The multi-centered metropolis of Skåne

Four quick questions to Magdalena Hedman, Landscape Architect LAR/MSA and Head of Studio Urban Development.

Magdalena Hedman, Head of Studio Urban Development, what is the hottest issue for you right now?
- Undoubtedly the issue of regional growth. A few months ago, an OECD report came out showing that we are very poor at utilizing the growth potential that exists in the region. The report shows that Skåne has a low employment rate and weak entrepreneurship. At the same time, there is great potential in the form of a well-educated workforce and strong specialization in knowledge-intensive sectors.

What do you think can be done about this problem?
- We must make better use of the knowledge available at universities and colleges in the fields of urban planning and sustainable development. It is crucial when planning new cities and districts that we also ask ourselves who benefits from the development and who is disadvantaged. In future urban planning, there must be room for everyone! Therefore, FOJAB and Urban Studies at Malmö University have recently started a collaboration with a focus on social sustainability. The aim is to translate the research results into concrete projects.

You have also worked closely with Region Skåne, in a project that has now been nominated for the Planpriset 2012. What is it about?
- "Strukturbild för Skåne" is a project run by Region Skåne since 2010. The aim is to create a clear picture and a common strategy for the development of sustainable physical structures. FOJAB has produced a knowledge base for the final report, "The multi-core metropolis of Skåne".

An interesting perspective. What does it mean in practice?
- Skåne is about the same size as London. With well-developed public transport comes viable local development. Provided that there is a consensus between the municipalities and the region. This opens new doors to the future and I hope to read an OECD report with a completely different message in the not too distant future.