Who is Alexander Ståhle?

– I’m an urban researcher at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm
and I run the architect office Spacescape. We combine research and urban
planning, link them together so that we can get better cities and places in
the future. Previously I have also produced house music under the name
Stockholm Cyclo. I live with two children without a car in central
Stockholm.

What is Closer Together about?
– The book tells why we’ve got the city and the traffic that we have today.
It also explains why cities grow and change. But the book’s main issue is
the trend analysis that suggests that today’s car city will eventually be
phased out. There are strong economic, political and subcultural forces on
the move. The book contains photographs and illustrations showing how the
city of the future might look like. All this is included in a future study
that I worked with at KTH the past four years.

What are the book’s main conclusions?
– That an urban revolution against the car city has started. Today we see a
large number of signs that the car will be pushed out of the cities, due to
social and economic reasons. It will enable a new kind of urban development
that opens a lot of exciting opportunities. At the small scale we see open
streets, food trucks and guerrilla gardening. On the large scale new
neighborhoods are built where the car doesn’t have the same place as today.
Highways are demolished and bike lanes are expanded throughout the urban
world.

What is your next project?
– On the research front, I will start a project about the spaces for
children in the city, how to build child-friendly compact city. Spacescape
will probably increasingly work internationally. We have recently worked for
the New York Department of City Planning and UN Habitat. Very inspiring!

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