New student housing planned on Campus Umeå

[2012-11-09] Student housing is an important factor for a lively, safe and attractive campus environment. Therefore, Akademiska Hus, the building administration company for Swedish universities, decided to lease out the land near the football field on Campus Umeå to build around 200 new student apartments.

Umeå's new student housing area will be directly adjacent to the main campus, between Campus Arena (the football field on campus) and Lilljansberget. Akademiska Hus decided to lease out the woodland for the construction of student housing to strengthen Campus Umeå as an attractive environment for studying, working, living, and recreation. The company is now looking for a long-term contractor for the extensive project.

“It is not our responsibility to build and manage student housing, but we are working with campus development from a holistic perspective. Housing near campus assures more people in the area at different times of the day, which results in both more security and a wider range of services right on campus,” says David Carlsson, Regional Director of Akademiska Hus North.

The new housing area is planned to be sustainable and in line with the university area's overall green character. According to the proposal, designed in cooperation with White Architects, the area should be developed with a low degree of exploitation and the forest will be maintained to the greatest extent possible. Thanks to the proximity to campus, service facilities, and IKSU, the number of parking spaces can be kept to a minimum, which, together with the low exploitation rate, benefits the disposal of surface water.

Umeå University shares Akademiska Hus’s view on student housing as an important part of campus development in Umeå:

“We strive to have a vibrant campus that attracts businesses such as restaurants, cafés and shops. The planned area of student housing will clearly favour such a development,” says University Director Lars Lustig.

“Our largest groups of new students come from Stockholm and Västra Götaland County. As a university that recruits students from all over the country, it is important for us to offer attractive accommodation. Also, our international students expect on-campus housing as they they know it from countries like England, France, and the U.S.,” Lustig continues.

Also, the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) welcomes the decision.
“We have a lot of guest researchers and forestry students who come to Umeå from all over Sweden. Thus, our need for housing is large. Affordable apartments will make our study programmes more attractive and raise Campus Umeå’s quality to an even higher level,” says Tomas Lundmark, Dean of SLU's forestry faculty.

For Akademiska Hus, this project is part of a company-wide goal to actively contribute to the construction of student housing. In Swedish student cities like Stockholm, Uppsala, Lund, Gothenburg, and Umeå alone, Akademiska Hus has a share in the building of about 5000 on-campus student apartments.

A new plan will need to be developed to enable the construction of new student housing in Umeå. A request will be submitted to Umeå Municipality in November. The whole building process is expected to take two years.

Contact: David Carlsson

Image: White Architects

Editor: Karin Wikmann

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