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Nilsson, Anna (2006) Välkommen. Other thesis, SLU.

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The purpose of this thesis is to show how a good approach can be designed, focusing on the southern approach to the Swedish town Vilhelmina. Prior to the car being part of everyday life, the approach was a road where the town showed itself from the very best side. When the amount of traffic increased, so did noise and other disturbances, and as a consequence industrial areas replaced the residential buildnings at the approaches. Today, the pendulum is turning back and in recent years the approach is regarded as a place to introduce the town. The approach is also the place where cars should slow down from the speed of the main road to the speed of the city. To design a road, there are many aspects to consider. In this work, I focus on safety, vegetation and profiling the town. Traffic safety is an important issue and roads are subject to extensive regulations. Designing the road and its surroundings effects the behaviour of the road-users. A beautiful road reduces velocities and lowers the risk of accidents. Vegetation is an essential part of the design. In addition to closing the surroundings or opening up to reveal views, vegetation also helps to create a more varied road environment, which keeps drivers alert. With the renewed interest in the design of approaches, several towns begin to realise the possibilities of profiling themselves through the approach. A design which clearly shows which town you are entering and its interesting features, helps the road-users to remember the town and it might make them want to stop and pay it a visit. Vilhelmina is a small town and a municipality in northern Sweden. Though its area is extensive, the number of inhabitants is no more than 7 000, of which 5 000 live in the town. The eastern part of the municipality is made up of forests and bogs, while the Scandinavian mountain range extends through the western part. The lakes are numerous and in several of the rivers hydroelectric power stations have been built. In the past, hunting, fishing and reindeer-raising, and later on also agriculture and forestry, were the main sources of income. In recent years, the tourist industry has grown to become an important part of the economy. In a sparsely populated area, like Vilhelmina, roads are of great importance because many inhabitants travel long distances to work, shopping and municipality services. The Vilhelmina area was first populated by nomads coming from the west following the melting ice cap. Eventually, people became less nomadic and started to use reindeers for their food and means of transport. In the eighteenth century the first farmers arrived from the south. This happened late compared to similar mountain regions. The new farmers were poor and had to work hard for their living. The town of Vilhelmina developed around the church, which was built for the farmers in the late eighteenth century. The large contrasts between nature and society in Vilhelmina are clearly shown along the town approach. In the past, nature was the inhabitants' only available source of income. Today, nature remains important, primarily for recreational purposes but also as the greatest asset in the marketing of the municipality. The role of society is not very pronounced in the marketing, though the society is an important provider of most of the trading and work opportunities in the area. My design of the entrance clarifies the contrast between nature and society. At the southern, society, side of the road there are well-mown lawns and well-kept industrial lots. Artworks and commercial signs will help to mediate the image of a town. At night this side will be well lit. At the northern, nature, side the forest reaches all the way down to the road and is further strengthened by tree plantings. The grass is cut only once a year making the road edges wilder. At night this side will be dark.

Item Type: Thesis (Other)
Keywords: infart, Vilhelmina, landskapsarkitektur, profilering
Subject (faculty): Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
Divisions: SLU > Faculty of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences
Depositing User: Anna Nilsson
Date Deposited: 26 Jun 2006
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2015 09:41
URI: http://ex-epsilon.slu.se/id/eprint/1064

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