Centrum

Täby Centrum

Problems with my phone contract lead me to Täby Centrum today, a popular Stockholm suburb. Mobile phone operators must be the most difficult institutions in the world to keep a friendly dialogue with, so I was mildly annoyed, but decided to see the little excursion as an inspiration, which – as is generally known can strike anywhere. Why not in the center of sunny Täby, home of many modern and nature loving families. (Impression 1, Impression 2, Impression Church)

I leave E18, follow the signs to ”Täby C” and turn to the greyest place I have seen since 1988 outside East Berlin. I mean: Gropiusstadt is at least an architectural concept!
I obviously understand that not all places can be as stunning as Tallinns old town, but here is my point: When in the world did we start calling shopping centers ”Centrum”? Is this a definition error or a mistranslation? Didn’t the town square with a lively market place use to be the heart of every community?
Swedens centrum signs mostly lead you to a formation of Coop, Järnia and a korvkiosk, that varies only in size. (Comments and explanations from anyone with a longer history in Sweden are highly appreciated. When did this start?).

Not only do drive-through-foreigners get the the worst hillbilly impression of Sweden’s countryside, but what happened to the good old belfry?

Steeple

There is the obvious parable to our consumer society, but I suggest a simple repositioning of street signs.

Turn the ”C” arrows away from outskirt parking lots, sneaker outlets and phone companies.

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