Growth through culture

14 December, 2012

Culture is an important motor for growth and success. Culture – that spans over everything from scenery and cuisine to art and democracy – promotes entrepreneurship, employment and competitiveness. And best of all: Everyone can contribute to the cultural growth.

We are building for the future!

Never before have we seen so many building cranes, so many detours and big holes in the cityscape. Everything is being built up again. The city is being renewed, getting smarter, bigger and more sustainable. Meeting places. Work. Life. Culture. We are taking Umeå not just into 2014 but far into the future. And we’re doing it together.

Culture is growing. The city is growing. You and I are growing. With faith in the future and a mutual commitment Umeå has grown into something new and unique that is reverberating all around the world. Here are just a few examples:

On the shores of Umeälven river a cross-boundary cultural arena for the people of Umeå and visitors is being built. Väven contains a cultural centre, a hotel and restaurants. The world famous architectural firm Snøhetta has designed an iconic building whose rooms will offer a multitude of cultural meeting possibilities encouraging music, art, crafts, dance and dialogue between citizens in new ways. Väven is more than just a building; it is a symbol for collaboration between various forms of activities with a myriad of experiences under one roof. The building will be inaugurated during the capital of culture year 2014 and is a result of a joint venture between Umeå municipality and Balticgruppen.

The new pedestrian subway near Umeå’s central railway station features Europe’s biggest work of art in glass, signed by the artist collective FA+. The piece is a 170-metre long glass wall convered with quotations from Västerbotten author Sara Lidman. Not to mention Umeå Östra station with its glass walls and shell construction of glued laminated timber that stands brightly below the University Hospital. Inside the station art by Astrid Sylwan and Knutte Wester is displayed.

Umeå Airport is also getting a facelift and being remodeled for the future. In just a short space of time the number of flights in and out of Umeå has increased dramatically; Umeå has become a hub for travel to and from the entire world. An expanded road network and the Bothnia Line railway connect all parts of the city like life-giving arteries, giving new strength and driving up the city’s pulse.

Our magnificent riverside has been enriched by the Umeå Arts Campus, a unique cluster of education and art: the Umeå School of Architecture, Umeå Institute of Design, Umeå Academy of Fine Arts and HUMlab-x. These facilities provide worldclass creative education in an area that challenges the senses and inspires us all. The area is now also home to Bildmuseet, one of the country’s most interesting windows on contemporary visual expression and art. Bildmuseet projects a national and an international character. The exhibitions it produces often go on to tour the world.

The music scene is an important part of culture in Umeå. Scharinska’s music scene, with the guitar museum, café and restaurant in the same building, form a house of music in the heart of Umeå (formerly Vasaskolan). A scene that is even more attractive to local and international performers!

In fact the whole city centre is in transition. New shops, offices and hotels are putting down roots in Umeå. The city is being nurtured by its people, by time and by life. Umeå is changing, growing and building for the future!

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