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last updated: October 5, 2005


About 10 km north-west of downtown Stockholm, the Tensta housing estate is located. Together with Rinkeby, it forms the southern part of Järvafältet (the Järva Field). The city of Stockholm bought the land from the state, and in 1964 the Stockholm planning authority presented a general plan for the southern part of the field. According to the plan the area would be transformed into a modern suburb, with housing for 30,000 people and new workplaces for 4,500 people.

The principle guiding the plan was to form large but concentrated housing estates around a centre where there would be subway connections and different kinds of services. The estates were to be dispersed over the large green field, with substantial green spaces in between. Internally, the blocks were organised in grids and the blocks were large. High-rise housing was built along the highway (E18); it had a modest height of six stories. Elsewhere, the buildings were lower, but densely concentrated. Traffic separation was another key feature.

Tensta has now close to 6,000 dwellings, with two thirds of them being either one or two bedroom flats. Two thirds of the dwellings are owned by public housing companies, and most of the remaining flats are co-operative housing. The estate has a low employment rate, many residents rely upon social welfare, many have a low level of education, and the turnover is high, with some 2,000 out of 16-17,000 people arriving in and leaving Tensta each year. In the period 1990-95, half the 1990 population left the area, compared to a Stockholm neighbourhood average of 37 per cent. Tensta is one of the main points of entry to the Stockholm housing market, in particular for foreign-born refugees.