News about: Gothenburg 400 years 2021

The Future Ambassadors initiative has begun! More school students will leave compulsory school with passing grades. Students will also test the power of digitalisation to find new ways of learning.

Photo: Universeum Science Centre

School students will be educated in ways that are smart, sustainable and inclusive, guided by school requirements, the learning environments of the Universeum Science Centre and the global goals of Agenda 2030. The objective is to improve skills, promote equality and ultimately ensure that school students achieve higher goals. The project will also give heads of schools assistance with developing school resources and enhancing digital skills.

The first concept, entitled Sustainable Seas, began at the end of November with around 150 students in years 4–6 from six different classes around the city. The work is divided into various sessions guided by teachers, with preparations and finishing off in the classroom, as well as visits to the Universeum Science Centre where the students explore new learning environments and gain new tools to enhance learning. Based on the foundations of biology and global goal 14 Life Below Water the students will use problem-based learning and mixed learning environments as tools to understand the contemporary world.

During the 2019/2020 academic year the project will be extended to 16 new classes and two further concepts: the Body and Health (years 1–3), and Space (years 6–9). More concepts will be developed for introduction in the 2020/2021 academic year. The intention is that the Future Ambassadors will develop from a project into a method that can be applied on a wider scale.

The project is part of the Knowledge and Enlightenment focus theme in the run-up to Gothenburg’s 400-year anniversary in 2021.

On 14–22 September, Gothenburg and West Sweden celebrated the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing. Around 60 organisations arranged 150 activities during a week dedicated to the theme of space, to highlight West Sweden’s role as a strong space region.

Photo: Beatrice Törnros

“We are enormously pleased with the success of Space Week – a unique joint venture with academia and business, cultural institutions and other organisations. It drew a great deal of publicity as well as a lot of visitors. Everyone involved has done an outstanding job of publicising and disseminating knowledge about space, from the early days and into the future. We hope we have succeeded in raising awareness of all the exciting space-related activities taking place in the region, as well as inspiring children and adults to explore the subject further. Knowledge and understanding of space are important for the whole of society in many different ways, not least for the environment and climate,” said Catrin Mattsson, project manager for Space Week.

Space Week was eventful. It included a visit by Matilda Ernkrans, Swedish minister for space matters, who opened the new Space Travel exhibition at the Universeum Science Centre, and a concert entitled The Step on the Moon by Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, accompanied by Swedish astronaut Christer Fuglesang. Chalmers University of Technology arranged a ground-breaking ceremony at Onsala Space Observatory to mark the start of work on a new visitor centre. Activities for all ages were arranged at Alfie Atkins’ Cultural Centre and at Tre Stiftelser retirement home.

Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra conducted by Daniel Bjarnason, with Hasselblad images from NASA projected on the walls. Photo: Francis Löfvenholm/GSO

Although Space Week itself has ended, several other space-related activities are continuing. The recently opened exhibition at the Universeum Science Centre has now been made one of its permanent exhibitions. The same applies to the Hasselblad and the Moon exhibition at the Hasselblad Center. During Space Week, Chalmers University of Technology set up a technology competition for students in 6th grade. This will continue throughout autumn and the winners will be announced in March next year. Chalmers will also be holding a seminar on 4 May on the subject of Production in Space.

“This year our theme for Space Week was based on the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing. But we are convinced that space exploration will remain important in the future in some form, not least in light of the very successful space industry and research that exists in our region,” said Christina Backman, CEO of the Hasselblad Foundation.

Space Week was initiated by Chalmers University of Technology and the Hasselblad Foundation. The event is co-hosted by the Universeum Science Centre, the University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra and Alfie Atkins’ Cultural Centre, among others. Space Week is also supported by the Trade & Industry Group at Göteborg & Co and Region Västra Götaland. The event is part of Gothenburg’s 400-year anniversary in 2021 and the focus theme for 2019: Knowledge and Enlightenment.

The Knowledge and Enlightenment focus year is part of Gothenburg’s 400-year anniversary celebrations. During the year, central focus will be given to education, research and skills provision, providing a common platform for stakeholders to work from. We met Eva Henricsson from Göteborg & Co’s Trade & Industry Group, process leader for the focus year.

