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The Metropolitan corridor revisited

Research project in Human Geography

Project's title: The Metropolitan corridor revisited: tracing rural/urban hybrids as a base for sustainable development

Project's duration: 2012-2014

Contact person: Tomas Germundsson

Researchers in the project:

Overview

Urban sprawl is a major threat for the environment in Europe. In Sweden a main strategy to curb sprawl is to aim for densely built settlements around railway stations in suburban and peri-urban locations. However the strategies are guided by a reductive analysis (focusing on accessibility and available land) and a clearly pronounced urban ideal - whereas urban sprawl is driven by lifestyle values and countryside ideals. This approach endangers the entire strategy for sustainable development. Furthermore, the unique character of the railway settlements is forgotten: they are neither rural nor urban and could therefore potentially harbor the amenity values search for within amenity migration. The project examines the Metropolitan corridor as a model for urban development, with specific focus on the regional strategy for Scania and its consequences for the treatment of landscape amenities. The project aims to (1) trace the relational rural/urban character of a Metropolitan corridor and its landscape amenities in order to provide a better understanding of its character, (2) in collaboration with local and regional stakeholders reinterpret the potentials for a multifunctional development of the corridor in accordance with its landscape amenities. The use of the historical character of the railway settlements will further develop the cultural heritage and identity, which are often threatened by new developments. Thus, an exploration of the (historical and contemporary) character of the corridor offers a base for a sustainable, multifunctional development. The study will interact with the ongoing regional planning process, and contribute (theoretically and methodologically) to the international debate on how to curb urban sprawl. The project is based at the Department of Landscape Architecture at SLU Alnarp and has collaboration with the Department of Human geography at Lund University. It is funded by Formas.