Stuck in Traffic: Car-Centric Urbanism, City Planning and the Welfare State in Swedish Commissioned Films and TV Drama From the 1960s

“Being in a hurry and at the same time standing still!”, still from Like rings on water (1965).
Erik Florin Persson and Per Vesterlund analyze how commissioned films and TV dramas both promoted and critiqued car-centric urbanism in Sweden during the 1960s.
[Ed. Note: This article is part of a dossier on Mediating Urban Automobility.]

During the 1950s the number of private cars in Sweden increased nearly fivefold. From a car density of 36 cars per 1,000 inhabitants in 1951, placing Sweden after countries like France and Great Britain, the following decade saw this index rise to 160 in 1960. Sweden now had the highest numbers of cars per capita in all of Europe. A decade later, in 1970, more than one in four Swedish citizens (294 per 1,000 inhabitants) owned a car.1Statistisk årsbok 1971 (Malmö: Drätselkontorets statistikavdelning, 1971), 477. These two decades of Swedish history were not only characterized by rapidly growing domestic motor traffic, but have also been considered the heyday of the Swedish welfare state.2See Nils Edling, “The Languages of Welfare in Sweden,” in The Changing Meanings of the Welfare State: Histories of a Key Concept in the Nordic Countries, ed. Nils Edling (New York: Berghahn, 2019), 76–136. When sociologist Anders Gullberg appointed “the car” to be regarded as the most important instance of power in Swedish postwar history in one of the many reports from The Study of Power and Democracy in Sweden (“Maktutredningen”) (1989), his focus was foremost on everyday life and city planning. The priority of the car was, in Gullberg’s view, the most important reason behind the way the Swedish cityscape changed during the 1960s and 1970s.3Anders Gullberg, “Bilen som första stadsmakt: Hypoteser om en efterkrigshistoria,” in Miljö, media, makt, ed. Svante Beckman (Stockholm: Carlsson, 1990), 67–69. Both city centers and more remote housing areas were planned to fit the needs of growing car traffic.

In this article we will discuss and analyze audiovisual representations of this car-centric urbanism in Swedish commissioned films and TV dramas from the 1960s. The reason for this choice of material is two-fold. First, we have in our ongoing research identified traffic and city planning as a strikingly recurring theme in these two types of audiovisual material from the 1960s. Secondly, we argue that short films sponsored by various commissioners as well as TV drama from the early years of television are both understudied genres within scholarship on audiovisual media and urbanity. Within the scholarly field of cinema and cities, that for some three decades now has been a continuously growing one, the focus has to a large extent been on a rather standardized set of film historical periods and, most often, feature film genres.4See Charlotte Brunsdon, “The Attractions of the Cinematic City,” Screen 53, no. 3 (2012): 209–227. Both commissioned films and broadcast TV drama are low-status genres, part of a quotidian audiovisual modernity well beyond the canonized feature film most often in focus for studies of the cinematic city.5See Charlotte Brunsdon, Television Cities: Paris, London, Baltimore (Durham/London: Duke University Press, 2018). In a similar manner, the car-centered urbanity of the mid-twentieth century represents a radically different modernity than the one embodied by the emblematic flâneur and his inner-city habitat. If mid-twentieth century television has often been viewed as a privatization and a step back from public space to the private home, the private car and the suburban life it is connected to can be viewed in a similar way, as a retreat to a private bubble from the hustling and bustling crowds of the cities’ public spaces and public transport. As Charlotte Brunsdon puts it: “Along with the refrigerator and the automobile, television was one of the holy trinities of twentieth-century domestic modernity.”6Brunsdon, Television Cities, 3–4. In this article we will examine this affinity and analyze the recurring theme of cars and traffic in Swedish TV dramas from the mid-1960s. However, first we will highlight the theme of traffic and cars in three Swedish commissioned films from the same period. During the last decade there has been a growing scholarly interest in different types of commissioned and utility films.7See Charles R. Acland and Haidee Wasson, eds., Useful Cinema (Durham/London: Duke University Press, 2011); Vinzenz Hediger and Patrick Vonderau, eds., Films that Work: Industrial Film and the Productivity of Media (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2009). The field is hard to summarize and includes both film material produced for internal use by companies, organizations and authorities as well as more costly productions for external audiences. The three cases we will investigate here clearly belong to the latter kind, with the stated aim of shaping public opinion about traffic, transportation and city planning outside of the commissioning body.