Eva Henricsson Photo: Peter Kvarnström, Göteborg & Co

Hello Eva. Tell us about yourself.

I am the process leader for the Knowledge and Enlightenment focus year as part of Gothenburg’s 400-year anniversary, and have long experience of working for Gothenburg, a City of Knowledge. I work in Göteborg & Co’s Trade and Industry Group, a platform for collaboration between trade & industry, organisations, municipal and regional administrations and academia, which is aimed at making Gothenburg even more competitive and attractive.

I was born and grew up in Gothenburg. I have always been strongly involved in the city’s development and see great opportunities in the coming year.

The big kick-off meeting for Knowledge and Enlightenment was held on 22 January. How did the meeting go and did it meet your expectations?

The ambition for 2019 is to utilise experiences from previous focus years while continuing to involve the whole city in the anniversary celebrations. Approximately 70 people from administrations, businesses, academia, regional bodies, Science Parks, companies, foundations and associations attended the kick-off meeting to gain inspiration and find out how their organisations can participate in the focus theme.

Also attending the meeting was the youth reference group, which was formed to bring a young perspective to Gothenburg’s 400-year anniversary celebrations. With such a large number and variety of participants, the meeting provided excellent opportunities for networking and exchange. Another purpose of the meeting was to offer inspiration by presenting various activities planned for 2019. I hope that even more people will get involved and carry out concrete activities during the year.

What will happen during the year and what milestones can we look forward to?

A large number of events will take place during the year. It all kicked off with International Mother Language Day on 25 February, organised by the City of Gothenburg’s Language Centre. Next in line is the Gothenburg International Science Festival on 1–12 April with the theme “Astonishing thought”, followed by Future Skills, the region’s largest vocational meeting place for high school students, on 8–10 October. Several historical events will also be highlighted during 2019. The Space Week on 14–22 September will mark the 50th anniversary of the first Moon landing. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child also celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, which means that children will be an important target group. Our ambition is for the initiatives to continue after 2019, so 2021 will be an important milestone for showcasing the work carried out.

What is the most exciting aspect of Knowledge and Enlightenment, and what challenges do you expect it to pose?

What’s most exciting is the large number of people who regard the theme and the focus year as highly relevant and want to contribute to making Gothenburg an even better city. My challenge will be finding the time to gather together everyone’s excellent ideas. I see great opportunities in the year ahead!


Things have gone swimmingly for Styrsöbolaget’s new ferry service between Stenpiren in central Gothenburg and the island Hönö Klåva in Gothenburg’s northern archipelago. Nearly 33 500 passengers used the service between the 26th of June and the 19th of August.

The Kungsö ferry departs from Eriksberg for Hönö Klåva. Photo: Pauline Pontois/Göteborg & Co

“The route has had a sensational start, proving there is high demand for transport to the northern archipelago. It is fantastic that nearly 33 500 passengers have used the service. We are proud and delighted to have achieved this result and satisfied residents’ request to link the archipelago to the city centre, something we have wanted to do for several years. We aim for this to become a permanent route,” says Bertil Pevantus, CEO of Styrsöbolaget and Business Area Manager for Ferries at Transdev Sverige AB.

So far, the ferry has run four times a day from Stenpiren to the island Hönö Klåva via Eriksberg. The trip takes 60 minutes and a single ticket costs 75 SEK. The route is operated by Styrsöbolaget. Västtrafik travel tickets are not valid on the ferries. The route was opened by Styrsöbolaget as part of the Accessible Archipelago project for Gothenburg’s 400th anniversary 2021, in response to Gothenburg residents’ request for easier access to the archipelago.

Öckerö Municipality has noted an increase in summer visitors to the Öckerö islands, particularly to Hönö Klåva.

“There has been a sharp increase in visitors to the Öckerö islands this summer, particularly to Hönö Klåva, and all the islands appear to have seen a significant rise in visitors. There has been a marked rise in cycling tourism, which is gratifying as we have been promoting this type of tourism. Island hopping has also increased greatly in this part of the archipelago. We have no official trade figures from Klåva, but from speaking to people it seems that all businesses have at least doubled their sales. We are also delighted that many local residents are using the ferry to travel to central Gothenburg. This proves that there is also a demand for the ferry service among archipelago residents,” says Ronald Johansson, Head of Tourism and Industry at Öckerö Municipality.

