When planning a new development, redeveloping a water canal might sound like an unusual place to start. Broparken is a technical stormwater system, disguised as an attractive urban social space, transforming a characterless stretch of land into a much-loved public park.
Broparken is the first project in a new urban development, that prepares the ground for an emerging new neighbourhood. By starting with a park, ideal environmental conditions are considered at an early stage and as a result, flora and fauna are better equipped to thrive. The park invites community interaction by offering a diversity of welcoming, accessible outdoor green spaces and landscaped areas of stone, wood and water.
Collaborating with an ecologist specialising in limnology; the science of inland waters; a dual functioning ecological system was planned. Aquatic and land-based wildlife is supported, while simultaneously purifying rainwater run-off. When admiring Broparken’s signature red Tartubron – Tartu Bridge, there is little that gives away Broparken’s hidden identity as a technical stormwater system.
In Broparken, a steep crown ditch has been transformed into an urban brook ravine that forms the lifeblood through the densely populated district of Vallastaden. The park’s design provides the opportunity for the creek to grow or retreat – and arouses curiosity about nature’s own processes. In an age of rising temperatures, Broparken offers shade and proximity to water.
The submerged park is a strange world in itself, with insect buzz, natural play and water contact. Oversized braided wooden lamps and colorful bridges give nature an imaginative setting that takes its starting point in the motley buildings around it. Wooden bridges, retaining walls and seating stones are carefully placed to increase access to the water along the steep slopes. Along the south side of the creek there are wilder places for play, with wooden pathways sniing their way through reeds and lush beach plantations. From the park’s different levels there are walkways that lead on to the buildings next door.
Broparken is a crackling plant track that changes over the year, where the movement of water and the plants cycle puts a clear mark on the park’s design. The bridge park, inaugurated in 2016, is also a reminder that green spaces need time to develop.
Landscape architecture: White Arkitekter, Linda Moström, Mikael Norman (White/ Linköping municipality)
Other designers involved in the design of landscape:
Design: Johan Kauppi.
Åbobron (The yellow bridge): Rundquist Arkitekter AB
Engineers: KFS AnläggningsKonstruktörer AB
Manufacturer of urban equipment: Most furniture design by White.
Lighting poles: Moramast
Vegetation system: Veg Tech AB
Project location: Linköping, Sweden
Design year: 2012
Year Built: 2016