Following a Stockholm university study that said 3,000 islands in Stockholm are put at risk by rising water levels, Dagens Nyheter launched a poll asking Stockholmers which island they would miss least and choose to sacrifice first. It gave readers 15 options, including some of the better known islands as well as less visited locations, detailing the pros and cons of sinking them.
Hipster haven Södermalm, the southernmost of Stockholm's central islands, was one of the options offered. In its favour, DN noted that Söder is “the world's third coolest urban area according to Vogue in 2014”, but also pointed out that one of the negatives is that residents are “well aware of it being voted the world's third coolest urban area by Vogue in 2014”.
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Södermalm. Photo: Vilhelm Stokstad/TT
While visitors to Sweden's capital are often drawn to the old town Gamla Stan, residents tend to be less keen on it for precisely that reason, and indeed, while DN pointed out that the island is “a hub for tourism in the city”, it also countered that it's “unusable for Stockholmers, full of tourists and impossible to navigate”.
Tourists in Gamla Stan. Photo: Adam Wrafter/SvD/TT
The home of Stockholm's City Hall also has the fact that it's home to Sweden's last Eurovision winner Måns Zelmerlöw in its favour according to the newspaper, but it is also the case that “no one on Kungsholmen seems to be having fun” in their opinion.
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The City Hall on Kungsholmen. Photo: Adam Wrafter/SvD/TT
Reasons given for keeping the nature-filled island around include its green space and the fact that amusement park Gröna Lund is there, but at the same time, the chance to confuse people in that “no one would understand why the football team of the same name is called what it is” is one point in favour of getting rid of it.
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Djurgården has the Gröna Lund amusement park in its favour. Photo: Vilhelm Stokstad/TT
Smaller islands like Lilla Essingen, Långholmen and Beckholmen are also part of the list. DN's own Stockholm journalists opted to sink Kungsholmen, arguing that it has a “poor cultural scene”, “relatively poor bars” and a lot of “boring” streets.
Readers had a different view however, and by a clear margin the island they would opt to sacrifice was Djurgården, taking 28 percent of the vote.
It's tempting to think that decision was swayed by the lack of population density on the island, which is largely filled with parks and museums, but it seems a far simpler reason can be given. DN noted that voting may have been impacted by the poll being spread on fan sites for Stockholm football side AIK – rivals of Djurgården.
It seems hipsters aren't hugely popular either, as the next favourite to take a dip was Södermalm with 18 percent of the vote. The Local’s office also happens to be there.