Note — Jan 17, 2021

Make Way for the ‘One-Minute City’

It’s not mentioned in the article, but this overview of the one-minute city project could be framed as going back to first principles. Instead of grander scale endeavours or the recently popular 15-minute city, this Swedish project lead by Vinnova goes all the way back to one street at a time, which lets them experiment quickly, engage and co-design with citizens, iterate, and perhaps grow their interventions from there. The lovely temporary units imagined by Lundberg Design come in multiple shapes and uses, and “draw inspiration from things like LEGO or IKEA—or Minecraft—where you have a consistent system that can be adapted or hacked, remodeled, added to.”

The ultimate goal is hugely ambitious: a rethink and makeover of every street in the country over this decade, so that “every street in Sweden is healthy, sustainable and vibrant by 2030,” according to Street Moves’ own materials. […]

Piece by piece, these installations can transform streets into sites of sociability and mixing, joining up steadily into neighborhoods where the space used daily by residents extends little by little out into the open air. […]

Their real function, he says, is “to allow us to have a conversation about the future of streets with passers-by, people in the area, with school kids who hang out on them, people with electric bikes and scooters and so on.” […]

Sweden’s streets, Vinnova says, can become “an innovation platform for rapidly and powerfully addressing climate resilience, public health and social justice combined.”