Post-war urban renewal and demolition fluctuations in Sweden

Aino Verkasalo*, Jukka Hirvonen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


In the decades following the Second World War, Swedish cities experienced extensive urban renewal projects that continue to shape the country’s contemporary built environment. Many Swedish cities saw large-scale demolitions starting in the 1950s. The demolitions increased during the 1960s and 1970s, when the government implemented the so-called Million Programme (1965–1974). The declared target of the housing policy was to raise housing standards, create healthy living conditions and lessen the housing shortage through the construction of modern housing. In the 1980s, the preservation and modernization of dwellings replaced the clearance policy. The 1990s brought a new demolition wave, which subsided in the 2000s. This paper reviews the renewal processes and various phases of demolition activity in Swedish post-war cities from the perspective of housing policy and planning. The research analysis is based on the literature and statistics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)425-435
Number of pages11
Issue number3
Early online dateJun 2017
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • demolition
  • housing policy
  • planning
  • Sweden
  • urban renewal

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