I am Rosengård - INTI - International New Town Institute


I am Rosengård
column by Rachel Keeton

In a series of six episodes, the International New Town Institute (INTI), based in Almere, the Netherlands, explores unusual aspects of rapidly developed settlements across Europe. Rachel Keeton reports on the Malmö neighbourhood of Rosengård, a multi-ethnic district and home base of international football star Zlatan Ibrahimović.

Rosengård is a planned district, built in the late 1960s as part of an ambitious housing programme (the ‘Million Programme’), which aimed to increase affordable housing stock. nowadays it is home to more than 20,000 inhabitants – 80 per cent from immigrant backgrounds – and has been consistently defamed by the media as a ‘dangerous ghetto’. Bloody clashes between youth and police in 2009 and 2010 did little to help this image.

But the area is slowly becoming a model for grassroots change. The drömmarnas Hus (‘House of dreams’) is a popular youth project that encourages participation and debate. Teenagers from the programme host a weekly radio broadcast and recently produced an web-TV drama series. Another of Rosengård’s most popular haunts is the Yalla Trappan restaurant, which is staffed by immigrant women who have no formal education and no work experience. The restaurant gives these women the opportunity to break through the isolation they may feel and engage Swedish society. Proposals for a new rail station, plans for densifi cation and ‘urban acupuncture’ ideas are also on the agenda.

Perhaps more than any of these efforts, Ibra’s biography, I Am Zlatan Ibrahimović, has changed the inhabitants’ perception from the inside out. Ibra’s childhood stories (‘The bike got stolen outside of the Rosengård swimming baths and dad went there with his shirt open and sleeves rolled up. He’s the kind of person that says: “no one touches my kids! no one takes their stuff”.’) have made the tough Swede relatable, even heroic. In a district where more than half of the students drop out of high school (as did Ibra himself), the memoir has made reading ‘cool’. The book has sold out almost everywhere. Suddenly, being from Rosengård is becoming hip.





Originally published in: A10, #48 2012




read other Short Reads
  • Shanzhai City
    What Will Make Shenzhen the Next Innovative City? - article by Tat Lam and Yeung Ho Man Legg
  • The New Urban Agenda –the Perspective of New Towns
    - Article by Michelle Provoost
  • Bottom-up is not enough
    - Article by Michelle Provoost
  • A City of Comings and Goings
    - Article by Wouter Vanstiphout and Michelle Provoost
  • Tema Manhean
    - Article by Michelle Provoost
  • When Smart Cities are Stupid
    - article by Rachel Keeton
  • Chinese urbanization through the lens of Da Lang
    - Article by Linda Vlassenrood
  • Making Housing Affordable in Fast-Growing Chinese Cities: A Shenzhen Perspective
    - article by Haotian Lin
  • The Dream of a Lifestyle: Master-Planned Communities and the New Tools of Exclusion
    ’New Towns & Politics’ - article by Tobias Armborst, Daniel D’Oca, Georgeen Theodore [INTERBORO]
  • The Politics of Planning: From Social Engineering to the Engineering of Consent Scenarios for Almere, Markerwaard, and New Netherlands 2050 (1965-1985)
    ’New Towns & Politics’ - article by Christian Salewski
  • The burden of being planned. How African cities can learn from experiments of the past: New Town Dodoma, Tanzania
    ’New Towns on the Cold War Frontier’ - article by Sophie van Ginneken
  • Exporting New Towns. The Welfare City in Africa
    - Article by Michelle Provoost
  • Transformation of Cape Town’s Informal Settlements: “The Pressure Cooker on the Boil”
    - article by Merve Bedir
  • Farming Chinese New Towns. Rethinking the roles of the agricultural landscape in new town development in China
    - article by Jiayao Liu
  • Living in Shenzhen: attractive for creatives?
    - Article by Marco Bontje
  • ’Van de idealen komt weinig meer terecht’
    Droomstreden - Article by Joris van Casteren
  • Real-world testing ground
    EU Export - article by Rachel Keeton
  • A Proposal for Inclusive Redevelopment in Shenzhen. Needed: An Intermediate Planning Tool
    - Article by Andrew Reynolds
  • The Openheid State. From closed to open society in Cape Town
    - Article by Michelle Provoost
  • Lost in translation
    New town narratives - column by Rachel Keeton
  • Albertslund; Berenklauwen in de tuin
    Droomstreden - Article by Joris van Casteren
  • Milton Keynes Calling
    New town narratives - column by Rachel Keeton
  • Slowing Down Shenzhen: An Inclusive Planning Approach to Regenerate the Homogeneous Industrial Areas of Shenzhen, China
    - Article by Maaike Zwart
  • To predict the future of technology, figure out how bureaucrats will use it.
    - Article by Michelle Provoost
  • Kaloleni: a Kenyan Garden City
    - article by Rachel Keeton
  • The miracle of Nowa Huta
    Imaginary cities / Droomsteden - Article by Joris van Casteren
  • Revived by historicization
    New town narratives - column by Rachel Keeton
  • Gropiusstadt; "Christiane F. woont hier niet meer"
    Droomsteden - Article by Joris van Casteren
  • DA LANG FEVER
    - Article by Linda Vlassenrood
  • I am Rosengård
    New town narratives - column by Rachel Keeton
  • Toulouse-Le Mirail; De voorstad brandt
    Droomsteden - Article by Joris van Casteren
  • In search of new values
    - Article by Michelle Provoost
  • A failed Communist utopia embraces its past – Nowa Huta
    New Town narratives - column by Rachel Keeton
  • Cumbernauld; Hollands Diep
    Droomsteden - Article by Joris van Casteren