Master´s Thesis 2020 Urban Challenges

Elin Westin


Exploring how a sustainable future would transform the site of an urban shopping mall

When designing for sustainability, you often get overwhelmed in the complexity of it all, thinking it won’t be enough or that the world is already doomed to fail. So instead of going with the usual ”How do we achieve this?” which leaves you feeling it will be impossible, a more optimistic approach is to ask yourself ”If we achieved this, how did we do it?”

The aim for this project is not to just be relevant for architects, even if they are the main target group. By visualizing a sustainable future, the process of this thesis hopefully opens up a discussion on the subject, where opportunities are more in focus than the limitations. Nordstan is a place most people in Gothenburg are familiar with, and can therefore encourage more people than just architects to be involved in thinking out loud. By assuming that the climate crisis can be solved, we can take a pause from the negative energy and think freely for a time on how we want to shape our city.

” When a man sets out to project something for the future, It may turn out to be a very amusing bit of history, because it will be only what can be made now. But, actually, there are men today who can make what is an image. It is what is possible today, not what will be the forerunner of what things will be tomorrow. Tomorrow You cannot predict, because tomorrow is based on circumstance, and circumstance is both unpredictable and continuous. ”

– Louise I. Kahn 1969, p. 39 in ’Conversations with students’