The Anniversary Pavilion opened to the public during the Gothenburg Culture Festival on the 14th to the 19th of August. The Pavilion was a success, offering a programme of over 70 events and attracting many curious visitors.

Photo: Marie Ullnert/Göteborg & Co

Curious residents flocked to the Anniversary Pavilion this year to sample the various activities on offer. Visitors had the chance to find out more about the anniversary initiatives, speak to senior city officials and listen to talks and presentations on the stage. There were several international events in the programme in line with this year’s focus year theme, Go Global. Among other things, artist Arghavan Agida presented her project Artdom, which unites Iranian and Swedish female artists. Kerstin Årre, unit manager for libraries in eastern Gothenburg, spoke about the World Literature House, a new multicultural library opening in Gamlestaden on the 1st of December.

The Pavilion’s VR shows proved enormously popular. Visitors experienced a simulated ride on Gothenburg’s new cable car over the river, thanks to a collaboration between the Traffic & Public Transport Authority and Västtrafik. They also got to experience visualisations of 17th century Gothenburg created by the Museum of Gothenburg and the City Planning Office.

Photo: Marie Ullnert/Göteborg & Co

Music enthusiasts could take part in Side by Side by El Sistema Sweden and the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra’s activities, and the Hisingen youth group gave a spontaneous dance show to promote the new dance platform on Kvillestråket. In the evening, the public danced to music served up by various DJs.

“The Pavilion is a wonderful venue where we can converse with Gothenburg’s residents about the city’s 400th anniversary 2021 and all the exciting ideas being realised,” says Alexsandra Flinck, project coordinator and manager of the Anniversary Pavilion.

The 26th of June saw the launch of the new archipelago ferry service between Stenpiren and the island Hönö Klåva via Eriksberg. The Kungsö ferry will have four daily departures in each direction from Tuesday to Sunday between the 26th of June and the 19th of August. The new route is operated by Styrsöbolaget as part of the Accessible Archipelago project for Gothenburg’s 400th anniversary 2021. It is a response to Gothenburg residents’ request for easier access to the archipelago from central Gothenburg.

The Kungsö ferry departs from Eriksberg for Hönö Klåva. Photo: Pauline Pontois/Göteborg & Co

The launch ceremony started at 09.30 am. Bertil Pevantus, CEO of Styrsöbolaget, Ann-Sofie Hermansson (S), Chair of Gothenburg City Executive Board, and Arne Lernhag (M), Chair of Öckerö City Executive Board, presented the initiative and tied a ribbon symbolising a link between the city and the archipelago. After this, the first trip departed at 10.00 am packed with tourists and residents from Gothenburg and Öckerö.

“We’re always delighted to offer passengers new services and experiences. We believe the new route will contribute to the city’s and the archipelago’s development by facilitating public transport and reducing car traffic in the region. We have wanted to open a route between Gothenburg and the northern archipelago for a long time. Now it’s finally here, and we hope it will meet with passengers’ approval,” says Bertil Pevantus, CEO of Styrsöbolaget and Business Area Manager for Ferries at Transdev Sverige AB.

Arne Lernhag (M), Bertil Pevantus and Ann-Sofie Hermansson (S) tied the ribbon symbolising a link between the city and the archipelago. Photo: Pauline Pontois/Göteborg & Co

“When Gothenburg’s residents were asked what change they wanted in Gothenburg to mark the 400th anniversary, many asked for more interconnected walking routes, better access to the water and more green areas and inviting public spaces. With Kvillestråket, we are contributing to achieving this vision,” says Petra Wernersson from the Parks and Landscapes Administration.

Photo: Göteborg & Co

The new dance platform and the Blueways, Greeways and Oases “Kvillestråket” were inaugurated on the 31st of May with 17 dance routines, taster dance activities and outdoor exercise sessions. The route is 4 km long and stretches along Kvillebäcken between Frihamnen and Hökälla. The outdoor dance platform was requested by young girls, who helped to design it through a workshop. The dance platform is open to all members of the public who want to dance and play their favourite music.