Car traffic and urbanity in three commissioned films from the peak of the Swedish welfare state

The first case is the thirteen-minute film Den förlorade melodien [The lost melody] from 1957. Although it was produced just before the period we are focusing on in this article, the film can be seen as an early sign of the problems related to traffic to come during the 1960s, which were already visible in the late 1950s. The film was commissioned by the Swedish association for public transport (Svenska Lokaltrafikföreningen) and directed by Gösta Werner, one of the most renowned directors of commissioned films in Sweden at the time.8Emil Stjernholm, Gösta Werner och filmen som konst och propaganda (Lund: Mediehistoriskt arkiv, 2018), 259–261. The film starts with romantic music and images from some of Stockholm’s most picturesque tourist sights, with a voiceover explaining that the city is often called one of the most beautiful capitals in the world. However, the romantic music is soon replaced by the sound of traffic and the touristic images with images of traffic jams, where the speed according to the voiceover is so slow that a 75-year-old horse tram could do it faster. The film is mostly about the traffic in Stockholm, but also gives a few glimpses from other cities where a similar situation (according to the voiceover) can be expected in just a few years. Being sponsored by the national association for public transport, the argument of the film is that modern society definitely needs cars, but only for special occasions and for necessary transportation. Despite all its promises as a symbol of personal freedom and status, the car will, the film projects, slowly strangle cities if the current growth in car traffic continues. The film ends with the conclusion that if the planning for urban and regional communication in Stockholm would take public transport as its starting point, and complement it with cars, the city would finally be able to get back its renowned beauty and its lost melody.

Traffic jams in The Lost Melody (1957).

The second commissioned film is Gothenburg – Heart of Scandinavia (Göteborg – Hjärtpunkt i Norden, 1964). The film was a prestigious one, commissioned by the municipality of Gothenburg with the initial aim of attracting new business companies and investments to the city.9For a background to the film see Erik Florin Persson, “Useful Cinema and the Dynamic Film History Beyond the National Archive: Locating Municipally Sponsored Swedish City Films in Local Archives,” Journal of Scandinavian Cinema 7, no. 2 (2017): 121–134. However, the film was produced in at least two different versions, one aimed at industry and one aimed at tourists. Both versions were screened in Swedish cinemas and later distributed for screenings in schools as well as other non-profit organizations around the country. Both versions were also produced in a number of different languages for international distribution. The film is centered on a young male city planner, who from his office shows the progressive planning ambitions of the city.10For a comparable discussion of the role of the city planner in publicly commissioned documentary films in the UK from the 1940s and 1950s, see John R. Gold and Stephen V. Ward, “Of Plans and Planners: Documentary Film and the Challenge of the Urban Future, 1935-52,” in The Cinematic City, ed. David B. Clarke (Routledge: London, 1997), 59–82. The portrait of Gothenburg and its ongoing development is broad and sunny, from the activities of the harbor and the production of Volvo cars and other consumer goods to the planning of new housing areas and the expanding number of cultural institutions and leisure activities in the city. The question of communication and the ongoing expansion of infrastructure for cars, with new bridges, tunnels and highways, are central themes. However, we are far away from problems related to the expanding car traffic that was the focus of The Lost Melody. Instead, the city and its infrastructure for communication and automotive transportation are characterized by smoothness and efficiency and the number of cars passing over and through the new bridges and tunnels are repeatedly stressed. This falls in line with the film’s overall depiction of the city as a harmonious and well-planed machine.

Infrastructure and the smooth flow of traffic in Gothenburg: Heart of Scandinavia (1964).

