The plan for Kista's sustainable direction

Right now, Kista Galleria is undergoing its largest transformation ever. Veronica Palmgren, Urban Development Director at Citycon, takes the chance to tell us about this transformation that will make Kista safer and nicer, from both a social and environmental sustainability perspective.

How does the project contribute to social sustainability on the local level?

“We have 6,000 university students and nine primary and upper secondary schools in the area. As a result, it’s only natural that we want to give these young people meaningful free time and a successful future.”

“Collaboration is the key to fully realising all the possibilities and development opportunities fostered in this area. And collaboration is a part of Kista’s DNA. This is where we can be the bridge connecting those in the area and industry expertise and innovation.”

“By collaborating with local actors, such as the Muslim Association of Sweden, Fryhuset and the Church of Sweden, we can put together all kinds of events ranging from Sommar på torget with the City of Stockholm to Kistaloppet. All of these activities serve to strengthen and enrich the free time of Kista’s young people. In order to create a successful future, we are capitalising off of what makes us unique and what we’re famous for: food entrepreneurs and the international kitchens. That is why we’ve teamed up to develop upper secondary programmes focusing on the food and service industries. It gives students an education in an industry with demand and enables them to gain work experience and enter the labour market where they live.”

“This is our way of collaborating and creating local synergy that strengthens both individuals and industry in Kista.”

How do you plan to develop a more sustainable environment in Kista?

“Kista is surrounded by nature reserves and green spaces. However, when people travel to Kista using the metro or when they’re in the city centre, they can’t see it. That’s why we’ve started this comprehensive initiative to take those greenspaces and wildlife to new heights.”

“One of Europe’s largest rewilding projects is now underway on Kista’s rooftops, which is being done in collaboration with some of Sweden’s best entrepreneurs in the area. For the project, we will be doing some very innovative rooftop gardening using the flowers and plants native to Järvafältet.”

“If we succeed, we will create huge change in more ways than one, especially for the local environment and biodiversity. The roofs will also give us entirely new opportunities to improve the climate and Kista Galleria’s energy usage. We reduce the need for heating, create natural cooling in the summer and ease stormwater management.”

What are you working on right now?

“In phase one, we will build and install giant letters that, when put together, spell, “Kista”. A landmark that will be visible to everyone coming to Kista on the metro. The letters will be filled with vining plants that will climb around the letters’ structures and grow in tandem with the project. We have also created a test patch on the roofs that we’re filling with different plants and similar meadow flowers from neighbouring Järvafältet that are growing quite nicely.”

"By turning the roofs green, Kista will gain a large new green space in the middle of its dense urban centre, which will serve to increase biodiversity in the area."

Read more about the green roof projket in the interview with Johan Paju and Maria Gudmundsson Paju, landscape architects at Paju Arkitektur.

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