City Dreams

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Market day at Lund

A street with older houses in Lund

Lund has much of what American small cities dream of: a stable population with growing diversity, an active and alive historic core with old and interesting buildings, walkable streets and good public transit, even more bicycle use than is typical in Sweden, many educational and health care institutions, together with non-polluting high tech industry. Lund is small enough that you can know it all, but diverse enough that there are sections with different characters. There is intellectual life from the university, and the city government actively promotes cultural events. There are parks and civic institutions. A planned big road through the center of the city was blocked some years ago. The city also has municipal power generation and district heating.

Lund shows that the city dream makes sense. It's different from the suburban dream. The price you would have to pay for the dream in the American context is high: more public investment, and you'd have to think of the government as less an enemy and more as a representative of the people.