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HEALTHY CITIES:

THE NEW
AGENDA
Sustainable Solutions from Scandinavia
HEALTHY CITIES WHITE ARKITEKTER
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HEALTHY CITIES WHITE ARKITEKTER
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WHITE ARKITEKTER
Left: Malms Western Harbour.
Designed to promote sustainable
urban living with innovations in waste
management, renewable energy,
biodiversity and transport.
As we move further into the 21st Century there
are some inexorable trends emerging that are
having a profound impact on the way we think
about and design our cities.
Economic crises, population growth, climate change, resource
depletion, changing demographics, and an emerging obesity
epidemic in the developed world, are all changing the
conditions for human development. These are some of the
most important challenges for our era, and impact upon all of
us involved in urban development.
But amid all this doom and gloom is there cause for hope?
Can the way we plan and design our cities help to solve these
challenges? We think so.
In Scandinavia we are witnessing some positive trends
emerging, as a result of our tradition of managing sustainable
urban developments through collaboration, transparency
and stakeholder involvement. We are seeing that creating
healthy cities is not an impossible dream. Exemplars such
as the Western Harbour in Malm and Hammarby Sjstad in
Stockholm, where White has been closely involved for many
years, are showing the way forward.




We can design and plan our cities in a way that promotes
prosperity and social justice, increases mobility, reduces the
use of nite resources, enhances biodiversity, mitigates and
adapts for the impacts of climate change. And thereby make
cities more healthy and attractive places - both for people and
investment.
As Scandinavias largest multi-discipline, architectural
practice White has the expertise and experience needed to
address these challenges. And we are happy to share this
Scandinavian approach with the rest of the world.
I believe that we have a major responsibility, not only today but
for the generation to come, to plan and create an environment
where people feel safe and are happy and as a result live a
healthier and better life.
Monica von Schmalensee CEO, White arkitekter
OUR APPROACH
HEALTHY CITIES WHITE ARKITEKTER
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WELL BEING?
The consensus about sustainability among
environmental scientists has widened and hardened
with profound implications for city design.
The May 2011 Nobel Laureate Symposium warned in its
Stockholm Memorandum:
In essence, the scientic evidence provided
clearly indicates that we are in a critical period.
Adding that:
It is time to introduce innovations that are sensitive to the
fundamental bonds between social and ecological systems.
The interface between social and ecological systems has been
at the heart of Whites architecture and thinking for decades.
Interconnected problems need interconnected solutions.
As masterplanners and urban designers, we believe these
solutions can be found if we see cities as networks of
relationships and understand their patterns, structures and
processes like those of living organisms. It is about working
with synergies, rather than within silos.
Obesity part of the problem
If the current rate of increase in obesity continues, the total
health care costs attributable to obesity are anticipated to
double every decade.
Physical inactivity causes 600,000 deaths and the loss
of 5.3 million years of healthy life expectancy per year in
Europe. Britain has the worst gures in the EU, with nearly
a quarter of women, 22% of men and 16% of the 18-24
age group classed as obese.
Sources: Swedish National Institute for Public Health
European Health Interview Survey 2011(EHIS), WHO Europe.
2005 2015
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Key
Overweight
Obese
Above: Salford House 4 Life.
Inspired by the 2008 Marmot
Review, Fair Society Healthy Lives.
Graph Source: World Health
Organisation, 2005.
HEALTHY CITIES WHITE ARKITEKTER
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WHITE ARKITEKTER
Today our love affair with the car has choked
our cities and technological innovation has
dramatically reduced day-to-day physical activity
and movement in our work, transport, housework
and leisure.
Active living is a major focus of Whites approach to urban
design, which aims to encourage a way of life that integrates
physical activity into daily routines. It can include walking,
climbing stairs, cycling, dancing, playing games, gardening and
housework, as well as sport and deliberative exercise in fact
any kind of movement where people nd themselves breathing
faster and feeling warmer during their daily routine.
ACTIVE LIVING
Active impact
Research shows that efforts to increase physical activity in
the population is likely to be more effective if they also involve
changes in the physical and social environment.
Contact with nature is most likely crucial for human
development and welfare in the long term.
Source: Community planning for an active life Swedish
National Institute for Public Health.
PART OF THE SOLUTION
Above: Southend Pier Head.
An attractive extension of the town,
a healthy stroll out over the sea.
HEALTHY CITIES WHITE ARKITEKTER
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MOBILITY
CHOICES
Top: Gullmarsplan, Stockholm.
A vibrant transport hub.
Bottom: Mindzone, Helsingborg.
Enhanced mobility and social
integration.
Our mantra when designing for
healthier cities is to give people more
opportunities to choose a healthy path.
That means offering a good array
of choices for movement which are
useful, easily accessible and attractive.
Walking, biking, taking the train, bus or
boat rather than the car, and choosing
the stairs rather than the lift are all
behaviours that can be nudged
and modied by intelligent design.
Connectivity between streets, through
courtyards and numerous urban spaces
and gaps is obviously critical.
The health of our children is especially precious.
Cycling routes to school, play areas and green
spaces within 2-300 metres of the front door are
must-haves for the physical and mental health
of children and for social cohesion.
The growth of cycling by a more health-
conscious population is probably unstoppable.
White is working with city authorities who see
the cycling revolution as an opportunity to exploit
by creating more cycleways and planning for
the Biking City to gain precious space to
develop more attractive places and spaces.
The fundamental purpose of the city is for people to meet, to move
around, walk about, look at each other, speak and interact to live
together. When our cities are far more pedestrian-friendly and
compact, much of this movement for social interaction is on foot
and by bicycle, rather than by car most people get the exercise
they need through their normal everyday living.
Krister Lindstedt Head of Urban Design, White arkitekter
HEALTHY CITIES WHITE ARKITEKTER
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Above: Lund Science City.
A new dense city district with
attractive public spaces.
White designs on the basis that
attractive places are like self-fullling
prophesies they draw in more
people. Vibrant streets, pleasant
parks and efcient transport systems
provide what people need, so planning
strategies that understand and
aggressively exploit these desire lines
will gradually achieve the critical mass
of users that they seek.
That means we seek to bring parks and green
spaces to where people already are or need to
be. A park that is off the beaten track will provide
a pleasant refuge for some, but a park that is
integrated into the routes people take to shops
and stations has the possibility of becoming a
new kind of multi-functional space. And the
busier it is, the safer it feels.
Social cohesion can be built on this attraction
between people, whilst dispersion and separation
has the opposite effect. If we cannot avoid
some segregation in housing between the
rich and the poor, we can at least bring them
together on decent public transport for their
day-to-day journeys.
ATTRACTING
PEOPLE
HEALTHY CITIES WHITE ARKITEKTER
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OVERLAPPING
AGENDAS
The need for triple-win innovations
that tap into the natural synergies
between social, ecological and
economic systems is a new paradigm
for our industry and our species.
How well these challenges are addressed will
have a signicant inuence on the attractiveness
of a city, its ability to draw in and retain talent,
and ultimately when investment choices
between competing cities come to be made
its future prosperity.
This agenda is broad and intensely multi-
disciplinary, which is why White assembles
teams of architects, urban planners, ecologists
anthropologists, chemists, landscape architects,
engineers and cost consultants.
They all bring enquiring minds and a passion
for collaborative working.
Because all agendas overlap, our expertise
in stakeholder engagement and sustainable
design has been pivotal to success. The White
Innovation Process (WIP) and Sustainable
Integrated Design (SID) are tools that help draw
stakeholders into an evidence-based process,
which claries the big issues sooner and optimises
engagement in the most fundamental decisions.
The new agenda for healthy cities is a collective
one, which White is already addressing together
with many of our clients and partners. We hope
these ideas resonate with you too, and we would
like to invite you to contact us if you think that we
can help contribute to your work on this
important agenda.
Collaboration
Curiosity
White
Innovation
Process (WIP)
Sustainable
Integrated
Design (SID)
Openness
Sincerity
Candour
Dene
Express
Create
Conclude
Social
Ecological
Technical
Economic
Question
Listen
Research
Left: The White way.
HEALTHY CITIES WHITE ARKITEKTER
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Win-Win-Win solutions
Strategies, such as for ood control, can be
integrated into the public realm to make
attractive and healthy urban spaces; broader
experience and awareness of nature can be
brought into normal daily life.
White strives to see the built environment not in opposition to
the ecosystem, but as a part of it Seeing ourselves as a truly
integrated part of the environment will help us form benecial
relationships with all its systems and bring back our passion
for the development of civilisation.
Sara Grahn Professor in Sustainable Design,
Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) & Partner, White arkitekter
Above: Tnsberg Academy,
Norway. Sustainable, integrated
and resilient design.
HEALTHY CITIES WHITE ARKITEKTER
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Photographers:
ke E:son Lindman, Joakim Lloyd Raboff,
Thomas Zaar, White View and White.
Edited & designed by Wordsearch
Right: Roslags Nsby.
Competition winning solution
for a sustainable new district in
Stockholm.
WHO WE ARE
White arkitekter is the largest
architectural practice in Scandinavia.
We combine leadership in sustainability
with high quality architecture and urban
design. White arkitekter was founded
by Sidney White in 1951 and employs
over 600 staff across twelve ofces in
Sweden, Denmark, Norway and the UK.

