First HOA and Building Codes in Sweden

Gamla Stan Stockholm Photo by Daren R. Couch

This post was published before, but was accidentally lost at the end of March when I had to recover the data base. So, enjoy again!

In the US, it sometimes seems that building codes, and HOA (Homeowner’s Association) rules are just there to give someone who makes them, something to dream up to irritate homeowners. Okay…before any building inspectors or HOA boards “get up in arms”, I do know that they serve a purpose. They protect us, and protect the value of our property… right?

In Swedish history, nearly every town would have devastating fires, several times a century. In the 1300’s, there was the first mention of devastating fires. The Planning Commission for Stockholm was started in the 1600’s. This resulted in making more boulevards, not only to give more beauty to the city, but to help lessen the spread of fires. In the 1700 hundred’s, or 18th century, building codes were implemented in Stockholm, and other cities in Sweden. Wooden buildings were prohibited in town. Most were made of brick or block, and are what stands today in Gamla Stan of Stockholm (The Old Town). Another rule was each building or residence had to have a barrel of water at all times in their home, in case of fire. The third rule was that the residents of buildings and homes be responsible for keeping the street in front of them clean. Before then, it was custom to just throw garbage in the streets. This would be a city code, or HOA covenant in today’s world.

These building codes, city codes, planning commission, and HOA probably caused as many disgruntled citizens who resisted change, as there are today. But I am glad they did. Stockholm and other cities in Sweden have fabulous preserved architecture, and are very clean. I had a delightful time trottin around Gamla Stan of Stockholm.

Globe Trottin’ Granny