The expanded city library will be a central place in the smart city of Helsingborg and one of Europe's most innovative libraries. Here we ensure competence and participation so that the smart city becomes a city with smart inhabitants. Scenes and spaces are created here where the inhabitants can take part in and participate in the democratic conversation, form their own opinions and where we together develop the local democracy and participation in the city.

The library is the residents' arena and the natural place for the city to meet the residents. It is a place for innovation and knowledge sharing between the city and the residents. A test area for the city's administrations. Here you should be able to influence and develop the content and various events. There will also be opportunities for creative rooms and studios.

The process of developing the city library will need to be innovative. The innovation is that we do not really know what business we will conduct in five to seven years when everything will be ready. Here, dialogue with our users becomes important, but also with those who today do not use the library. It will require new, innovative forms of involvement. The library is intimately linked to the popular city park. Here, stakeholders need to work together to find solutions that take advantage of the unique location right in the heart of the city.


The city of Helsingborg is changing with, among other things, an increasing population, new districts and a new social structure. The world around us is also changing with globalization, urbanization and digitalisation.
With all the changes, people now also have other demands on public service. Of course, the library also needs to change in line with this. We see increased digitalisation, declining reading comprehension, forces that challenge democracy and freedom of expression, new media and how people move in and out of the city.


Together with the citizens of Helsingborg, the library of the future will be created. To be innovative means to understand society's growing and changing needs and to test ideas and learn together with the inhabitants. The goal is to change the business together. The working method involves a transformation of power to the residents and staff who work in the library. This presupposes an agile process with close dialogues between the working group and the involvement group. It ensures that relevant information is available to make the right decision at the right time.

The key issues are:

  • What do we need to know to make the right decision?
  • When do we need to know?
  • What can the inhabitants influence?
    All resident involvement is based on identifying needs. Based on the needs, the new city library is developed and designed.

To know more visits www.helsingborg.se/nyttstadsbibliotek, dialog.helsingborg.se/nyttstadsbibliotek

Impact target

A central node for the inhabitants of the smart city Helsingborg is a smart city, a place where the inhabitants experience quality of life, and where they start from the people who live there. To create commitment and work together with the residents as a prerequisite for success.

Impact target

Residents' place for innovation and knowledge sharing. The inhabitants own the place and can influence the content and the offer.

Impact target

The place of the inhabitants for local democracy and participation. The new city library will function as an enabler for the residents' democratic conversations together with decision-makers, businesses, associations and other organizations.

Impact target

Change the image of the library and get better at showing off what we offer. Involving more people also means that we can create a higher awareness of today's and tomorrow's libraries and what services we will offer.

Resident involvement

Inhabitant involvement and working closely with other stakeholders, such as staff, partners and other activities in the city, are crucial to succeeding in building the library of the future in Helsingborg. The goal is not just to listen but to actually develop the business together with them. - We ask, they say, we do. The insights we have gained so far in the dialogues are about the expectations of the library as a place, but also the content of the activity, and it includes four parts: the residents' meeting place, a place for reading inspiration, information and knowledge, a place for democracy and participation and sustainability and shared resources Involvement will continue throughout the process. The working group worked closely with the involvement group. Together we look at what we need to know to make the right decision? When do we need to know? The involvement group takes those questions to the residents and together we analyze the results and turn them into insights to work from the outside.

  • Driven by

    The Cultural Administration

  • Challenge

    How can we make residents more involved and co-creative?

  • Category


  • Sector

    Library, Digital communication, Sustainable construction, Social innovation

  • Partners

    Property management, Helsingborg Library, The City Building Administration, The city management administration


Name: Josefin Andersson, project manager at Helsingborg Library
E-mail: josefin.andersson@helsingborg.se

Name: Sofia Svensson, Service Designer, Helsingborg Library
E-mail: sofia.svensson@helsingborg.se