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Bending the Curves: can BIDs recall slumification in two Swedish neighborhoods?

Authors Ylva Norén Bretzer
Publication year 2017
Published at School of Public Administration
Language en
Keywords Business Improvement Districts, BIDs, urban renewal, urban regeneration, place-making, institutional collaborations, social sustainability indicators.
Subject categories Settlement studies, Human Geography, Public Administration Studies


Partnerships between estate owners, business, civil society and the public sector has evolved in Northern America, the UK, Germany and is also emerging in Sweden. Under the label of Business Improvement Districts (BIDs), various forms of collaborations have been around for some time (Meltzer 2012; Edlund & Westin 2009; Cook 2008; Hoyt 2005), which also resembles Ostrom’s theory of institutions supporting sustainable resource management (Ostrom 1990). Results have shown that such collaborative arrangement has boosted commerce in defined areas, as house-owners or business-owners start to communicate around the general welfare of the locality and the place interlinked with commerce and public relations. This paper starts out to discuss to what extent BID-inspired models have been imported and evolved into two residential areas in Sweden characterized by degeneration and stagnation in Sweden; Gamlestaden (Gothenburg, the second largest city of Sweden) and Centrala Hisingen (also in Gothenburg). These areas are primarily dominated by tenant apartments, but also include small and medium sized businesses. Previous research internationally is scarce, and has to an almost non-existing degree evaluated the BID collaborations from the tenants’ perspectives. Gamlestaden partnership set out in 2001, and covers some 9 000 residents in total. Survey-data from tenants was collected in 2001, 2003, 2005, 2008 and 2015. Partnership Centrala Hisingen was initiated in 2002 and it covers an area of 20 000 inhabitants, and citizen data is available from the Regional SOM-studies ( In this paper there is an attempt to display the tenant’s evaluations of the areas in which they live, the social trust and perceptions of safety in the neighborhood. General comparisons with overall Gothenburg will also be discussed. The contribution of the paper is to discuss BIDs-related collaborations, which often are accompanied by criticisms of gentrification and value-boosting for distant capital-owners, only. This paper is an initial attempt to write on the topic, but the paper yet lacks important pieces of data. Next task will be to add more quantitative data, but also qualitative such. Further recommendations on how to move ahead are warmly welcomed.

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Utskriftsdatum: 2019-11-12