Urban station communities

Both the railway and railway stations has historically had a significant impact on communications and prosperity, not just in Sweden but globally. The future role of station communities is crucial for urban and regional development. A development of these communities can enable a transport-efficient urban planning, a sustainable economic development and an attractive region. Densifying station neighborhoods is a common challenge for many actors and stakeholders.

Mistra Urban Futures are therefore along with several partners in the process of developing a project about urban station communities. The project will increase knowledge about the complexity in planning station near locations and create conditions for development of station communities.



Alice Dahlstrand, project manager, presents Urban Station Communities at workshop in Hammarkullen, 4 February 2016 (4:20)

The project focuses on revitalizing and supporting municipalities regular planning processes to stimulate the building of an efficient transport region with attractive and dense station communities. The project can:

  • Provide support in the municipal own planning process
  • Offer arguments, images and other suggestions to be able to promote the development of urban station communities
  • Be a catalyst and spread knowledge
  • Be a forum for dialogue

Project participants

The following organisations are at this point involved in the project development: the Göteborg Region Association of Local Authorities, Swedish Transport Administration, Region Västra Götaland, The County Administrative Board of Västra Götaland and eleven municipalities. The Municipalities participating contributes each with a test case in the form of a station community. The participating municipalities are:

  • Ale (Nödinge)
  • Alingsås
  • Borås
  • Göteborg (Brunnsbo)
  • Härryda (Landvetter södra)
  • Kungälv (Ytterby)
  • Lerum
  • Partille
  • Stenungsund
  • Trollhättan (Upphärad)
  • Varberg

The project participants have via workshops identified seven focus areas that they see as the main challenges  to develop station communities. These focus areas are:

  • Noise, vibration and risk
  • Dialogue and collaboration
  • Flexible and sustainable transport
  • Structure and design of a sustainable society
  • Lifestyle values, identity and place marketing
  • Land use and land values ​​
  • The station's role for the surrounding area

Activities and subprojects are initiated based on these focus areas. Details of subprojects that have been started are given below.




Sustainable and attractive station communities

Subproject participants and funders  VINNOVA (Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems); Chalmers Arkitektur; SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden (SP); IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute; Viktoria Swedish ICT; the Gothenburg Region’s Federation of Municipalities (GR); the Västra Götaland region (VGR); the municipality of Ale; Alebyggen AB; and, Balder.

Further parties will become involved prior to the next stage. The subproject’s goal is “attractive station communities characterised by efficient land use that supports both sustainable travel and sustainable, local, economic and social development”. Having completed an initiation phase, the subproject is seeking finance to continue. The initiation phase focused on making an inventory of needs and investigating which solutions have the greatest potential as regards testing and building a strong operational base prior to the next stage.

The subproject is working primarily with innovations in the following categories:

  • Innovations for a more efficient use of valuable land near stations.
  • Innovations that create possibilities and incentives for choosing sustainable travel to and from stations.
  • Innovations that support post-industrial society, local trade and industry and social cohesion.

For further details, please contact Åsa Hult, IVL


Safety and pleasant sound environment in urban station communities

Financed by In 2014, the subproject was financed by the Swedish Transport Administration and the SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden (SP).

Subproject participants At the kick-off meeting, there were participants from: a number of municipalities; the county administrative board; the National Board of Housing, Building and Planning; White Arkitekter; SP; and, the Swedish Transport Administration. More parties will gradually become involved.

The Swedish Transport Administration and SP started the “Safety and pleasant sound environment in urban station communities” subproject. White Arkitekter is partly responsible for subproject management. This subproject focuses on ways of counteracting the problems of risks and noise/vibration. These currently present obstacles to densification (dwellings and enterprises close to stations). This is partly because of an unclear allocation of responsibilities and contradictory guidelines. It is also partly due to deficiencies in today’s solutions in respect of functionality and aesthetics requirements in urban locations. In spring 2015, the first results of the subproject will be detailed in a report. A seminar is planned for 15 October 2015.

