Could roof-straddling “sky walks” soon be coming to Stockholm?

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Could roof-straddling “sky walks” soon be coming to Stockholm?

A new plan proposed for the Swedish capital would see a large slice of its city center built over with densely packed towers, joined at their peaks by a dramatic zigzag of tree-lined, open air gangways. Commissioned by Sweden’s opposition Center Party, the plan might seem a little fanciful. But it nonetheless answers some key questions that Stockholm is currently being forced to ask itself.

Sweden’s capital is one of the fastest growing cities in Europe, with a population due to swell by 17 percent in just nine years. If it isn’t going to sprawl unmanageably or become overcrowded, it’s going to have to find somewhere to put everyone. One key solution could be to densify, as the proposal suggests, by rooting out and building on every scrap of currently un-built inner city land.

Called Klarastaden, or “clear city”, the plan comes from Anders Berensson Architects. While the group’s utopian bent might be clear from previous designs that include such oddities as folding saunas and luxury nests for swallows, Klarastaden does identify a useful site: a knot of railway tracks that could be built over behind Stockholm’s Central Station. As renderings show, this site could be transformed into a snaking tail of high-rises—necessarily dense so that profits can cover the high cost of burying the railway tracks within a tunnel. Towers of different widths and heights would be combined to prevent any building from feeling too hemmed-in or dingy, with every second building rising no more than four floors. […]