The dance platform and walking route were inaugurated in hot summer weather, but this didn’t stop visitors from joining in the outdoor dancing and exercise activities. Other participants in the event were the Göteborg Opera, Hisingens Kulturskola, Kulturlabbet and many more.

Twelve artworks will be painted on building façades along a 21-kilometre art trail stretching from Blå Stället cultural centre in Angered to Röda Sten art centre in Klippan. The art trail – the world’s longest – is scheduled for completion by the city’s 400th anniversary. This initiative, which is part of Let’s Colour Gothenburg, has the dual aim of uniting the various areas of the city and creating job opportunities by training unemployed young people in the painting industry. The first artworks are already in progress, and by the autumn five of them will be completed in various locations in the city.

”We Are Nature” by Thiago Mazza. Photomontage: Sätt Färg på Göteborg.

Of the 290 entries in the Gothenburg Art 21 competition, twelve winning entries have been selected. The winners include local and international artists. During spring and summer of 2018, five of the artworks will be painted by unemployed youths in Let’s Colour Gothenburg’s training scheme.

The first artwork, “Gothenburg United”, is already finished and can be seen on Andra Långgatan in Masthugget. It depicts a tram as a symbol of Gothenburg, and the artist is Linda Ljungblad from Sweden.

A second painting, of a large blue bird, is currently taking shape in its new home on a building façade in Hjällbo. This work, entitled “We Are Nature”, is made by the artist Thiago Mazza from Brazil.

The third artwork, “The Lost Paradise” by Peruvian artist Isaac Barreda, won the diamond prize in the competition and will be painted in Gamlestaden in June. The artist will personally join the youths in Gothenburg to paint the large artwork.

“Horizon Child” by Gothenburg artist DIVE and “Nature Dust” (another diamond winner) by Llefen Carrera, also from Gothenburg, will be painted later in the summer during the Gothenburg Culture Festival.

Let’s Colour Gothenburg is run by the regional painting contractors’ association Måleriföretagen i Väst, in collaboration with Gothenburg’s 400-year anniversary 2021 and the Swedish Public Employment Service.

In spring 2018, all preschool children in Gothenburg were given a copy of Anna Bengtsson’s book “Farfars mammas soffa” (Great-grandma’s Sofa) as a gift. This initiative is part of Equal Gothenburg, a project encouraging people to read aloud to children during the lead-up to Gothenburg’s 400th anniversary in 2021. The initiative has also highlighted an opportunity for further training of teachers and library staff as well as theatre performances for preschool classes and the public.

The plot of the book starts in 1915 when a young couple in Gothenburg buy their first sofa. Based on historical facts, the book follows the life of the family and the sofa all through the 20th century and up to the present day. It tells how the family grows, moves, moves again, how modern inventions emerge and how life changes both for the family and the sofa.

A play entitled “Farfars mammas soffa – en resa genom tid och rum” (Great-grandma’s Sofa – A Journey in Space and Time), based on the book, toured Gothenburg in May performing to preschool classes. The tour will end with four public performances during the Volvo Ocean Race and the Gothenburg Culture Festival:

  • 16th and 17th July, Volvo Ocean Race, Lilla Scenen stage in Frihamnen, 11:00
  • 14th and 16th August, Gothenburg Culture Festival, Stora Tältet, Garden Society of Gothenburg (Trädgårdsföreningen), 13:30

These activities were organised in collaboration between “The city where we read to our children” (part of Equal Gothenburg), Gothenburg’s 400-year anniversary 2021, Gothenburg City Libraries, Alfie Atkins’ Cultural Centre and the theatre companies Teater Gapet and Teater Bataljonen. The overall concept behind donating the book in preschools is to awaken children’s curiosity about reading and encourage adults to read to children.

With three years to go until Gothenburg’s 400th anniversary, partners from industry, associations, organisations, academia and municipal and regional administrations gathered to discuss and present their anniversary projects, plans and experiences leading up to 2021.