The subproject’s goals:

  • Make an inventory of and show good examples of existing solutions.
  • Develop innovative, multifunctional solutions that are potentially attractive.
  • Demonstrate new solutions in a few municipalities.

For further details, please contact Krister Larsson, krister.larsson@sp.se.


From knowledge creep to transdisciplinary knowledge agents

Financed by Mistra Urban Futures; Region Halland; Region Skåne; and, Skåne county administrative board.

Subproject participants Region Halland; Region Skåne; Skåne county administrative board; Radar arkitektur & planering AB; Halmstad University; Malmö University; and, the municipalities of Laholm, Båstad, Trollhättan and Stenungsund.

In a pilot study, the subproject will seek to achieve a better understanding of how relationships between the various bodies affect the possibilities for municipalities to develop station communities. Via focus groups in the municipalities of Laholm, Båstad, Stenungsund and Trollhättan, the subproject has collected empiric data on structures and relationships between the bodies involved in developing station communities. The focus groups comprised: civil servants; politicians; and, bodies that the municipalities work with in the field of station development. In spring 2015, the subproject will deliver a first report.

For further details, please contact Joakim Forsemalm, joakim@radar-arkplan.se.


The role of stations in developing small communities and the areas around them

Financed by The Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth; the Västra Götaland region; Region Halland; and, a number of municipalities.

Subproject participants The University of Gothenburg’s “unit for human geography”, the Västra Götaland region and a number of municipalities.

Via the collecting of data, a mapping out of the situation and an analysis, the subproject focuses on the role of stations serving small communities. What is required for such stations to have a positive effect on development? How big is a station’s catchment area? Besides travel, what effects do such stations have on the surrounding countryside?

The above are just some of the questions that the subproject is addressing. This subproject is intended to serve as a source of data/findings for use in, for example: future regional visions; and, the consideration of different priorities within public transport.

For further details, please contact Linda Billberg, linda.billberg@vgregion.se.



The idea for the Urban Station Communities project was born in December 2012 at a workshop focusing on sustainable densification. In 2013, a knowledge review was written (Urban Station Communities – Review of Research and Practice). Within the framework of a project that is currently being developed (“Urban Station Communities – the way to resource-efficient travel”), the activities detailed below have been carried out/planned (in addition to the above subprojects).


Activities and seminars

Workshop day

Participating organisations have the opportunity to attend a workshop on 12 May 2015. It deals with two issues that concern most of the parties. There will be two parts to the workshop. These are “commuter parking” (morning session) and “a comfortable sound environment” (afternoon session). The intention is to work actively (via laboratory-inspired methodology) on cases from municipalities.


Inspiration and information meeting

Project participants were invited to a 12 December 2014 meeting where they could, amongst other things, draw inspiration from how the municipality of Varberg handled resident dialogues and complex collaborative projects. Participants were also treated to the Swedish Transport Administration’s Susanne Ingo giving details of: future scenarios, needs and solutions for travel and transport in city station communities; and, work in the “The attractive region” project.


Seminar: Urban station communities – how are we to plan for travelling in the near future?

On 15 May 2014, civil servants (from municipalities and state and regional organisations), consultants and politicians came together at the “Urban station communities – how are we to plan for travelling in the near future?” seminar. This was arranged in collaboration with K2, a national centre for public transport research. Read more about the seminar and see the presentation material here (Swedish only).


Seminar: “A pleasant sound environment from source to receiver”

A seminar that aimed to focus on issues pertaining to comfortable sound environments without too much disturbance from noise and vibration was held on 21 January 2014. Throughout the day, researchers and experts presented various aspects of the subject (e.g. acoustic design, health effects and “noise costs”). The seminar was jointly organised by the Swedish Transport Administration, the SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden (SP) and Västra Götaland county administrative board. SP’s website has film sequences from the seminar (Swedish only). Go to http://www.splogin.se and log in using the details below.

