In the Plug Inn project we look at the possibilities to construct housing on a temporary basis, on sites with a temporary building permit. So in the first phase of the project, we research the legal framework for temporary building permits in Sweden, as specified in the Swedish law Plan- och bygglagen (PBL). We also want to understand the general process of accessing the zoning plans (detaljplan) of a given area. Today the degree of digitalization of zoning plans and also to what extent the plans are accessible via Internet varies a lot depending on the municipality. Therefore one goal of Plug Inn is to exemplify how modern technology can give us possibilities to standardize and digitalize these plans.
An important part of this project phase was of course the ongoing search for sites in Uppsala where we could carry out a temporary housing project. In this process we had several meetings with representatives from Uppsala municipality, which turned out to be a very fruitful way to understand what places could be interesting for us. As a result of these meetings, we came up with three different possibilities for a Plug Inn project in the municipality:
1. Plug Inn as an icebreaker
The Plug Inn concept could be used a tool for breaking the ice in situations where the urban planning debate has come to a locked position. Here Plug Inn could show possibilities for the development of a certain area, and give inspiration to the debate. This method does not necessarily include the actual building of a physical structure. This approach could be useful in some areas where the municipality plans to build new housing along streets leading into the central parts of Uppsala, among them Råbyvägen, Fyrislundsgatan and von Bahrska Häcken (see image map to the left).
2. Plug Inn as a test of new typologies in existing areas
One way to use the Plug Inn concept could be to introduce and test new urban planning typologies in areas where there is a need for change. There are areas in Uppsala planned and built during the Swedish Million Programme years, where the municipality but also many of the inhabitants think that the area is in need of new types of housing and functions. One such area could be Gottsunda in the southern suburbs of Uppsala.
3. Plug Inn in new districts
The Plug Inn tool could be used to promote urban life in areas that are planned for new development. With this approach, it is important to coordinate the choice of site with the municipality’s intentions for the future area. The Plug Inn project should relate to the coming permanent housing, while also adding new functions and urban life to the area.
Our conclusion in phase one is that Ulleråker, south of Uppsala, for now seems like the most interesting area to investigate further in the Plug Inn project. This area is planned for new development as specified under point 3 in this blogpost, with projected building of 6000-8000 apartments in the coming years. Apart from housing, Plug Inn could also provide the area with functions like shops, public spaces or business spaces in general, something that is missing here today. The image below shows the planned block structure in Ulleråker.