Prototyping a Park
Gothenburg, Sweden
Transforming, adapting, reusing
Naturehood – wilder and greener
Rethinking processes and governance
Image: atelier le balto & MARELD
Jubileumsparken is an example of a long-term place-building process where a neighborhood is created years before the first residents move in.

In 2023, Gothenburg will celebrate its 400th anniversary. To celebrate this event, a park project — Jubileumsparken — was launched in 2014. The project is situated at a former industrial harbour, Frihamnen, on the banks of the Göta River in the heart of Gothenburg. In addition to the park, a new city district for thousands of new residents and as many workplaces will be built in Frihamnen over the coming decades. It serves as a meeting place and an outdoor living room for people with different backgrounds and interests, hoping to contribute to integration in Frihamnen (and Gothenburg) already before the neighborhood has been completed.
As a prelude to the permanent park completed in mid-2022 a series of temporary parks and installations have been set up during several public workshops dating back to 2014. Over the years, tens of artists, architects and landscape architects, hundreds of volunteers, and thousands of visitors have contributed to its creation. It is a collaboration between several disciplines, interest groups and actors. With this presentation we’d like to show the part that team MARELD & atelier le balto has had in this process since 2016. By no means does this presentation cover all the aspects involved in the inception and realisation of the project, but it does encapsulate the essence of Jubileumsparken, which is about experimentation, public participation, and collaboration. It’s about creating a community on a site with no residents.
During several workshops with specific target groups and focus, we have gradually transformed a former harbour into a meeting place. We have tested sitting preferences in an urban environment with elderly and newly arrived youths, built a temporary park and testbeds with local gardening students, redesigned and relocated urban farming plots with their owners, built an outdoor classroom with focus on water management with volunteers, engaged urban recreation groups in design process and so forth. These have all been important puzzle pieces in this gradual transformation from a closed-off area to a local green hub.


Prototyping and testing over several years has made it possible to engage with the wider public, interest groups, municipal staff and experts over an extended period. The value of this evolutive approach is in introducing the site to the wider public and sowing the seeds of a future community while the site waits for its first residents, but also in initiating the discussion on resilient green spaces, urban ecosystems, wildscapes and aesthetics, highlighting the importance of landscape architects’ role not only in the design and detailing, but also in the building, management and maintenance of public spaces

On-site creating a testbed with gardening students and the wider public. Plants were planted directly into the existing gravel bed under the asphalt.

Urban farming after two years on its new site. By now the first residential houses have also arrived on site. The farming lies in the heart of the former pier.

Urban recreation groups such as skateboarding, capoeira and taekwondo responded to our workshop invitation. Their needs and requirements for space were integrated into the park in a seamless and natural way.

The Outdoor Classroom with its surrounding water play area was designed and built with the lead of Recetas Urbanas collective. It has been in frequent use ever since by public schools, kindergardens and other interest groups.

Small pockets of greenery had an instant impact on the site's biodiveristy. The former harbour


MARELD Landscape Architects are a practice based in Gothenburg, Sweden. Our field of work is landscape architecture in all scales, from planning and urban design to detailing, implementation and aftercare.
Over the years MARELD has won several domestic and international competitions and has grown to a team of over 20 landscape architects, engineers and urbanists.

At MARELD we pride ourselves on our approach to our project works and are always striving for new ways in which we can engage clients, consults and end users in the design and delivery of public spaces. As a practice we are constantly developing our communication techniques through dialogue, open discussions, seminars and workshops. We also like to test our ideas at 1:1 scale and we are not afraid of working with temporary works if they help us gain a better understanding of the project and the projects users.

We approach all project works with “Passion and Courage”. We pride ourselves on this.

Architectural practice

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