Choosing public transport and the metro in preference to going by car contributes to sustainable travel, but the actual construction process for the tracks and tunnels will have an impact on the environment.
An environmental coordinator is now in place for all the planned sections, who will ensure that we systematically incorporate environmental aspects and sustainability when planning and constructing the new metro.
Passengers in focus
In the Arenastaden project, planning officers Erik Olsson and Kaisa Nugin are actively working on the following issues:
“The decisions we make at this early stage will have consequences for both people and the environment. This could be a matter of the effect on groundwater or disruption during the construction period. Therefore our aim is to focus on the needs of passengers and other people when planning the expansion,” says Erik Olsson.
Joint responsiblity for sustainability
The big challenge is to make environmental and sustainability issues a natural aspect of everything that is done. How do we achieve that? Erik and Kaisa agree that structure and clear goals are required.
“Sustainability is everyone’s concern and should permeate everything we do. You can have things in mind, but to make them tangible they must be included on the agenda. Working with defined goals by making them concrete in the form of activities that can be followed up is one way of making sustainability more tangible,” explains Erik.
In order to support sustainable development, the materials, configurations and working methods we choose must have as little impact as possible on the environment and people’s health. For example, in order to prevent workplace accidents, it is essential to set requirements in procurement processes.
“The contractors we hire must be socially responsible and offer good working conditions for their employees,” says Kaisa.
The needs and perspective of children are linked to social sustainability, something that is often forgotten when we adults are making plans. The metro expansion will be going on for a long period of time in relation to a child’s adolescence and many children travel on public transport themselves. To make children’s voices heard, we are conducting something known as child impact analyses. Quite simply, these are analyses showing the potential impact of the planned metro.
“It’s easy for adults to overlook children’s needs. In order to avoid this, we are gathering data and holding discussions with children. What do they think we should bear in mind when constructing the metro? What are their routes to school like? This is important information and sets requirements for safety, security and enabling children to get around the city independently,” says Erik.
New travel possibilities
Constructing a metro is a large and complex project with many choices and adjustments to be made.
“From a sustainability perspective, it is vital to ensure that the choices we make result in a metro that will be of use to many people and facilitate new travel habits,” concludes Kaisa.
Picture: Planning officers Erik Olsson and Kaisa Nugin