The third film, Like rings on water (Som ringar på vattnet, 1965) also had close ties to the governing bodies of a Swedish city, this time the city of Örebro, located 200 kilometers east of Stockholm with some 100,000 inhabitants. Although produced for an expo about regional planning (Idé 65/Idea 65) held in Örebro in 1965 as part of the city’s 700th anniversary, the film should not be seen as a way of explicitly marketing Örebro and the city’s name is never mentioned in the film. Instead, it’s a film about regional planning and the advantages of mid-sized cities, especially when it comes to questions of traffic and traffic jams which, at least according to the film, seem to be unavoidable in larger cities. The tone of the film bears similarities to that of The Lost Melody, with a voiceover making short humorous comments about the constant car queues of the big city (Stockholm, one would assume), such as “Who invented this leisure time amusement?” or “Being in a hurry and at the same time standing still!” In this film, public transport does not seem to offer a solution; instead, the problem is the same with overcrowded buses and subways. A woman and a small girl miss a subway train and the voiceover states: “You have to learn to hurry, my dear friend!” In this, the film relates the question of traffic and traffic jams to what it sees as a more general problem with big cities and their over-crowdedness, lack of space and inhumane living conditions. According to the film, the solution lies instead in smaller towns, placed in rural environments but within reach of larger cities and their offerings of education, specialized hospital care, culture and amusements.

Planning for the future. Still from Från mark till bostad [From Ground to Dwellings] produced for HSB in 1968.

The expanding number of cars in Sweden did not only create logistical problems. With the transformations of cityscapes, the visualization of Swedish urbanity also achieved a new dominant. Cars and traffic were, from the late 1950s, frequent motifs in representations of Swedish cities in commissioned films of various kinds. As the three examples suggest, the attitudes differed as did the proposed solutions, depending on the commissioner and their aim for the film. The smooth traffic situation depicted in Gothenburg – Heart of Scandinavia contrasts with both the predicted chaos in The Lost Melody, and the small-size solutions suggested in Like rings on water. Other commissioned films simply seem to take the state of traffic for granted. Such is the case with two films made for the leading Swedish federation for cooperative housing, HSB, from 1965 and 1968 respectively, where cars and traffic solutions were highlighted as key components in the design of new modern urban areas surrounding the old city centers.11Per Vesterlund, “Förskingrat kulturarv: nedslag i HSB:s filmproduktion,” in Välfärdsbilder: svensk film utanför biografen, eds. Erik Hedling and Mats Jönsson (Stockholm: Statens ljud- och bildarkiv, 2008).

In terms of representation, it seems as if the motifs of cars and traffic not only signified a range of important societal questions but were also synonymous with contemporary life itself. This would be even more visible in the different genres of television.

The aesthetic of the car in Swedish TV drama – The flâneur and the driver

In the headline for a review of the controversial TV drama Lyckan kommer [Happiness Comes], aired on Swedish TV on February 25, 1963, major Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet offers a concise summary of the film in three concepts: “The car, the love, the life lie” [Bilen, kärleken, livslögnen].12Urban Stenström, “Bilen, kärleken, livslögnen,” Svenska Dagbladet, February 26, 1963. Being a story about adulterous love in the welfare state, with the main characters betraying both each other and (in the case of the male protagonist) a spouse in a lonely suburban apartment building, both the love and the “life lie” would be expected descriptions, but the car might be regarded as a more surprising concept in this context.

This film was heavily criticized for its explicit erotic scenes, but critics and (especially) TV viewers were also disapproving of the long scenes that took place in cars and elevators, which were simply considered boring and pointless. The film – directed by Håkan Ersgård and written by Lars Forsberg – is a prototypical example of how conventional stage-bound TV dramas of the time were trying to incorporate influences from contemporary European art cinema. Hence Happiness Comes was even compared by some TV critics to Alain Resnais’s Hiroshima Mon Amour from 1959. Sixty years later it is probably the long car scenes that are the most extraordinary features of the film. The fact that over eight minutes of a film with a total runtime of 48 minutes are devoted to shots of the male protagonist (played by Ove Tjernberg) driving alone in a borrowed white Ford Mustang still stands out as remarkable. Two sequences lasting four minutes and ten seconds and three minutes and forty seconds, respectively, stand out in particular. In these sequences we see the nameless character, a car salesman(!), driving through Stockholm’s urban core in the early morning hours in a car that he is about to return to his employee after spending the night with a woman he had met in a bar the night before.

