Jacob Christensen

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Archive for April 25th, 2008

Nordic Brethren

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Sweden is not Denmark. But not always in the way you would expect.

Written by Jacob Christensen

April 25th, 2008 at 5:43 pm

Posted in Politics

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Umea 060613 - 08.jpg

In his blog, Västerbottens-Kuriren’s political editor Ola Nordebo asks if Umeå has any suburbs.

My immediate answer is: No, Umeå cannot have any suburbs because the town itself has the feeling of being a suburb. When I go to central Umeå, I always have – and always have had – the feeling of visiting a suburban shopping centre while the real centre is somewhere else. I can’t say where exactly, but one of my colleagues recently put this note on his whiteboard:

Gone to Sundsvall. The only place in Norrland that doesn’t look like a village.

Size, of cause, plays a role. Umeå proper only has some 75.000 inhabitants1 and there are limits to how much action you can squeeze out of a place like that. And it really is too small to sustain suburbs in the true meaning of the word.

On the other hand, I’m still left with the impression that Umeå is stuck somewhere between the small town it used to be forty years ago and the city it wants to be. It has lost the Norrlandish charm but not really gained a true identity.

Oh, and speaking of suburbs: When I have the choice, I’d much rather go shopping in Kongens Lyngby north of Copenhagen than in Umeå. Lyngby is a true suburb, but even that can be a bit lacking in the charm department. At least on a Sunday.

Lyngby Storcenter 1

  1. Sundsvall clocks in at a measly 50.000, in case you wonder []

Written by Jacob Christensen

April 25th, 2008 at 3:47 pm

Posted in Politics

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links for 2008-04-25

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Written by Jacob Christensen

April 25th, 2008 at 2:32 pm

Posted in delicious.com

Economists vs. Political Scientists

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Economists are rationalists. This makes them despair at public policies because they think things could be better.

Political scientists are realists. This makes us depressed because we know things cannot get better.

Written by Jacob Christensen

April 25th, 2008 at 1:56 am

Posted in Political science etc.

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