Hammarby v Rackheath

You can quite see why Gordon Brown et al got excited about the concept of eco-communities when you look at what they have done in Hammarby, Sweden. This brochure gives a full account of how the town was transformed from a run-down and contaminated brownfield site to a quite stunning town. The concept is quite different from what is being proposed at Rackheath where the intention is to build over a productive greenfield site - whatever made them think this was a good idea?

Norwich had the opportunity to emulate the sort of development at Hammarby when the Riverside was being developed but somehow we never seem to have the vision for changes of this scale so this is what Norwich did instead. What a lost opportunity for Norwich and for Norfolk. However, there is still the Deal Ground and maybe the chance of some grander thinking!

The video below shows what it is like to live in Hammarby today - Warning: your screen might go completely black towards the end of the video but the audio is still there for a little while and then everything returns to normal...


  1. Hammarby is awesome and a real eco town. Compare this to the ticky tacky little boxes Barratt style housing estate Broadland District Council are forcing on Rackheath! No comparison! Let's hope Camerpon and Clegg also spot the eco con and axe it quickly.

  2. Jack - Rackheath Resident12 May 2010 at 21:02

    It does look rather good, and a real shame that Riverside could not have followed in the Footsteps of Hammarby. It really would have put Norwich on the Map for Eco Developments.
    Why didn't they ? may well be a good question.

    Another question would be. what funding did this Hammarby development receive ? it must have been a billion ? from the government ?

    Its ok Slagging of our local developments, but if the local developers do not recieve extra funding, what the hell do you expect ?

  3. I expect it to be in an appropriate place Jack and I also expect it not to be called an eco town just to circumvent planning laws and processes and fool the public into thinking it is something it is not. If this were a real eco town in the right place, I would be all for it but quite frankly it is one massive con. I hope the funding is cut immediately by Cameron and Clegg.

  4. Both Keith Simpson(conservative) and Dan Roper(lib/dem)stated their opposition to the eco town during the general election campaign,so now that we have a national coalition government comprised of these two parties,we should expect them to "join forces" on a local basis and present a united front against BDC's plan. Perhaps we should write to them both to remind them of these commitments, made whilst soliciting our votes,to ensure that they "follow through" and get behind our efforts to get this scheme stopped.

  5. Richard Williams15 May 2010 at 13:00

    I do see that Jack makes a valid point about Riverside and the money. However, it is no good expecting the government to hand out money when there is no vision in the local community.
    We seem content to spend well over a hundred million to build 12 miles of road going nowhere which will generate traffic, car journeys and CO2, yet no one had the wit to see anything other than more shopping emporiums as the solution to urban regeneration in Norwich.