Swedish town to turn former train track into a site for urban experiments

Looking to develop something meaningful out of an abandoned train track running through its center, the small Swedish town of Tibro has decided to turn the abandoned site into an arena for sustainable urban experiments.

The Tibro Train Tracks project, undertaken by Stockholm-based architecture firm Anders Berensson Architects, explores the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 11, which calls for sustainable cities and communities.

To create the design, the architects started with a citizen dialogue, encouraging the local community to participate in the redevelopment of their hometown. Next, the architects visited local businesses, schools, and associations to figure out how to best tailor the design to site-specific initiatives and interventions.

The last step involved combining the findings into a wide-ranging 17 proposals, prototypes, and projects for the abandoned railway area. The proposals include smaller interventions such as increasing tree coverage by the train tracks, as well as larger initiatives such as creating a market hall on the site.

“The site itself as an abandoned yet central site with a small interest to invest and develop fast can be seen as a disadvantage but with a focused strategy over a long time it can be turned into the opposite,” the architects explained. “With more time, experiments can be done, tested, and evaluated. Small projects, tests, and prototypes can be built and removed or kept. Things can grow organically in a focused plan with a resilient strategy.”

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