Don't move to Stockholm

If you are alone in Stockholm and you would like someone to talk to, you will find housing a great subject to talk about. It is a popular subject, everybody talks about it, and nobody has it.

At the moment Stockholm is growing by about 30,000 people a year, making it one of the fastest growing cities in Europe. However, the city’s planning department hasn’t listed this as one of its key issues. 

                                                     Stockholms stad / Stockholms stadsbyggnadskontor

                                                     Stockholms stad / Stockholms stadsbyggnadskontor

An article in the wall-street journal last September shows some weak links. Housing construction is lacking behind the demographic changes of the city. With an annual need of a little over 17,000 dwellings, the city has not even been producing 8,000. In addition, expensive construction costs have led to a predominantly growth in high-end dwellings, forgetting the middle class. Ever more companies have problems finding housing for new employees, meaning that this problem could have larger economic effects.

 “Don’t move to Stockholm / 21,000 are already trying in vain”. The flyer is from 1946, when the lack of housing made the city to discourage people from moving to it. By 1965 the housing crisis was so severe that Stockholm started with its ‘Miljonprogrammet’ (million program), which aimed at building a million dwellings in ten years’ time. The Corbusian high rise that resulted from this is, nowadays, the home of the lower end of Stockholm’s segregated housing market – not a popular place.

Come on Stockholm, sustainability is not only about being Europe’s Green Capital (2010)! Should we start reprinting the 1946 flyer? Affordable housing is a key issue!

Written by Sascha Benes. Follow him on Twitter, Linkedin and .