Friday, September 14, 2012

IKEA Designs Urban Neighborhoods in Europe

Hunter Communications recommended reading from:

Link to article:
IKEA Continues Planning Its Empire of Sustainable City Districts

A year after announcing its plan to build a sustainable vehicle-free housing development called Strand East in the outskirts of London, the Swedish company has revealed that it intends to do the same on a 12-acre tract in Hamburg, Germany. Inside the communities, autos will be relegated to a parking garage at the perimeter, and residents will enjoy parklike public areas and pedestrian walkways.

Excerpt: "Now Ikea is expanding its empire: Landprop announced this month that it’s building another community in Hamburg, Germany--also virtually car-free.

Ikea hasn’t revealed specific plans for the community, but it will probably resemble the future London Strand East development, according to local paper the Hamburger Abendblatt. That means there will be plentiful public areas and pedestrian walkways, cars will park at the development’s entrance in an underground garage, and only delivery trucks, buses, and emergency vehicles will be allowed to drive inside.

In Strand East there will be 1,200 homes for rent, 40% of which will be large enough to accommodate families. We do know that both planned developments will be built in currently empty lots--Ikea won’t be bulldozing neighborhoods to create its home empire; it’s looking for 12 acres to build on in the German city. The creation of a car-free community 'goes back to the Ikea philosophy of doing something for the people,' explained Harald Muller, managing director of LandProp, in an interview with Co.Exist last year. Ikea developments also have a 'Swedish philosophy mentality,' according to Muller. In the case of the London development, that means constructing buildings with high energy efficiency and extensive insulation to make it through those cold Swedish winters (or any winters, really). Chances are, the Hamburg development will be built with similar ideas in mind."

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