The Social City : Middle-way approaches to housing and sub-urban golvernmentality in southern Stockholm, 1900-1945

by Deland, Mats

Abstract (Summary)
This dissertation deals with the period bridging the era of extreme housing shortages in Stockholm on the eve of industrialisation and the much admired programmes of housing provision that followed after the second world war, when Stockholm district Vällingby became an example for underground railway-serviced ”new towns”. It is argued that important changes were made in the housing and town planning policy in Stockholm in this period that paved the way for the successful ensuing period. Foremost among these changes was the uniquely developed practice of municipal leaseholding with the help of site leasehold rights (Erbbaurecht).The study is informed by recent developments in Foucauldian social research, which go under the heading ’governmentality’. Developments within urban planning are understood as different solutions to the problem of urban order. To a large extent, urban and housing policies changed during the period from direct interventions into the lives of inhabitants connected to a liberal understanding of housing provision, to the building of a disciplinary city, and the conduct of ’governmental’ power, building on increased activity on behalf of the local state to provide housing and the integration and co-operation of large collectives. Municipal leaseholding was a fundamental means for the implementation of this policy.When the new policies were introduced, they were limited to the outer parts of the city and administered by special administrative bodies. This administrative and spatial separation was largely upheld throughout the period, and represented as the parallel building of a ’social’ outer city, while things in the inner ’mercantile’ city proceeded more or less as before. This separation was founded in a radical difference in land holding policy: while sites in the inner city were privatised and sold at market values, land in the outer city was mostly leasehold land, distributed according to administrative – and thus politically decided – priorities.These differences were also understood and acknowledged by the inhabitants. Thorough studies of the local press and the organisational life of the southern parts of the outer city reveals that the local identity was tightly connected with the representations connected to the different land holding systems. Inhabitants in the south-western parts of the city, which in this period was still largely built on private sites, displayed a spatial understanding built on the contradictions between centre and periphery. The inhabitants living on leaseholding sites, however, showed a clear understanding of their position as members of model communities, tightly connected to the policy of the municipal administration. The organisations on leaseholding sites also displayed a deep co-operation with the administration. As the analyses of election results show, the inhabitants also seemed to have felt a greater degree of integration with the society at large, than people living in other parts of the city. The leaseholding system in Stockholm has persisted until today and has been one of the strongest in the world, although the local neo-liberal politicians are currently disposing it off.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Stockholms universitet

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Doctoral Dissertation

Keywords:HUMANITIES and RELIGION; Aesthetic subjects; Settlement studies; Stockholm; governmentality; Foucault; land holding; leaseholding; site leasehold rights; municipal administration; housing; urban history; suburban; town planning; city planning; urban order; local press; voluntary societies; gender; disciplinary; philanthropy; Enskede; Brännkyrka; Söderort


Date of Publication:01/01/2001

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