BorĂ¥s (SE)


Project scale XL/L - territory / urban + architecture

Location Gässlösa, Borås

Population 110,000 inhabitants

Strategic site 720 ha - Project site 58 ha

Site proposed by City of Borås

Actors involved City of Borås

Owner of the site City of Borås, private sector

Commission after competition Urban studies in collaboration with the City of Borås

Team representative Architect - urbanist - landscaper

More Information

How can the site contribute to a productive city?

Gässlösa is transforming into an integrated part of the urban fabric with homes, work-places, culture and services. The task is to plan a sustainable neighbourhood that can grow along the river Viskan, making good use of the river, parks and nearby recreational areas. The area offers a good opportunity to combine existing old buildings, spaces and businesses with new developments and sustainable ways of living to create a new type of transformative city. The site location is easily accessible, just 1 km from the train sta-tion, city centre and new road connections. Gässlösa should be socially linked with its surroundings, using green and blue elements to connect the new area with the existing urban fabric, and thereby linking people together. Exposure to diversity, different cultural expressions and lifestyles will inspire new ideas, perspectives and greater tolerance. Access to education, community, security, health, equality, integration and culture should all be priorities.

City strategy

Borås aims for a city structure that supports sustainable development, and a society with equal and comfortable living conditions for all its inhabitants. This modern city is transformative and sustainable: there are spaces in this city structure that can accommodate change, and are accepting of new ideas and ways of living over time. Textiles and commerce are the legacy and future of Borås: through pride in historic industry and utilization of its remnants, new sustainable innovations and businesses can be developed. People, activity and business make a city. The new city grows along green parks and Viskan. New ideas and innovations found here would be a template for future urban development as the rest of the city grows.

Site definition

Gässlösa is located 1km south of Borås city centre and is part of Borås’ textile history. It´s an area near the city centre that is now possible to develop due to the re-location of the sewage plant south of the city. Today, the area consists of a low-rise settlement of mixed businesses, commerce and small industries in the building and construction sector. Gässlösa is located in the valley of Viskan which is an open landscape surrounded by forested hills. On the hills, there are exercise trails and other recreational opportunities. Through the area, the river Viskan creates a green and blue path, and southwest of the area lies St Sigfrids Chapel and the park-like cemetery.

How is production inserted in the urban diversity programme?

Future places for study and work will be developed in urban environments. The link between education-research-innovation-work is likely to be significant. More work will be information-based. This development will be promoted by, as well as contribute to, a dense and urban environment. An urban environment is both sustainable and more productive. It is here people meet, innovations develop, and business ideas grow. Textile production has historically centralized around Viskan, and this is where Borås continues to grow as a dense and mixed city. Along Viskan and Gässlösa, new urbanization can be developed in harmony with historic settlements. Creative activities can take place in the old buildings; ideas and city nurture each other. The local economy will be diversified and resilient against cyclical fluctuations. The urban environment will be lively, inclusive and well adapted to environmental change.

Aerial view from the North - former water treatment plant
Street view
Viskan river
Cemetery of St. Sigfrid

Questions on the site

Is there any information regarding the possible future frequency of trains on the railway that runs along the northern border of the project site?

The railway line is called Coast-to-Coast and goes to the east coast, with about 10 trains in each direction every day, from Borås and about 6-7 freight trains in each direction. Traffic is not likely to increase in the future. There are long term plans for a new high speed railway line through Borås but its´ exact location and impact on the city has not yet been decided.

The first question concerns our planned site visit and the inventories we intended to perform in Gässlösa. We plan to visit the place for two or three days, where we travel from Stockholm to Borås on Thursday, June 13th. Would it be possible to have someone from the urban construction office who shows us around in the afternoon on the 13th or sometime during Friday, June 14th? It would be well appreciated if someone had time for us.

Första frågan gäller vårt planerade platsbesök och de inventeringar vi tänkte utföra i Gässlösa. Vi planerar att besöka platsen under två-tre dagar, där vi reser från Stockholm till Borås torsdag den 13e juni. Skulle det vara möjligt att ha någon från stadsbyggnadskontoret som kort visar oss runt på eftermiddagen den 13e eller någon gång under fredagen den 14e juni? Det vore verkligen väl uppskattat om någon hade tid för oss.

We had a site visit in April as you can see on the Europan website. Borås City has its own website about Gässlösa at There we have published more information about Gässlösa and ongoing planning .

Vi hade ett platsbesök i april som ni kan se resultatet om på Europans hemsida. Borås Stad har en egen hemsida sök på Gässlösa. Där har vi lagt ut mer information om Gässlösa och pågående planering Torsdagen 13 juni kl 15:00 kan jag visa runt på Gässlösa. Vi kan ses nära tävlingstomten vid busshållplats Göta på Varbergsvägen.

