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The pocket park created by the young municipal developers, Source: Borås Municipality

Borås youngsters design a ‘pocket park’

Borås youngsters design a ‘pocket park’

An example of a municipality encouraging creativity and involvement from residents

The Swedish city of Borås is building a new, five-kilometre-long park called Viskans Park. While this green space gets ready for use, however, the municipal authorities decided to offer some temporary park solutions to residents. One of these so-called pocket parks was designed and built by four holiday workers who for three weeks worked as Young Municipal Developers. This turned out to be a great exercise in communal involvement and inspiration-seeking.

Young Municipal Developers is a summer programme that lets youngsters be leaders

Clara Holmgren, Elina Sämfors, David Krantz and Victor Persson met for the first time on their first day of the Young Municipal Developers programme. What they had in common was that they had all applied to it and wanted to work on a project called ‘Build a pocket park’. That project itself was an initiative of the Public Works and the Technical Administrations and represented a connection to Viskans park, to be built from Gässlösa to Rya Åsar nature reserve.

The new municipal developers got to research for themselves what young people want in a park, by sending out a questionnaire and also standing on Hallbergsplatsen and talking to people who passed by. Based on the answers and inspiration they found on the internet and in the physical urban environment, they produced sketches.

With the help of recycled materials that the young developers built and repainted, they got to realize their visions. In less than three weeks, an empty and paved surface was transformed into a colourful and inviting place to relax.

The municipal developers completed their work on 2 July. Then the ‘pocket park’ was presented to Borås City officials. But that is not all since the young people's surveys and conclusions will serve as a great help in the continuing work for Viskans Park. The finished result can be seen on Hallbergsplatsen between Viskan and Palla's parking garage.

Young Municipal Developers is a holiday project that aims to increase young people's influence. It lets young people work with various development issues by harnessing their innovative powers. The assignments and tasks vary from year to year and this time have been about the city's development, health issues and the Municipality as an employer.

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