When Anna Nordén represents Gothenburg in Europe she has a slogan that she tries to use as much as possible.
“‘It’s now that it’s happening!’ Every time I go up on stage to hold a talk or when I am in other situations where I talk about the city and the challenges it’s facing, I make sure to point out that things are underway.”
And yes, Framtiden is underway. The City of Gothenburg’s property company is Sweden’s largest public housing company with 72,000 rentals. Since 2016 its subsidiary Framtiden Byggutveckling AB has been responsible for all of its new productions. Last year it started 10 major construction projects, and there will be an additional 18 this year in Gothenburg. In total it concerns over 3,000 new rental flats. With a high construction pace, an estimated 1,400 flats will be completed per year, spread across the city.
“It’s not just about building new housing. We have to build for everyone, in all areas, and with good quality and reasonable rental fees. All Gothenburgers should be able to afford housing, and this places demands on lower production costs,” says Anna Nordén.
She was recently at MIPIM, the large property and investment fair held every spring in Cannes, which attracts representatives from over 100 countries. Anna Nordén’s main goal was to gain contacts with new real estate actors – everything from small to large construction companies that could come and help build Gothenburg.
“Interest in Gothenburg is increasing. That was clear at this year’s MIPIM. The fact that the region is investing 100 billion euros is attractive in itself. But I’ve also experienced that we impress by being open about our challenges. That credibility strikes a chord. People are genuinely curious about how we will solve our housing problems and social challenges. I made many good contacts with other cities that both shared their experiences and want to learn from our approach.”
The Gothenburg region at MIPIM
Business Region Göteborg is the project leader of the Gothenburg region’s efforts at the international property event MIPIM. The aim is to promote the Gothenburg region and create business for the participating partner companies. In 2018, 23 companies and four municipalities participated. Learn more: www.gothenburgatmipim.com
Cooperation is needed
Framtiden has identified six development areas. They coincide with areas where the police surveil, something that entails a great social responsibility.
“We build in vulnerable areas and it’s a very important part of making the region even more attractive. I hope, that thanks to public initiatives, we can strengthen these areas. But just building housing doesn’t reduce segregation; it’s not the only tool in the toolbox.”
“Take Selma Stad or Frölunda for example, areas that are facing big changes. We go in with a broad approach and at the same time cooperative-owned flats are being built. We collaborate with schools, district committees, other municipally-owned companies and private actors to create an area with added value. Just now we have many fantastic meetings where we talk about common goals and how we can achieve them together in the best possible way.”
But Anna Nordén emphasises that collaboration is a process in itself.
“Stepping up operations also involves friction. Systems, routines and processes for everything from ideas to a completed building are put to the test. The building process must be streamlined. We need to look at new ways of building, more conceptual and industrial. It’s an ongoing learning process. We can’t back off if things go wrong, rather keep moving forward and try new things.”
Credibility, tempo and perseverance are key words when she talks about Gothenburg, regardless if she is on home soil or out in Europe.
“Openness and honesty increase interest and simplify cooperation. We talk about our problems, but we also show that we have structures, strategies and solutions to reach the goals,” she says.
This is happening in the Gothenburg region by 2035
- EUR 100 billion will be invested in properties and infrastructure.
- 120,000 jobs will be created.
- 105,000 new apartments will be built.