Johan Pries

Johan Pries


Johan Pries

Remaking the People’s Park : Heritage Renewal Troubled by Past Political Struggles?


  • Johan Pries
  • Erik Jönsson

Summary, in Swedish

This article explores how a series of heritage-driven renewal plans in the Swedish city Malmö dealt with a landscape deeply shaped by radical politics: Malmö People’s Park (Folkets Park). Arguing against notions of heritage where the past is essentially considered a malleable resource for present commercial or political concerns, we scrutinise plans for the People’s Park from the 1980s onward to emphasise how even within renewal attempts built on seemingly uncontroversial nostalgic readings of the park’s past, tensions proved impossible to keep at bay. This had profound effects on the studied development process.
Established by the city’s social-democratic labour movement in 1891, the People’s Park is both enmeshed with historical narratives, and full of material artefacts left by a century when the Social Democrats had a decisive presence in the city. As municipal planners and politicians targeted this piece of land, the tensions they had to navigate included not only what present ideas to bring to bear on the making of heritage, but also how to deal with past politics and the park as a material landscape. Our findings point to how the kinds of labour politics that had faded for decades became impossible to dismiss in urban renewal. Both political representations and de-politicising nostalgic representations of Malmö People’s Park’s past provoked (often unexpected) resistance undoing planning visions.


  • Humanities
  • Social Sciences


  • Folkets park
  • historia
  • kulturarv




  • ISSN: 2000-1525