Monday, June 04, 2007

Swedish "Kolonier"

Long before Sweden became one of the world's most successful welfare states, policy makers and government officials decided to provide urban, industrial, city dwellers with a solace to their concrete woes and lack of natural exposure, something all Swedes agree that no Swede should go without.

Swedish "Kolonier" or Swedish Colonies are areas of land outside of many main city centers throughout Sweden. The building full of students where I work is located just steps away from the Linköping "Koloni," hence one reason for the student-named "Colonia" student housing project where I am spend my days and some nights.

Above, you will find pictures of the Linköping Colony, both from a distance and while taking a closer look. Americans might think of this as an elaborate "community garden," an area of land reserved for low-income people in cities to have a gardening spot, but the Swedish Colony is no longer necessarily for city dwellers or just so good Swedish folk can have a nature-centered habitat. Current residents of colony-living have either inherited or purchased their limited area and use it as a spring and summer cottage. Essentially a studio living area with a small lawn, classic red paint job and fencing and a small garden for anything from flowers to vegetables to herbs.

Just one more unique, charming and "moderate" element to Sweden and the Swedes.

We have another Swedish holiday this week, the National Day is on Wednesday, then another holiday later this month, the beloved "Midsommar." It's the time of year when, well, vacation is just around the corner so we take holidays just to get a little more comfortable with the idea of not working....or so I've been told.

See you next week.


Todd said...

These little communities are indeed charming, but they look like a cross between mom's miniature cottage collection and Grandma Rusthie's Eagle's Landing. I'm guessing these pictures represent the closest you could get to one of these dwellings without crushing one of them. Are Swedish people that small?

Jonas said...

All stockholms subwaystations translated to english. :-)
I know that you will like this Sean.

Leigh said...

Hi there!

I just came across your blog, and it is so funny that we are both 34 year old Americans that moved to Linköping last July! So wonderful to see you are doing so well!


Zach t said...

I think it is very hard for American's to get over the living space issue, but I have found Europeans to have embraced it from Prague to England. One of my first Euro-memories was looking out my first train and seeing dinky Czech countryside houses and wondering "people really live in those?" I learned that yes they do and happily at that!

Crystal said...

This is awesome! Is there heat in these things? If so, I think it'd be cool to live in them year-round!