The process behind Gothenburg’s 400th anniversary
Gothenburg’s town charter was granted on June 4, 1621. We will celebrate this by working together to make our city an even better place as we approach the anniversary year – and for many years to come. But what does that actually mean?
Göteborg & Co has been commissioned by the municipal executive board to draw up annual plans for the anniversary. Back in 2009, the City of Gothenburg decided to use its 400th anniversary as a milestone and a catalyst for the city’s development. We are currently working to put many of the ideas into action, and to transform the projects into investments in the city. Find out more about the anniversary initiatives here.
Involving the entire city
Thousands of ideas about how the city can be developed in connection with the anniversary have been collected from Gothenburgers, the city’s administrations and companies, and seven perspective groups. Everyone was invited to get involved and share their dreams, ideas and suggestions for the future.
Seven perspective groups tackled the main question: “How can the 400th anniversary make an international impression for the future?” This resulted in a work plan and a book of ideas that was submitted to the municipal executive board. In 2012, the municipal council decided on the vision, goals and themes for the city’s anniversary initiative, and that a work plan should form the starting point for further work.
The public’s ideas that had been collected before the anniversary work began have been compiled in the book ‘1680 Ideas for Gothenburg’s 400th Birthday Celebrations’.
Sustainability in action
The anniversary work is characterised by the three dimensions of sustainability: social, environmental and economic. Ultimately, it involves building a city where dreams can be realised, and where those of us who live and work here feel a sense of participation and connection, while at the same time attracting more people to come here. This is how we intend to celebrate our city together and make our mark on the world. The sustainability work follows the City of Gothenburg’s policies and guidelines for managing and implementing the assignment in the best interests of Gothenburgers.
Making an impression on the future
Thousands of ideas, dreams and proposals have formed the basis for the themes and goals that will lead towards the vision as we approach the anniversary year – and for many years to come. These are the values on which the anniversary is based, in order to contribute towards the development of Gothenburg.
Gothenburg has an international reputation as a bold role model for sustainable growth. We are an innovative, open and inclusive city where all residents feel a sense meaning and participation.
‘By the Water’, ‘Building Bridges’ and ‘Open Spaces’ serve as strategies to maintain the direction of the vision and encourage participation in the lead-up to the celebrations and beyond.
‘By the Water’ – Getting closer to the city’s water in all its forms: the sea, the archipelago, the harbour, the lakes, the canals, the river and the rain.
‘Building Bridges’ – Building bridges between people and reducing distances.
‘Open Spaces’ – Developing an open and permissive atmosphere through new creative meeting places.
- Create an international impression by striving to make Gothenburg a city where residents can thrive and feel a sense of participation, pride and faith in the future.
- Be a bold role model for sustainable growth by meeting and exceeding agreed goals.
- Continue to develop Gothenburg and the surrounding region through broad collaboration with the city’s committees and companies, as well as local, regional, national and international actors.
- Involve the entire city in the celebrations by encouraging ongoing open dialogue in which everyone can participate.
- Strengthen the image of Gothenburg through effective communications and marketing.
A summary of what the 400th anniversary has achieved to date and what is planned for the future can be found in the yearly anniversary plans.
The 400th anniversary celebrations have been altered due to the covid-19 pandemic, making information in Anniversary magazine 2020 related to the anniversary year 2021 out-of-date.
A changed anniversary assignment for 2021–2023
As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the anniversary assignment was changed by a decision of the municipal council on September 10, 2020. In 2021, we therefore arranged a formal, historic celebration of the city’s official birthday on June 4, and compiled an anniversary calendar of activities that were carried out by various anniversary partners throughout the year. Find out more here. Collaboration on pressing issues within the city and the region will now continue with a view to Gothenburg’s anniversary celebrations during the summer of 2023, when we will welcome citizens of Gothenburg and visitors from all over the world to celebrate together. The programme begins with Gothenburg’s Anniversary Festival, followed by the Prototyping Gothenburg project with the city as an exhibition, and a string of celebrations with anniversary initiatives, 100-year-old institutions and more. It will all be rounded off with Frihamnen Days and the Gothenburg Culture Festival, with a particular focus on the anniversary celebrations.