Abstract: Many Swedish as many European cities experienced a similar history of urbanization, architectural styles and planning paradigms. Most of the Swedish neighbourhoods originate or were modified in the 20th century and many of them, often copyrighted by architects and planners, have been preserved as they were designed. The fundamental urban challenge in this century is to find ways of urban redevelopment, transformation and adaptation of these neighbourhoods to futures of social and environmental changes.
The type in urban morphology is the encompassing category that fuses form with time and space and there is a long tradition and established schools in Europe which document the consistencies between urban form, history and society. In this article I analyze the neighbourhoods in the city of Karlstad via the previously defined Swedish urban typology. The results show high explanation coefficients and low deviations. The typological neighbourhoods have similar urban densities, either as population or work places per hectare or as floor area ratios (FAR). It allows discussions about urban densities, redevelopment and transformation without really talking about coefficients or numbers.
The results awake a palette of debates. How stereotypical are the urban neighbourhoods today and how and should we make them more unique? Are there other alternatives for the 21st century than the urban typologies from the past? Is conceptualizing neighbourhoods through typologies enough for urban transformation?
Contribution to the 3rd International Degrowth Conference for Ecological Sustainability and Social Equity in Venice in 2012.