We believe that designing for sustainable
outcomes is the essential contribution we can
make to society today, and we are keen to
collaborate with others to bring this about.
Our approach is pragmatic function, process and
economy are vital elements of design yet we are
innovative and, where appropriate, bold in pursuit
of quality and originality.
For us, architecture is the framework for
sustainable living and well-being creating places
where people and society feel and perform better.
We believe that good design is for everyone.
Everything we do is related to sustainability; social,
economic and environmental.
We are recognised as pioneers and thought-
leaders in sustainable architecture across industry,
government and academia.
Curiosity is a feature of our culture and drives our
deep exploration of user needs at the start of
every project, through close and open dialogue
with clients, users and stakeholders.
Being Scandinavian, we pursue our strong
emphasis on collaboration with openness, sincerity
and candour.
We are wholly employee-owned. Our prots are
invested in our people and we spend some 1
million every year on our unique R&D programme
and disseminate the results.
We give responsibility to younger members of our
team, mentored by senior staff. Our excellent staff
retention brings an inter-generational dynamic to
our thinking as well as a powerful bank of
experience and knowledge.
We work across all major sectors and are a secure
partner for any project requiring smart solutions to
todays complex challenges.
HEALTHY CITIES WHITE ARKITEKTER
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CONTACT
For more information please contact:
Carl Bckstrand
White International Director
Tel: +46 (0)406 609328
E-mail: carl.backstrand@white.se
Keith Boxer
White UK Director
Tel: +44 (0)7977 203359
E-mail: keith.boxer@white.se
Website: en.white.se