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Martin Grander

A photographic mapping of doors in Swedish public housing, “Allmännyttan”. The doors are located in socio-economically different districts of Malmö.

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Publicerad: juni 2023
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This photographic mapping takes its point of departure in the Swedish municipal public rental housing, “Allmännyttan”. A cornerstone of Swedish housing provision, with strong connotations to the welfare state.

The concept of Allmännytta does not translate well. It connotates to the public and to the common. Housing for everyone, regardless of where you come from or the size of your wallet.

Such ideas are reflected in the variety of the location, the design, and the characteristics of the houses. And their doorways.

Here, 16 photographs complemented by short stories convey this variation. A visual and social typology of the doors of public housing

What’s with a doorway?

What do you feel when you reach your home doorway?

The sound of the key sliding into the keyhole

Frozen fingers struggling with a malfunctioning keylock

Homecoming. Safety. Warmth.

A sense of belonging

What’s with a doorway?

What do you feel when you reach your home doorway?

The sound of the key sliding into the keyhole

Frozen fingers struggling with a malfunctioning keylock

Homecoming. Safety. Warmth.

A sense of belonging

How do you feel when you close the door behind you?

Ease of getting out in the fresh air, of leaving your cramped apartment

There are people here

Anxiety as the outside world pushes on

Am I my home?


An old man lives here. He’s out to have a smoke outside the 1922 door.

He wishes he had a balcony. But the rent is low.

This is a house where people stay. 


When things go bad. Are we welcome here?


There is some kind of shield on the bottom part of the door, perhaps protecting the modern steel door of this 1923 house with a taxable value of 93 million SEK.

There is a smell of Chinese food from the restaurant next door.


The house in Corten steel was voted “Malmö’s ugliest building” after its construction.


During the renovation of inner-city Malmö in the 1970s, apartment blocks from the 17th century were torn down and replaced by houses like this.

Most of the area was gated to create a sense of community and safety. The public housing estates, however, were not.

Everyone who lives here has a dog.


Remnants of a person in a hurry

Sege Park

There is a commotion. People are moving in. Young people. Couples.

Laughing, carrying plants and IKEA art, trying to figure out how to keep the doorways from closing automatically.

The first own home.

Limhamns sjöläge

The houses are tightly packed in one of Malmö’s newest development areas.

Still, the sun hits the wall in the late afternoon.

Östra Fäladen

Keep the green engine running


Six doors from Rörsjöstaden’s quarters Judith, Lea and Olga from the late 1800s. These might be among the most attractive rental apartments in Malmö.


Murder, she wrote


Built in the 1990s by MKB in order to attract more wealthy households. One of the most evident examples of postmodern architecture in Malmö

Västra hamnen

Malmö’s White City. With an ocean view


Pils next door, and a small pipe on the steps.


A bricked solitaire an otherwise plastered façade street


The million programme, 1965-1974. This is a door which represents a large bulk of all rental housing and is perhaps what most people associate the Swedish public housing with.

Welcome in, welcome back


Martin Grander is an associate senior lecturer in Urban Studies at Malmö University and the Director of the interdisciplinary research environment Studies in Housing and Welfare. His research focuses on urban planning and housing provision from a perspective of equality and inequality, with particular attention on the role of housing in shaping present and future living conditions.

Department of Urban Studies, Malmö University

Urban Social Atlas Öresund presenterar kritisk, bildbaserad forskning med fokus på relationen mellan människan och den byggda miljön. Syftet med Atlasen är att sprida och göra forskning tillgänglig för en bredare publik genom att publicera korta forskningsartiklar. Atlasen tillhandahåller ett publikationsutrymme för forskning, interventions- och konstnärligt utvecklingsarbete som inkluderar text och bilder; som exempelvis ritningar, kartor, foto eller film.

Atlasen är avsiktligt öppen och inkluderande vad gäller olika sociala forskningsfrågor såväl som olika forskningsansatser. Forskningsfrågor kan omfatta aktuella utmaningar inom bostadsfrågan; mobilitet; segregation; sociala rörelser; transport; stadsklimat; stadsplanering; stadsnatur och användningen av det offentliga rummet. Forskningsfrågorna analyseras med ett kritiskt förhållningssätt eller genom olika perspektiv på ojämlikhet eller orättvisa. Undersökningsformerna kan innefatta en rad olika tillvägagångssätt och metoder; från arkitektur; konst; design; film och fotografi – till etnografi; geografi och samhällsvetenskap. Geografiskt är Atlasen fokuserad på den dansk-svenska regionen Öresund. Jämförande studier med andra städer, regioner eller länder är också välkomna.