User name: sp\Bullerseminarium

Password: SP2014-01-21


Urban research

With the theme “urban station communities”, the Urban Research seminar was held on 6 December 2013. The invited speaker was Anne Leemans of the Yellow design Foundation. A project status report was given at the seminar. Read more.



This event was held on 13 September 2013. Its participants included representatives from nine municipalities. Each municipality chose one of its station communities to be a case study in the planned project. These station communities are either in the course of being developed or are earmarked for development planning. In autumn 2013, there were meetings and an image workshop with the participating municipalities.


Knowledge seminar

On 6 March 2013, a knowledge seminar brought together municipalities, regional bodies, regulatory authorities, academic institutions and trade and industry entities to discuss urban station communities. This knowledge seminar confirmed that the future role of station communities is critical for the development of the towns and regions in question. Read more (Swedish only).

Would you like to be involved? Would you or your organisation like to be part of the project and its development? If you would, please contact the relevant project/subproject managers.

Illustration: Emelie Göransson


  • Walkable cities mistra urban futures höjemo
    The status of walking in policy and planning
    Höjemo, T. & Fedrizzi, B. The status of walking in policy and planning. Views from different professions. Mistra Urban Futures Working Paper 2017:3
    Location:Gothenburg Type:Report/Paper/Working paper/Brief
  • Urban Station Communities Mistra Urban Futures
    Co-creation in urban station communities
    Ranhagen, U., Dahlstrand, A. & Ramstedt, A. Co-Creation in Urban Station Communities. Mistra Urban Futures report 2017:2
    Location:Gothenburg Type:Report/Paper/Working paper/Brief
  • Urban Station Communities Mistra Urban Futures
    Samskapande i det urbana stationssamhället
    Ranhagen, U., Ramstedt, A., Dahlstrand, A. Samskapande i det urbana stationssamhället. Mistra Urban Futures rapport 2017:1
    Location:Gothenburg Type:Report/Paper/Working paper/Brief
  • Forsemalm-Att utveckla regionen
    Att utveckla regionen genom kommunen
    Forsemalm, J., Johansson, M. & Svetoft, I. Att lära sig utveckla regionen genom kommunen: urbana stationssamhällen som verktyg för ett hållbart transportsystem. Mistra Urban Futures Report 2015:18
    Location:Gothenburg Type:Report/Paper/Working paper/Brief
  • Low Carbon Stations
    Low carbon stations for low carbon cities
    Leemans, A., Cruz, J., Frommer, G., Ivkovic, M, "Low carbon stations for low carbon cities", Mistra Urban Futures and ydesignfoundation, 2015.
    Location:Gothenburg Type:Report/Paper/Working paper/Brief
  • Low Carbon Stations for Low Carbon Cities Quick-Scan Desk Research on Trends, Challenges and Opportunities in Adapting Urban Interchanges for Low Carbon Future
    Leemans, A. & Ivkovic, M. Brussels: Yellow design Foundation, 2013
    Location:Gothenburg Type:Report/Paper/Working paper/Brief
  • Det urbana stationssamhället: Forsknings- och praktikeröversikt
    Dahlstrand, A., Forsemalm, J. & Palmås, K. Mistra Urban Futures Report 2013:3. Gothenburg: Mistra Urban Futures, 2013
    Location:Gothenburg Type:Report/Paper/Working paper/Brief
  • Wellbeing
    Station Community Transitions: A Matter of Push or Pull?
    Forsemalm, J., Palmås, K. & Hadasch, I. Mistra Urban Futures Paper 2013:1. Gothenburg: Mistra Urban Futures, 2013
    Location:Gothenburg Type:Report/Paper/Working paper/Brief


  • Stationens roll för små orter och dess omland

    Rapporten är del 3 av 3 med fördjupad kunskap om stationens roll genom intervjuer med boende på tre orter, Kode, Lödöse och Floby. Författare: Terje Selnes, Kulturgeografi, Göteborgs universitet.

