Prestige at the expense of fire safety

Despite statements by supporters of the “Manhattizia” of the Swedish capital that “the majority of its inhabitants would rather agree to dwell on the fiftieth floor in the center than in fifteen metro stations from the center,” public opinion polls disprove this.

A study conducted at the end of last year by the sociological company Opinion Stockholm showed that 60% of Stockholm residents do not want to "manhattize" their city. Older people aged 66–75 years are the most persistent opponents of radical change (only 31% of the representatives of this category agree with the appearance of high-rise buildings in the city), young people aged 15–25 years show the greatest enthusiasm for the city’s height.

The “age dividing line” is explained by the fact that young people need housing more than others and want to solve this problem at any cost. In addition, the above-mentioned category of Swedes is in principle easily related to any significant changes, including in the field of architecture, ”said Axel Lagerbierelka, an analyst at Opinion Stockholm, who commented on the survey results.
Some experts believe that the apologists of the skyscrapers are misleading public opinion, arguing that otherwise it will not solve the housing problem in the capital.
One of the opponents of the fashion trend is the former chief architect of Stockholm, Christina Werglund.
“Let's do a simple calculation.

If we build fifty-forty-five-storey residential buildings in the capital instead of the same number of fifteen-story buildings, this will give an additional total of 10 thousand apartments. That is, we will not get a solution to the housing problem, but we will forever destroy the unique city silhouette, making Stockholm the second Dubai, says Christina Bergluid in the pages of the Svenska Dagbladct newspaper. - In addition, we will violate the UN Children's Convention, according to which children have the right to space for games. In the skyscrapers, if necessary, go down and climb dozens of floors, a trip to the playground will become a whole enterprise.

High-rise buildings are much more expensive to erect than standard buildings, and the savings in space and the preservation of a favorable external environment, which their supporters are talking about, are fiction. It is known that skyscrapers create strong winds, and because of the shadows cast by them, you will either have to live in the gloom, or leave significant spaces between these monsters and other buildings. In fact, we are talking about fashion, the desire of politicians to "put the city on the world map", to declare itself. Where it is more practical and more reasonable to develop suburbs instead of high-rise buildings of the center, creating there own centers that are attractive for work, life and entertainment. ”

With the opinion of Christina Berglund about the "fashion skyscrapers" agrees and architect Ola Andersson, citing the example of Paris, which is the most densely built-up city in Europe. It is dominated by six-seven-story houses, there is only one high-rise, Tour Montparnasse, but the city copes with a significant population of the center with the help of ordinary buildings.
“It is known that low-cost houses can be up to ten floors high. Anything higher brings costs on an incremental basis. With each new floor living space is reduced, more and more space is taken up by ancillary spaces intended for elevators, ventilation systems, stairs, additional structural elements, etc., writes Ula Apdersson in the Dagens Nyheter newspaper.

- The city authorities of Sweden have been victims of skyscraper hysteria since the construction of the Turning Torso tower 190 meters high in Malmo in the south of the country in 2005. Although the construction practically ruined the company IISB Malmo (since the initial budget of 600 million kronor grew to 1.6 billion, and there were no people willing to buy apartments in this skyscraper), both Gothenburg and Stockholm were “wound up”, having decided to outdo the provincial upstart. Even in the early Middle Ages, noble families in Europe competed in the construction of towers, wanting to perpetuate their greatness.
Today, the city authorities have taken on their role. Skyscrapers are expensive and impractical. In the same New York, companies built them mainly for advertising reasons (...)

Before agreeing to the skyscrapers in Gothenburg and Stockholm, let us ask ourselves what purpose their construction is, apart from the desire to take away the title of the owner of the tallest building in Sweden from Malmo? ”
The firefighters joined the chorus of critics of “high-rush” in the kingdom - and above all in Stockholm -. Fire safety engineer Shel Valing, speaking on behalf of his employer (Fire Department of the Stockholm Region), told the newspaper Ny Teknik that today there are strict fire safety regulations for buildings with a maximum height of 16 floors. In the case of skyscrapers, the contractor must submit to the state construction agency only a vague document entitled “Building Safety Analysis”.

“This is a system error,” says Shel Walling. An important problem is left to the contractor, the weight depends on his experience and morality. He will be able to convince officials that an additional fire elevator or ladder is not needed - and build as you like. ”
A representative of the Construction Department, Anders Johansson, does not agree with the opinion of the capital's firefighters: “Builders and designers of high-rise buildings are interested in creating a quality product. You can’t limit freedom of action by strict rules, because we are talking about a few individual projects, and they themselves have the right to choose the best solutions available on the market. ”

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