'What I like the most is that there is an investment in the right things'
Publish date: 17 February 2017
Jordan Lane moved from Australia to Stockholm with his Swedish girlfriend, now wife. The opportunity to study and access university education for free sealed the deal when the couple decided to settle in Stockholm. Today, Jordan is an architect working with sustainable city planning at Södertälje Municipality. How does he like it? Let's find out.
Q: Describe your work for Södertälje municipality
At Södertälje municipality I work on a European project called AgriUrban that addresses food production in small and medium urban areas. My approach, and the municipality's approach, is to combine sustainability and food planning in future cities. How do we build so everyone has a good standard of living but also how do we provide land, access to nature, infrastructure services and food in the future.
Q: Why do you like your work here?
I love working here because we are facing the challenges of the future already today and we can make meaningful change in Södertälje.
Q: What is the biggest selling point when you describe Stockholm to friends?
This is a landscape you can’t see anywhere else. I always say to friends when they are flying over - make sure you get a window seat because it’s beautiful.
When you land there's so much to explore and there is proximity to everything - the archipelago, Stockholm city, the cultural scene. but then also the proximity to Europe, that’s been an amazing part of working with Södertälje and with European projects.
Q: What makes Stockholm unique?
There are not many cities on Earth that I would be able to travel to, start a Master’s level degree in my own language and then be provided the opportunity to be provided language courses by the State.
Q: What do you love about the society here?
What I like the most is that there is an investment in the right things, there’s an investment in families and in education - a very conscious approach to sustainability.
Q: How does Södertälje differ from other cities?
You have access to a greater degree of diversity here.
Q: How would you describe Swedish work culture?
At work, discussion is much more robust here if you have leadership that encourages discussion - it’s very very open and everybody's ideas are relevant.
Q: How does Swedish thinking differ from other countries?
When you can raise the base level of understanding of an entire generation you put yourself ahead and you see these trends in Sweden - why do we see so much innovation? Why do we punch above our weight in many different areas? That’s because we’ve made a fertile foundation.
Q: What is a Swedish tradition that was new to you?
Fika - it’s an institution. It’s like going to church twice a day but you pray to cinnamon buns instead.