  • Stationers roll för utveckling av mindre orter

    Rapporten som är del 2 av 3 belyser hur en tågstation kan bidra till regional och lokal utveckling i mindre orter på landsbygden med 500-5000 invånare. Rapporten har skrivits av Ramböll.

  • Stationers roll för utveckling av mindre orter och dess omland - kunskapssammanställning och forskningsbehov

    Del 1 av 3 har skrivits av Elin Slätmo, Kulturgeografi, Göteborgs universitet.


  • Årsrapport 2014, Det Urbana Stationssamhället - vägen mot ett resurssnålt resande

    En sammanfattning av projektet 2014.

  • 2014 Annual report Urban station communities

    2014 Annual report Urban station communities

  • 2013 Årsrapport Det urbana stationssamhället

    2013 Årsrapport Det urbana stationssamhället

  • 2013 Progress report Urban station communities

    2013 Progress report Urban station communities

  • Säkerhet och god ljudmiljö i det urbana stationssamhället

    Denna förstudie är en kartläggning av regelverk, roller och innovation kopplat till frågor om buller, vibrationer och säkerhet i stationssamhället. Förstudien pekar på ett behov av ökat helhetstänkande – dessa frågor behandlas idag vanligen mest ingående i exploateringsärenden, men berör hela samhället. De kommunala möjligheterna är många gånger begränsade, och incitamenten för att hitta lösningar behöver öka. Det finns stora möjligheter till utveckling av
    • tekniska innovationer, där fokus borde fokuseras på att åtgärda buller vid eller nära källan
    • processerna, med ökade möjligheter att tillgodoräkna sig åtgärder
    • modeller för både beräkning och finansiering
    Arbetet har utförts av:
    Krister Larsson, SP krister.larsson@sp.se
    Erik Linn, White erik.linn@white.se
    Gunnar Stomrud, White gunnar.stomrud@white.se

  • How can future methodologies be applied in the planning process?

    How can future methodologies be applied in the planning process?
    - Case study of the bus park and railway station in Kisumu, Kenya and Centralen Gothenburg, Sweden
    Department of Energy and Environment
    Division of Environmental Systems Analysis
    Göteborg, Sweden, 2015



    – om beteendepåverkan och nudging för mer hållbara personresor
    - About influencing behaviour and nudging for more sustainable personal traveling

    Sara Linder SLU, Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet
    Fakulteten för landskapsarkitektur, trädgårds- och växtproduktionsvetenskap
    Institutionen för arbetsvetenskap, ekonomi och miljöpsykologi


    Alnarp juni 2015


  • Refereat och reflexioner utifrån workshopdag 12 maj 2015

    Den 12 maj 2015 arrangerades en workshopdag inom ramen för projektet Det urbana stationssamhället. Dagen fokuserade på två olika teman; pendelparkering och god ljudmiljö. Valet av teman som har sin grund i utmaningar som medverkande kommuner och organisationer identifierat kopplat till utveckling av stationssamhällen.

    Workshopparna samlade deltagare från sju olika kommuner, Västra Götalandsregionen, Västtrafik, Trafikverket, Länsstyrelsen i Västra Götalands län samt forskare och experter. Övningarna fokuserade på fyra kommunala case i form av stationssamhällen i Ale (Nödinge & Älvängen), Härryda (Mölnlycke centrum), Kungälv (Ytterby) samt Lerum (Aspen strand). Respektive workshop inleddes med presentationer av casen samt inspirationsföreläsningar från experter på respektive tema. Professor Ulf Ranhagen har i detta dokument sammanfattat sina reflexioner från dagen.

  • Uppföljaning av två workshopar i det urbana stationssamhället

    Utvärdering och uppföljning av två workshopar. Skriven av mastersstudent David Eriksson från Blekinge Tekniska Högskola inom en kurs i Projektarbete i strategisk fysisk planering.

