From Protected to Productive

The Stockholm Archipelago has a unique natural landscape – rugged nature that blends with wooded islands, rocky cliffs and sandy beaches enriched by cultural and ecological values. The islands, dating back to the Viking Age are faced with a progressively uneven growth compared to the city developing an inevitable socio-economic dependency on the city core through infrastructural connections. Emigration from already diffusely scattered settlements made life unaffordable on the islands for both permanent residents and municipalities. According to official surveys and analyses, the islands claimed to lack a live-work-play balance and social potential that could be developed better for the residents. This struggle is loaded with the seasonal influx of tourists who exploit the landscape, leaving the responsibility for care onto those who live there. This situation added to climate change, strains energy and (water) resources causing summer droughts. All these struggles raise a question for the future – “How can urban planning and design help re-imagine the potential of existing systems to adapt to a more sustainable Archipelago?” The project envisions to transform the fragmented, protected landscape of the Stockholm Archipelago into a continuous productive landscape, bringing meaning to the scattered and dynamic context. With an approach that closely integrates fields of planning, landscape and design, the goal is realised through a three-layered strategy – (1) continuous blue-green systems of resource capture and nutrient circulation, (2) building local economy through collective production and diversification through exchange, and (3) community exchange through robust networking and production as a way of life. For design possibilities on the local scale, the island of Runmaro is explored with the aim of building synergies with the existing context of landscape, mobility networks, food production, resident villages, local businesses and popular landmarks. The idea is to strengthen existing socio-economic nodes while developing new ones through programs offering shared production and exchange, a year-round activation and continuous accessibility (circulation and systemic) that bring continuity to the overall experience.

Keywords: Stockholm, Archipelago, Islands, Productive Landscape, Local Economy, Collective Production, Self-Sufficiency, Sustainable Development.

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