On The Waterfront Blog

A Perspectival Analysis of the Ecological and Sociological Implications to Community with the Revitalization of European Urban Waterfronts.

With some travel in between!


30 June - 2 July 2016

Hälsningar Från Stockholm!

Well, I finally made it to Stockholm and somehow my left foot looks like it swallowed a banana and I am in bed with flu. Not the greatest start to a expl-ork-cation, but I’ll take it. I genuinely think that this is my body’s way of notifying me that it is time to just stop and shutdown for a while. The only thing that bugs me about it is that I’ve waited all my life to go to Sweden, and I finally get there only to spend two days cooped up in my flat. Honestly, if I didn’t have bad luck, I wouldn’t have any luck at all.

Thankfully, I am staying in a really nice studio apartment in Solna called 2Home Hotel Solna, which has a gym, laundry room, sauna, and is in a nice neighborhood with a COOP grocery store nearby. I really can’t complain.

Though I did not get to see as much of Stockholm as I would have liked, I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT! The coffee here is amazing! The aroma is simply intoxicating, and I get a little excited-high every time I smell a whiff in the street. Plus, this summer light is gorgeous! Twilight is my favorite time of day, and during the summer nights in Stockholm, night is just an extended version of twilight. The sky is just full of the most amazing blues, purples, golds, pinks, and orange. Simply beautiful!

Did you get any work done on your project?

Of course I did! Because I am such a stubborn person, I have hard time giving up on things. So in the space of four hours, I reserved my train seat to Copenhagen, walked most of Hammarby Sjöstad, talked with a few locals, and had some time to catch some rays and an ice cream before I left. Sadly, I was not able to interview a few of the store owners I wanted to speak with before I left, but I made sure to take their contact information.

Hammarby Sjöstad Eco-Living Done Right

Hammarby is a lakeside community that is a few kilometers south of Stockholm’s city center. Development of this site began in the early 1990s as part of Stockholm’s bid for the 2004 Olympics. Even then the plan was to develop the former industrial area into an ecological sports center and athlete’s village. The mission of Hammarby Sjöstad is to create an urban district which would be twice as good in terms of reduced environmental impact, and which would use half of the amount of energy used in a typical development (Inghe-Hellström 2005). So successful that it is referred to as the Hammarby Model, the backbone of the design is the incorporation of infrastructure from the beginning. Some of these measures include (Source: http://www.futurecommunities.net/):

  • New public transportation routes
    • Two new bus routes (intercity buses are fueled by bio-gas).
    • A free ferry service.
    • New tram line that links Hammarby to the city center.
    • A care sharing scheme, which includes twenty-five cars placed around the neighborhood. 
  • District heating and cooling
    • Apartments are linked to the city’s district heating, and district cooling is offered to offices and stores.
    • Sewage from the apartments is converted into heat energy and bio-gas for use in district heating plants and public transportation vehicles.
    • Incorporation of solar panels or solar cells into building envelopes.
  • An underground waste collection system for the neighborhood as a whole
    • ENVAC waste system.
    • Solid waste from the processing of sewage is composted and used in foresting.
  • Development of greenspaces to support local wildlife and provide a united aesthetic:
    • Linear greenspaces that connect ends of the community to each other.
    • A nature reserve.
    • Lowering the road alongside the development by two meters to reduce noise pollution.

But what is it like to live there? Check out these photos of a typical Saturday afternoon.

Foggy Delays

29 June 2016

Greetings from Reykjavik!

Departing from Newark yesterday was a very odd experience.  As I arrived at the airport, the attacks at Ataturk Airport had literally just occurred. While I was excited to leave for my trip and new experiences, I could not help but feel a sadness for all the people that were going to the airport with the same excitement and unfortunately died instead. Facing terror has, sadly, become part of one’s everyday experience everywhere. I, for one, refuse to let this fear of unknown force me into a life of false contentment, when my heart yearns to see and experience all there is in this world. To those unfortunate victims, full of hopes for their travels, I dedicate part of my journey to you. 

Additionally, thanks to the massive amount of fog that set down in New York, my flight was unable to take off on time. We sat on the runway for close to two hours before any of the northern flights were cleared for take off. Luckily, I had a very nice seat mate, Kirsten, who was on her way to Iceland and then Sweden for a family reunion, and I was able to watch one of my favorite films, Blake Edwards’s The Pink Panther while falling asleep. But, when I arrived in Reykjavik, I had missed my connecting flight to Stockholm. However, the friendly and very prepared folks at Iceland Air had arranged passage on another flight that departed at 1am, a hotel to stay at and relax in Iceland, taxis to and from the airport, and meals. As tired as I was when we landed at Keflavik at 6:45a, it was nice to know that all of that had been arranged and that nothing further was required on my end.

Having come from the sticky weather in New York, Iceland’s cooler temps and long sunlit hours were a much welcomed bit of relief. While I did spend most of my time sleeping, I was glad that I will have a day and a half at the end of my trip to explore.

When 9pm on a June night looks and feels like this, I could get used to living on a volcanic rock.

When 9pm on a June night looks and feels like this, I could get used to living on a volcanic rock.