  • Klimatsmarta och attraktiva transportnoder

    Den urbana strukturens egenskaper har stor betydelse för att minska bilberoendet. Studien syftar bl.a. till att förbättra kunskapen om hur stadsstrukturen kan bidra till både energieffektivitet och attraktivitet kopplat till hållbar utveckling. Ulf Ranhagen, Elisabetta Trogoli och Björn Ekelund.

  • Annual report 2015

    The report  describes work carried out within "Urban station communities" in 2016.

  • Slutrapport Stationens roll för utveckling av mindre orter och dess omland 2016

    Denna rapport är slutrapporten i projektet Stationers roll för mindre orter och dess omland som pågick från oktober 2014 till augusti 2015. Projektet initierades genom Mistra Urban Futures kunskapsprocess ”Det urbana stationssamhället – vägen mot ett resurssnålt resande”. Projektets huvudsyfte har varit att belysa om, och i så fall hur, hur en tågstation kan bidra till regional och lokal utveckling i mindre orter i storleksordningen 500-5000 invånare. För att svara till sitt syfte har tre rapporter tagits fram:
    1. Stationers roll för utveckling av mindre orter och dess omland – Kunskapssammanställning och forskningsbehov, februari 2015
    2. Stationers roll för utveckling av mindre orter och dess omland – kartläggning, maj 2015
    3. Stationers roll för mindre orter och dess omland – intervjustudie, juni 2015
    I denna rapport sammanfattas och sammanställs resultaten från de tre rapporterna. Inledningsvis beskrivs varje rapport utifrån en kort metodgenomgång, en genomgång av frågeställningar, en sammanfattning av resultatet och avslutningsvis en kort diskussion av resultaten. Resultaten har ställts i relation till varandra för att identifiera resultat som går att se i alla rapporter. Rapporterna ger på så sätt stöd åt varandra för att stärka resultatens vikt.

  • summary of the role of stations in small communities and the areas around them

    summary of the role of stations in small communities and the areas around them

  • Att processleda projektet Det urbana stationssamhället - vägen mot ett resurssnålt resande

    Reflektioner och perspektiv på att processleda projektet Det urbana stationssamhället - vägen mot ett resurssnålt resande. English summary. Alice Dahlstrand, Trafikverket

  • 2016 Annual report Urban station communities
  • 2016 Årsrapport Det urbana stationssamhället
  • Ulf Ranhagens idépromemoria stationer september 2013

    Ulf Ranhagen KTH/Sweco har sammanställt erfarenheter och idéer för utveckling av det urbana stationssamhället. Ulf Ranhagens tio råd har varit en av grunderna för flera av de medverkande organisationernas arbete med Det urbana stationssamhället.

  • Är samhället uppbyggt för människor med obekväm arbetstid?

    Är samhället uppbyggt för människor med obekväma arbetstider? En studie av kollektivtrafikresor på obekväma tider mellan kommuner i Göteborgsregionen och Sahlgrenska Universitetssjukhuset
    Examensarbete inom högskoleingenjörsprogrammet Byggingenjör 2017

    Institutionen för bygg- och miljöteknik, Avdelningen för geologi och geoteknik, CHALMERS TEKNISKA HÖGSKOLA

Project members

  • Amie Ramstedt

    Amie Ramstedt works as a process leader at the Göteborg Region Association of Local Authorities.

    Contact me
  • Alice Dahlstrand

    Alice Dahlstrand works with traffic safety at the Swedish Transport Administration.

    Contact me
  • Ulf Ranhagen

    Dr Ulf Ranhagen, Professor emeritus from KTH in Stockholm, Adjunct  Professor at Lulea University and Honoray Professor at Tongji University in Shanghai and Senior Chief Architect at SWECO in Stockholm. He was member of the Swedish Delegation of Sustainable Cities 2008-2012 and Mistra Urban Futures Board 2011-2013. At present he is chairman of ARKUS and board member of  E2B2 and Richerts. During 2015 he will serve as senior advisor for the urban station community project.

    Contact me

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