In 1954, the Stockholm New Town of Vällingby was inaugurated. It soon became world famous as a uique, well-planned city district serviced by the underground metro. The ultra modern facilities at the Centre, and the white houses in green park-like surroundings became a symbol of the Swedish middle-way Welfare State. Only twenty-five years earlier, Stockholm was notorious among those cities having the worst housing in Europe.

This study provides an explanation of what happened in between, and what made the Stockhoolm municipal administration into one of the most advanced providers of high quality housing districts in the world. The main explanation is to be found in the unique minicipal leaseholding strategy introduced on a large scale in the outer "social" city in the early twentieth century.

The study is informed by recent developments in Foucauldian tradition of social-research, and combines urban history with the governmentality approach. The main argument is that the unique extent of municipal landholding in Stockholm can be explained by the rolethet this practice had in the provision of urban order. The leaseholding system was used both to build a disciplinary city and to monitor fine-tuned contacts with the inhabitants.

A thorough study of olcal press and organisation sources shows that the municipal administration achieved a great degree of influence in the new districts. At the samt time, the leaseholding system became an integral part of the administration and constituted a crucial factor in the post-war success in housing and provision.

Mats Deland is an economic historian. This is his doctoral thesis.
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  The Social City.
Middle-Way Approaches to Housing and Suburban Governmentality in Southern Stockholm, 1900-1945.
Mats Deland
Studier i stads- och kommunhistoria; 23
ISBN: 91-88882-17-9
Stockholm 2001
Pris: 200 SEK