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Banana House Christiania, Copenhagen. Image Source: Creative Commons View original picture , opens in new tab/window

Clever idea was rewarded with chocolate

Published: 14 September 2015

Lars Stehn, Professor of Timber Engineering at Luleå University of Technology, came up with a winning idea in a workshop at the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences, IVA. The theme of the meeting was smart urban living and some of the leading actors were gathered. A bit of fun was declared a candy as a prize for the best idea.

Eureka! Lars Stehn and Karin Stoltz Ehn from the Norra Djurgårdsstaden Innovation got the winning idea that fell the most in taste; Create a free zone for the construction without rules where everything is allowed to test - as an open innovation environment in smart urban living.

This seems a bit anarchic - favelas? Can you elaborate on this idea a bit deeper?

–  Christiania in Copenhagen, without the drugproblems, or HSB's initiative for a Living Labs for accommodation are great examples of what can happen with housing if the power of people is unleashed. The idea of ​​a zone free of rules came from the needs of the demand for affordable and space efficient solutions in dense urban and the increasing importance of environmental and climate concerns in a lifecycle perspective. Free Zone is a suggestion that within appropriate limits meet the challenges of urban living, says Lars Stehn.

Can one imagine several zones across the country?

–  That's exactly the idea which the different climate zones, geographies and areas of growth creates different zones where innovative living concepts can be evaluated. Evaluation is important, and interesting targets are reduced CO2 footprint and net production of energy. The development of these zones can be focused on people and companies innovativeness but must indeed be intermingled with the regulatory framework in which the National Housing Board and other agencies must be on board.


How tasted the chocolate?

–  Very good, a bit of the sweetness of getting attention for our ideas, concludes Lars Stehn.

Lars Stehn

Stehn, Lars - Professor and Head of Subject

Organisation: Construction Management and Building Technology , Industrialized and sustainable construction, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering
Phone: +46 (0)920 491976
Room: T2019 - Luleå»