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Old facades in the city of Malmö

Malmö to get Sweden’s first cultural sound zone

Malmö to get Sweden’s first cultural sound zone

Is the noise too obvious or are we oblivious to its significance?

Malmö’s municipal website reported at the end of last week that the city is about to get its own urban area exclusively dedicated to the production of cultural output. This is meant to counteract, or rather to add another dimension to urban life, which has started being divided exclusively into industrial and ‘noisy’ zones and residential, or ‘quiet’, areas – pushing out the need for the expression of cultural community life in the process.

This will be the first such sound zone to exist in Sweden. The plan for its creation is part of the development of the Sofielund neighbourhood. Cultural and entertainment activities will be allowed to thrive freely without disturbing residents.

Could this point to a new trend into ‘departmentalization’ of urban noise?

Whatever you make of it, it is an interesting take on things, and it could point to a new trend in urban development going forward. After all, noise pollution is often cited as one of the main disturbants to life quality, even if that usually refers to traffic and industrial noise.

As such, no housing will be built in this area and it will be known by residents and visitors as the place to go when in search of culture…and, we can only guess, a bit of lively noise.

In cities, it is easy to exclude other activities when building houses. The risk is that we get cities that are only residential areas and that we eliminate the other qualities. That is why we have taken this initiative that culture, leisure and industry should be able to create noise and sound in symbiosis,” explained Sofia Hedén (S), chair of the planning committee.

In the business area of the city today, there is everything from factories, car repair shops, music clubs and leisure associations. With its heart along Norra Grängesbergsgatan street, the dynamic area is both a place for work and a visit for Malmö residents.

The established character of the area is both a prerequisite and an enabling factor to strengthen the site. And it looks like it is a chance to keep the noise going after the workday is over, only under a different form.

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