In the overview plan for Borås, Gässlösa is marked as a development area, a so-called "Urban paths". Above all, the city center is designated as a current development area, 2020 Knalleland and for 2025 Gässlösa. Overall, about 7000-8000homes are being written in total in these three areas. We have seen a figure where about 6200 new residents, 3500 households in Gässlösa, are printed. Is it true? Or is there another specific target for the number of homes in Gässlösa?


I översiktsplanen för Borås är Gässlösa markerat som ett utvecklingsområde, ett s.k. “urbant stråk”. Framförallt är stadskärnan utpekad som ett aktuellt utvecklingsområde, 2020 Knalleland och för 2025 Gässlösa. Totalt sett skrivs det om mellan 7000-8000 bostäder totalt sett i dessa tre områden. Vi har sett en siffra där det står utskrivet cirka 6200 nya invånare, 3500 hushåll i Gässlösa. Stämmer det? Eller finns det något annat specifikt mål när det gäller antal bostäder i Gässlösa?

Borås Stad is part of the Europan 15 competition to get an idea of how a sustainable neighbourhood can look in the future, and has no determined goal for how many people should be housed in Gässlösa. The municipality wants a vibrant neighbourhood with housing, workplaces and services. How much housing, workplaces and services depends largely on which kind of city is to be built, which is one of the tasks in the competition. There is no definite degree of development to be achieved or any definite distribution between housing / businesses / service etc.
Borås has made a description of how a typical example district in Borås looks today, regarding population, education, employment, etc. The intention is to give a picture of what the needs are for services, housing, education, workplaces, recreation areas, parks etc. based on current demographics. Borås look forward to alternative descriptions in the competition proposals if the contestants believe that the future is very different and how they affect the cityscape and needs.


Borås Stad är med i tävlingen Europan 15 för att få en bild av hur en framtida, hållbar stadsdel kan se ut och har inget angivet mål för hur många bostäder som bör inrymmas i Gässlösa. Kommunen vill ha en levande stadsdel med boende, verksamheter och service. Vilken mängd bostäder, verksamheter och service som är lämplig beror till stor del på vilken stad som byggs, vilket är en del av själva tävlingsuppgiften. Det finns därför ingen bestämd exploateringsgrad som ska uppnås eller någon bestämd fördelning mellan bostäder/verksamheter/service osv.
Borås har gjort en beskrivning av hur en typisk exempelstadsdel i Borås ser ut idag, gällande befolkning, utbildning, sysselsättning osv. Avsikten är att ge en bild av vilka behov av service, bostäder, utbildning, arbetsplatser, rekreationsytor, parker m.m. som man bör planera för om en stadsdel har en viss befolkning utifrån dagens förhållanden. Borås ser fram emot beskrivningar i tävlingsförslagen om de tävlande tror att man i framtiden lever på ett annat sätt i staden och hur de påverkar stadsbilden och behoven.

As we have understood it is a school planned where parts of the sewage treatment plant are now. I have seen in the plans for Gässlösa that construction start is planned for 2020. However, I cannot find a plan for the school. It is stated in the competition statement that we must plan with the school. Is there a detailed plan or similar, so we can integrate the site into our plans? Or how is this integration envisaged in our proposal?

Som vi har förstått det är en skola planerad där nu delar av reningsverket står. Jag har sett i planerna för Gässlösa att byggstart är planerad för 2020. Jag kan dock inte hitta en plan för skolan. Det står i tävlingsutlåtandet att vi måste planera med skolan. Finns det en detaljplan eller liknande, så vi kan integrera platsen i våra planer? Eller hur är denna integration i vårt förslag tänkt?

Borås city is in urgent need of the new school and will draw up a detailed plan for the school in 2019-2020. In the attached link you can see how the detailed urban planning is conducted for the new school and the limitations of the intended plot. A lot of studies are required to build a school on an old sewage treatment plant so the work must start right now.
More information there.
We hope that the new school and Gässlösa can grow together, because the detailed plan is not yet finished when the competition is going on.

Borås stad är i akut behov av den nya skolan och kommer att upprätta detaljplan för skolan under 2019- 2020. I den bifogade länken kan ni se hur detaljplanearbetet bedrivs för den nya skolan och avgränsningar för den tänkta tomten. Det krävs en hel del utredningar för att bygga en skola på en gammal reningsverkstomt så arbetet måsta starta redan nu. 
More information there
Vi hoppas att den nya skolan och Gässlösa kan växa tillsammans, eftersom detaljplanen ännu inte är klar nu när tävlingen pågår.

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