What place do historic environments and structures have in cities after their original uses have ceased to have relevance in contemporary urban life? And how does these relate to sustainable city planning, in particular social sustainability? Using the cisterns at the former oil harbour of Loudden, in Stockholm, Sweden as a case study, the purpose of this report is to investigate adaptive reuse strategies and idealogies of the industrial heritage in contemporary cities. These topics are analysed in relation to the prevailing neoliberal planning objectives of branding, economic growth and development and place-making. A critical analysis of the city of Stockholm’s stated sustainability goals reveals a significant disconnect between the technical, economic and environmental sides of sustainability and the equally important social aspects of the term. The overall conclusion is that social sustainability is first and foremost a rhetorical discourse that must be more aggressively pursued as a concrete planning objective and the adaptive reuse of industrial heritage provides a unique opportunity to accomplish this. Furthermore, social, environmental and economic sustainability must be seen as integral and coequal parts to the overarching sustainable ideal. The predominance of economic considerations does not adequately account for the equally crucial aspects of social sustainability such as culture, inclusiveness and integration and historic preservation
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