Photo: Johan De Paoli/Göteborg & Co

The atmosphere was both friendly and ceremonious when 200 partners met in Trädgår’n concert hall & restaurant in Gothenburg to launch the final stage of preparations for Gothenburg’s 400th anniversary in 2021. The morning started with inspiring discussions of several anniversary projects, and already by 10 a.m. many new contacts and connections had been made.

The day continued with short presentations of projects and initiatives. Among others, Thomas Pieschl from Elof Hansson presented the Global Business Gate, Annika Knutsson spoke about the GöteborgsVarvet Marathon 2021 and Katja Ahlsell discussed the planned cultural centre in Bergsjön.

In addition, Carin Kurling talked about Let’s Colour Gothenburg, a project with the dual aim of uniting the city and creating jobs for young people in the painting industry. The project has already helped 50 young people into permanent employment.

“The project includes many different aspects, but the basic idea is to get young people into the job market. Right now we’re working on a project where artworks will be painted on building façades along a 21-kilometre art trail from the Blå Stället cultural centre in Angered to the Röda Sten art centre in Klippan,” explains Carin.

Another project presented was Gothenburg Stories, a joint initiative between the Cultural Affairs Administration and the Museum of Gothenburg.

Photo: Marie Ullnert / Göteborg & Co

“We are collecting stories from people from all ten districts of Gothenburg. Ultimately, 100 of these stories will be dramatised and performed in various ways,” explains Marie Nyberg from the Museum of Gothenburg.

It was evident during the kick-off at Trädgår’n concert hall & restaurant that a great many partners are involved in the 2021 anniversary initiatives. Both Carin Kurling and Marie Nyberg were delighted to meet others working on anniversary projects.

“It was wonderful to be here and see how many people are engaged in this huge endeavour and working towards the same goals,” says Carin.

“It’s been really inspiring. It can get lonely working on your own project, but today I really got a sense of things going forward and everyone working together. It’s very exciting,” says Marie.

To conclude the morning, storyteller Katrice Horsley from Narrative4Change led a dynamic and inspiring storytelling session about Gothenburg 2021. Assisted by the participants, who symbolically launched 200 paper boats in the Göta Älv river, she summed up the day and emphasised the power and importance of everyone working in the same direction.

Between the 26th of June and the 19th of August, four daily ferry trips will run from Stenpiren to the island Hönö Klåva via Eriksberg. The trip will take 60 minutes and a single ticket will cost 75 SEK. Children under 12 years travel free of charge.

Photo: Steampipe Production Studio AB/Göteborg & Co

Coffee, tea, snacks and light lunches will be sold on board. Passengers can bring a bicycle on board. Västtrafik travel tickets are not valid on the ferries. Onward transport connections are available from the island Hönö all the way to Vinga.

One of the ideas put forward by Gothenburg’s residents for the 400th anniversary was to improve transport connections between the city and the archipelago. This summer, a major step will be taken towards satisfying this request. When Styrsöbolaget and the Kungsö ferry start operating between Stenpiren and Hönö Klåva via Eriksberg, the northern archipelago will become accessible from the city centre.

The jury has selected the winner of the design competition for stations and towers on Gothenburg’s new cable car route. The winning design, entitled New Beacons, is a joint project between Amsterdam-based architectural and design studio UNStudio and Gothenburg-based Kjellgren Kaminsky Architecture.

Illustration: UNStudio och Kjellgren Kaminsky

The competition was organised by the City of Gothenburg in collaboration with Västtrafik and Architects Sweden. Four pre-qualified teams submitted their entries last autumn. These entries were presented to the public, both online and via several exhibitions in Gothenburg. And now the jury – consisting of representatives from the three organisers – has selected the design by UNStudio and Kjellgren Kaminsky Architecture as the winner.

“New Beacons is the entry that most convincingly fuses architectural quality with functional requirements. It combines poetry and playfulness with flexibility and developability,” says jury chair Lena Dübeck.

What’s next for the winning design?

“It will be incorporated into the planning of the cable car service and the winning team will be involved in this process. However, we cannot currently say whether the towers and stations will look exactly as in the design,” says Lena Dübeck.

Read more about the cable car over the river.