A Stockholm street we ‘loosened up’ with the first prototypes of our Streets mission, Autumn 2020

Running a ‘find-and-replace’ over the city, replacing streets with parks

Adapting Holger Blom’s 1946 principles for Stockholm’s park programme to inform today’s street systems

Dan Hill
12 min readSep 14, 2021

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In my piece unpacking Brian Eno’s design principles for for our Swedish street mission, I suggested, as an aside, that “it feels like landscape architecture, having been unfairly downplayed for decades, perhaps for obvious if unfortunate reasons, may increasingly be the most important strand of architecture moving forward, for those same reasons, reversed.”

In landscape architecture, we see a practice attuned to biodiverse environments, integrated systems and cultures, ongoing and adaptive long-term engagement, multi-species or more-than-human-centred design, and more besides. Downplaying these practices in the past means we must focus on them now.

Yet that history is littered with shining work and useful clues, but I thought I’d borrow from a quiet bit of ‘local’ work here in Stockholm, from around eight decades ago.

In 1946, the respected city architect of Stockholm, Holger Blom, became its first city gardener. (We have city architects in Sweden, and across the Nordics, but you don’t often hear of a city gardener. I suspect we will, in future, given their potential.) Blom’s…

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Dan Hill
Dark Matter and Trojan Horses

Designer, urbanist, etc. Director of Melbourne School of Design. Previously, Swedish gov, Arup, UCL IIPP, Fabrica, Helsinki Design Lab, BBC etc