabilitation of the Pajol Development Area in Paris, and the discussion will focus on the urban challenges involved in the rehabilitation of areas and the role of art in the urban environment.


Karin Ahlzén is an architect and project leader for Fokus Skärholmen in Stockholm. She has 25 years’ experience in the construction sector, and previously worked as a property developer for Akademiska Hus, a state-owned company that owns and runs academic buildings. She has also worked as an architect and director of White Architects in Stockholm and Uppsala.

Janine Galiano is an architect and the founder and manager of J. Galiano Architecture & Urbanisme (formerly Galiano-Simon). She works in several different fields including social and affordable housing and urban planning in various contexts, in particular brownfield sites, “PNRQAD” regeneration schemes and town centre regeneration initiatives. Janine Galiano also lectures on architecture and urban planning as part of the bachelors’ and masters’ programmes at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture Paris-Belleville and runs a postgraduate course on urban planning tenders and project management.

The discussion will be moderated by Tove Dumon Wallsten, project leader and producer for Architects Sweden, a professional organisation for architects, interior designers, landscape designers and urban planners with 14,000 members. She was a member of the curatorial team for a series of exhibitions on Swedish architecture in collaboration with the Swedish Institute in Stockholm. The most recent show, Woodlife Sweden, was held at the Institut suédois in Paris in September 2021 and presented 40 contemporary Swedish design and architecture projects focusing on sustainable development and the use of wood.

A series of public discussions initiated by the Embassies and Institutes of Northern European countries, in partnership with Paris libraries. With support from the Paris City Council’s Cultural Affairs and International Relations Offices.
“Sweden: Urban Rehabilitation” has been organised in partnership with the Swedish Embassy in France.

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