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Conference paper - Peer-reviewed, 2007

Blueprints for resilient communities – Micro-comprehensive Sustainability Planning in Baltic Sea Urban Areas. Accepted for publication in conference proceedings from the International Conference on Whole Life Urban Sustainability and its Assessment - M. Horner, C. Hardcastle, A. Price, J.Bebbington (Eds) (Glasgow)

Berg, Per; Granvik, Madeleine; Eriksson, Tuula


Twenty-six common local urban townscape areas were studied in five Swedish, two Russian, two Latvian, one Polish and one Danish city – altogether 11 Baltic Sea Cities. A method was developed during 10 years for multi-dimensional assessment of the sustainability status of the local communities studied according to the United Nations Habitat-agenda. Seven universal key resources were thus analysed for each local area. Physical resources concerned e.g. energy, water and land use in the local community. Economic resources comprised the typical value of houses, equipment, informal activities, the rents and costs in a community. Biological resources were e.g. the entrance-, courtyard-, mid-scale- and large-scale green structure accessible to inhabitants. Organisational resources concerned functional aspects like transport, food service, child care and community communication in the local area. Social resources were – like social capital – the relations between inhabitants in their roles as dwellers or as representatives of clubs or organisations. Cultural resources were defined as the degree of awareness and value of site history, traditions, ceremonies and local arts in the community. Aesthetic resources were the valuable visual, auditive or other sensory input of value to the inhabitants. From the analysis of strong and weak points of the seven resources - a contextual micro-comprehensive plan for sustainable community development could be outlined for each local area, comprising three components: universal, townscape type specific and unique place specific part-strategies. From our empirics we could also conclude that for each community – a key change factor mostly existed – either a specific problem or a specific vision for positive change. By addressing the key factor, a broader change described in the micro-comprehensive plan, towards a more sustainable community development, could successively be introduced


Urban planning; Habitat agenda; Community resources; Sustainability

Published in


Whole Life Urban Sustainability and its Assessment