Youth gang forces Malmö pre-school closure

Taken from the online journal The Local.

Published: 26 Apr 10 13:22 CET
Online: http://www.thelocal.se/26292/20100426/

A pre-school in Malmö’s Rosengård district was shut down on Monday morning in the interests of staff safety following an extended period of threats and harassment from a gang of local youths.

Henrik Wolter, a health and safety representative for the Swedish Teachers’ Union, took the decision to close the pre-school with immediate effect following consultation with district leaders.

The 34 children who attend the Herrgården pre-school have been moved temporarily to a school in Käglinge in south-east Malmö, but district chief Eva Ahlgren expects the children to move to a new location in Rosengård on Wednesday. In the longer term, places have been set aside for the children at a pre-school affiliated with Rosengård School, which is currently being extended.

“The closure of Herrgården’s pre-school was necessary. Staff have been repeatedly exposed to fighting and harassment. On one occasion a glass bottle was thrown from a window at one of the employees,” said Ahlgren.

She added that she had not previously been aware of the problem.

The pre-school is located in an area at the centre of a housing standards scandal last year when its run-down apartment complexes were found to be riddled with mould and cockroaches.

Herrgården has also served as a flashpoint for many of the disturbances that have plagued the predominantly immigrant suburb of Rosengård in recent years.

Around the pre-school lie shards of glass while the front of the building is marked by a bullet hole, the source of which is unknown.

“This is caused by gangs of criminal youths, or idiots as I usually call them,” Andreas Konstantinides, chairman of the Rosengård district council, told the online edition of the Svenska Dagbladet daily.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se/08 656 6518)

Rosengård Skolan, Herrgården

Comment / Comentario

The social landscape has many layers, which have different actors and often, different yet intertangled causes. Architecture is a one tool in a bigger panorama, and it must work together with other disciplines in order to address the situation through a wider scope. At the time of its creation, Rosengård was thought of as a one-time solution for the housing deficit in 1960’s Sweden, but as it has become visible after some time, single-minded efforts often leave a number of questions unanswered.

However, architecture must operate on different levels. Contrary to what has been said, space is not the prime matter or architecture (or at least not always). Some times we come across potential situations where people are the prime matter we have to work with and shape, and thus we as architects must address problems through a wider perspective, but also we must be humble before the magnitude of the challenges we face.

El paisaje social tiene muchas capas con distintos actores y a menudo, distintas (pero interrelacionadas) causas. La arquitectura es una herramienta en un panorama mayor, y debe trabajar en conjunto con otras disciplinas para tratar las distintas problemáticas a través de un espectro más amplio. Al momento de su creación, Rosengård fue pensado como una solución unitaria al problema de vivienda que aquejaba a Suecia en los años 60’s, pero ahora resulta evidente que las soluciones basadas en conceptos unitarios dejan muchas preguntas sin resolver.

Sin embargo, la arquitectura debe operar en distintos niveles. Contrario a lo que se ha dicho, el espacio no es la materia prima de la arquitectura (al menos no siempre). A veces nos topamos con situaciones donde la gente es la materia prima con la que debemos trabajar y que debemos encauzar. Por ende, como arquitectos debemos enfrentar los problemas con una perspectiva amplia, pero también humilde frente a la magnitud de los retos que enfrentamos.

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2 Responses

  1. “Some times we come across potential situations where people are the prime matter we have to work with and shape, and thus we as architects must address problems through a wider perspective, but also we must be humble before the magnitude of the challenges we face”.
    very curious we’ve now so diferent locations diferent problems, but are thinking almost the same
    you know i’m volunteer in a Ecologic Foundation, we´re working in the study of Escazú land-use regulations promoved by the local governor, those are the purest shit because all is around anything but never, never, the dreams, and needs of the people. nobody wants the changes , the most negatives :
    more urban areas in old farmland zones, and more buildings in the rural area, (i live in the rural area of escazu if you remember) now i had in my back a 10 buildings condominium project as we said “a la mierda los pastorcillos” http://www.lavita.cr

  2. I think that, as you point out, globalization processes have also brought with them globalized problems. Migration patterns shape the face of entire cities around the world, and architecture can therefore not be seen as the goal in itself, but must be thought of as a catalyzer towards joint approaches.

    ¡Salados los pastorcillos!

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