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Arctic Squatters: Capital of Culture, Urban Transformation, and Resistance from “The Right to The City” to “The Creation of the Urban Commons
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå School of Architecture.
2018 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

During the autumn of 2014 a vacant railroad round house (Lokstallarna) was squatted in the Centre of Umeå – a town located in northern Sweden. In 2008 Umeå had been designated as the European Capital of Culture (ECoC) 2014, together with Latvian capital Riga. Though issues bearing a history of tensions, Umeå had focused its application on the presence of a strong do-it-yourself grassroots culture along with the presence of the indigenous Sámi population in the surrounding regions. During the decade following the designation as ECoC, Umeå went trough a process of rapid urban transformation. Like the previous large urban transformation in the 1970’s and 1980’s, the process continuously sparked resistance from a multitude of citizen initiatives, which might be depicted as a movement around Henri Lefebvre’s slogan of “The Right to the City”. These movements did however not only negate, protest, the various changes in the cityscape, but rather, acted pro-actively in experiments to create space for their own needs, desires and dreams around the notion of commoning. The squatting of the vacant railroad house in the fall of 2014 may be seen as the peak point of an almost decade long cycle of struggles with different cultural associations as the movements main, but not sole, subject(s). Existing for almost two years, the squat was the longest run official occupation of an empty building in Sweden since the shift of the 1980’s and 1990’s. The aim of this paper is to contextualize the Lokstallarna squat in relation to (1) the general local and regional conditions, (2) in a narrative of local actions alike, and to thereafter situate it in the contemporary cycle of struggles of 2008-2015.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
National Category
History of Ideas
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-162761OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-162761DiVA, id: diva2:1346355
Conference
Squatting & Urban Commons, Stockholm, 27-28 april, 2018.
Note

The title changed before the conference. The original title was "Squatting in Umeå: Developing New Methodologies for the Urban Commons".

Available from: 2019-08-27 Created: 2019-08-27 Last updated: 2019-09-04Bibliographically approved

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Persson, Erik

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf