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Summer job with Urban Planning

Published: 8 July 2020

A recurring feature of the university's activities are summer jobs for young people in community development and urban planning. This year's assignment was to develop a new residential area, Hertsöheden.

Hertsön is located 5 kilometers east of Luleå city center and is the largest residential area in Luleå outside the inner city. Today there are almost 8,000 people living in the area. The new planned area Hertsöheden will make room for even more residents.

The work on the new residential area was carried out under the auspices of Oscar Sandberg and Ellinor Emilsson who are both students at Luleå University of Technology.

“So much is taken for granted, that houses should not collapse and that there should be water in the taps. My goal has been that they, despite the lack of prior knowledge, should understand how much work there is behind social planning", says Ellinor Emilsson, who is currently working on her exam project in the Master Programme in Civil Engineering

This is the second year she is participating in the project. Sharing the thoughts of the high school students about the future has been the most rewarding part of the project according to her.

“It is interesting to follow their work process as they develop a concept. It has made me realize that in order to think in new ways you need tools in the form of knowledge."


"We taught them, among other things, used software such as SketchUP but also some Photoshop", says Oscar Sandberg, who reads the fourth year of the Master Programme in Architectural Engineering.

The young students' work and suggestions for the new district of Hertsöheden can be studied in more detail in the slide show above as well as in the attached PDF files further down in this article.

The new planned residential area Hertsöheden is the lighter area.
The new planned residential area Hertsöheden is the lighter area.

"It is great fun that our summer working youth get to work with a sharp projects under the guidance of competent students from our civil engineering programs in construction and architecture", says project manager Susanne Sundström from Luleå University of Technology's Student Service.

Emelie Blomqvist and Benjamin Larsson
Emelie Blomqvist and Benjamin Larsson show their vision Heeertsön

On Friday, July 3, they high scholl students presented the results of their work at Luleå University of Technology. Daniel Thorell and Bodil Söderholm noted that people spend to little ltime outdoors and get too little exercise. They have therefore taken inspiration from Central Park in New York. In the area, they have bicycle racks with inclined roofs to facilitate the drainage of water and snow. For environmental reasons, they have a car pool and a recycling station.

Car-free center

Ida Pylvänäinen and Gabriel Axheim Gustafsson have in their vision a car-free center for the environment and to encourage personal meetings on foot which they hope can strengthen the feeling of security. Their plan shows three areas on Hertsön with different types of housing: one area with modern architecture, one with traditional and one apartment area, adapted to the different wishes and needs of the residents.

Josef Rutfors and Marcus Sandberg want Hertsöheden to be a gathering point for sports and events. In part of the area they have planned the so-called Ninja Warrior course, an obstacle course. A large gym will make Hertsöheden the equivalent of indoor sports to Piteå Summer Games.They hope that the gym will generate revenue and strengthen Hertsön's brand. Josef Rutfors and Marcus Sandberg also plan a sparsley planted forest where the trees stand in straight lines so that you can see through the whole forest and feel safer when walking there in the evening.

Simon Ojeda Lindgren and Johannes Nyman Helmerius' proposal goes under the slogan "Hertsön - a renewed 1970s." The best of the 1970s and today's ideals are united in an idea they call "collective individualism". There will be interesting outdoor environments at the same time as it should be densely built to accommodate many homes whose architecture lends style features from the 1970s. Public transport should have the best conceivable conditions; The street network is free from dead ends so that buses and garbage trucks can have access without problems.

Aesthetics, ethics and ecology

Emelie Blomqvist and Benjamin Larsson call their plan for Heeertsön, where the three E's stand for aesthetics (estetik), ethics and ecology. There should be condominiums, villas and detached houses so that all socio-economic groups and people of different ages can find accommodation that suits them while staying integrated in the same area. The color palette on the facades of the houses goes in green and brown to blend into the surrounding nature. The villas should be built in wood as it is a building method that reduces carbon dioxide emission and it is also cost effective.

The roofs should be covered with vegetation to purify the surrounding air, provide a pleasant indoor temperature and slow down the drainage of rainwater, which helps to facilitate the management of the storm water. The running tracks shall be connected to the running tracks on Ormberget and combined with an art trail with public art.

"There was a lot of work on concepts, everything from planning to what we wanted there to be for activities in the area", says Emelie Blomqvist, who is studying technology with a focus on urban planning.

Daniel Thorell and Bodil Söderholm
It is interesting to get an insight into how much it is to think about in social planning, Daniel Thorell and Bodil Söderholm think.

Interesting site visits

Benjamin Larsson, who is in the first year of the natural sciences program, thinks that the best has been the site visits to a construction site and a company that works with measurement and geotechnics.

"It was rewarding to see how they work."

Daniel Thorell, who is in the third year of the science program, actually had another first choice when he applied for a summer job in the municipality.

"But it turned out that this was much more interesting than I thought it would be. Now I realize how much you have to think about as a urban planner."

Bodil Söderholm, who is in the second year of science program, agrees with him.

"It's not just like drawing a picture and then it's done.You have to think, for example, where roads should connect, where to park and where to shop."

Quick course in architectural history

The education they received from the students from Luleå University of Technology included an element of architectural history from the Baroque until today.

"It was interesting to see how the architecture was connected to the ways things were in the world during a certain era. For example, we learned about the background to the million programmes", says Daniel Thorell.

Bodil Söderholm has been interested in architecture for a long time and had the holiday job with Hertsöheden as her first choice.

"The most fun has been to sketch out houses. We were given complete freedom to decide for ourselves what the houses should look like. For me, it was an eye opener that there are many more jobs in community planning than I thought. It is not just architects who work with community planning."

Want to involve young people

Lennart Renberg is responsible for holiday jobs at the municipality of Luleå. He thinks that the holiday job as a social planner is an excellent complement to the more traditional summer jobs in healthcare and child care.

"This project goes well with the municipality's Vision 2050, which has as one of its goals that young people should be involved in shaping the future of Luleå", says Lennart Renberg.

He personally likes the proposal with cultivation areas on the roofs.

"Besides the environmental benefits, the cultivation areas can serve as a meeting place between generations. I could note that the groups focused on sustainability throughout. This is something we in the municipality should address."

It is high school youth in the municipality of Luleå who get this summer job through the municipality's announced holiday jobs.