Everyday, my parents stroll me around Malmö. It is a bit like going on safari, we follow our nose and because we are very curious, we look at everything and end up anywhere! And also because we take our time and the fact that I am very social, we encounter many people, animals and situations. We have seen the beautiful and well trodden, but also back alleys and industrial estates.
I am only nearly one year old, but I have seen nearly every single neighbourhood of my home city, Malmö! The other day we explored the housing estate Persborg.
This is Persborg from the streetside.
The courtyard of Persborg is highlighted in green.
We find the entrance to the courtyard and I wonder what we will find here.
We drift around with eyes and ears wide open.
We find out that the only way for the people living in the apartments to access the courtyard is to go out via their door on the street side and then enter the courtyard like we did. There is no access from the apartments straight to the courtyard. A man we talk to who has lived here ever since he was a child also finds this strange, he remembers that when he was a child he thought it was really far from the front door to the swings in the courtyard. Mamma explains that this is the results of building codes (flooding and universal access) – but luckily better solutions are starting to be found in newer buildings ..
‘Titta titta! I interrupt them as I spot the birds fighting over the bread someone had left for them.
Then mamma gets excited as she sees that someone has built steps down from their balcony on the 1/2st floor into the courtyard.
The reason she gets excited is that apartments generally start from ½ story and don’t ‘touch’ the ground. Look at these across the courtyard!
And even the ground floor balconies have no direct access.
It is very unusual that any individual alterations are made. The housing estates are generally owned and managed either by a coop (when you own your apartment) or by a company (if you rent your apartment) who then assure uniformity in upkeep and alterations throughout. In this case, it is owned and managed by MKB, the municipal housing company.
Mamma waves to the man in the window to get his attention so she can find more about it. The man says he doesn’t know but thinks maybe it has something to do with that this is a home that has been adapted for a person with special needs. (LSS Boende). Then the man adds, but don’t we all have a need to access to greenery?