With cool jazz and soft instrumental pop (in the style of The Shadows) as diegetic soundtrack from the car radio, the despair of the protagonist is represented in a subtle and implicit manner. He is a kind of flâneur in the welfare state, not the glamorous masculine flâneur whose loitering signifies a privileged presence in the street. Rather, he is a powerless imposter stuck in an aimless ride.13See Brunsdon, Television Cities, 4. For a (Swedish) viewer of today these emotive strands are perhaps most striking in connection to the views of the cityscape of 1960s Stockholm, a city that at the time was changing rapidly as the dominant architectural style of nineteenth century revivalism increasingly gave way to the modernist International Style. In the concluding scenes the protagonist at last makes his way to his family in one of the new modernist housing areas of Stockholm by subway train and is by the end captured in a disproportionately long elevator ride. By the end, the sad, romantic life lie in Happiness Comes is depicted in concert with the modernist dystopia. Such dystopian associations were soon to be a recurrent theme in contemporary debates on the architecture of the Swedish welfare state.

Happiness Comes is just one of many examples of Swedish fiction TV from the 1960s where car rides are used to a surprising extent. An hour-long drama from 1965, also directed by Håkan Ersgård, named Resa [Journey] could thus consist solely of a long dialogue that takes place in a car. Again, the motif of a husband – this time a member of the Swedish parliament – cheating on his wife is pivotal. When asked about the choice regarding the setting of the film, writer Per Olof Sundman replied: “The car is a closed space that creates an atmosphere of intimacy and confidence. […] You are alone with each other, but still not completely alone. […] It can be compared to being seated in front of a television set.”14Anonymous, “Kärlekskonflikt i framsäte” [Love conflict in the front seat], Dagens Nyheter, February 15, 1965. The intimacy of the couple seated in a car is thus associated with the medium of television. This quote underscores the (a)social qualities of both being in a car and watching television, but it also relativizes it: you are still not completely alone in either of the two situations.

“Kärlekskonflikt i framsäte” [Love conflict in the front seat], Dagens Nyheter, February 15, 1965.
A third striking example of a car ride is Jämsides [Side by Side], a TV-play written by Bengt Bratt and directed by Bengt Callenbo, which aired on September 26, 1967. The Swedish public service monopoly meant that there was only a single television channel at the time, a state of affairs that would remain in place until December 1969. Side by Side was produced exclusively for a theme night on the Swedish welfare state where it played a pivotal role, surrounded by live debates and documentaries. The thirty-five-minute film revolved around two social workers, their professional principles and the situation of Swedish social care. We see them drive to work together in a car. The ride lasts about eight minutes (i.e., a quarter of the total runtime) and contains a long discussion on the professional values of social work. The conversation revolves around questions of responsibility, empathy and politics, during which we simultaneously see new modernist apartment buildings under construction outside the windows of the car.

If Happiness Comes and Journey both are examples of how romance – if not happy or ideal – is situated in the semi-private space of the car interior, Side by Side extends the front seat of the Volvo Amazon where the conversation between the two social workers takes place into the semi-public space of the welfare state under construction. Riding in a car on the highway through a cityscape characterized by modernist architecture appears to have been the most appropriate setting for a discussion on disagreements about the ideal ways to conduct social work. Whereas the lonely protagonist in Happiness Comes is still an aimless urban flâneur, sadly separated from the world he sees through the windshield, the two men in Side by Side share a common aim. They are both participants in the common mission to construct the Swedish welfare state. This is not a task with an obvious solution. The two men are no heroes, they disagree about how to conduct their work, they have different ideals, and they also seem to lack empathy. The views of the brand new urban areas that accompany the car ride visualizes the alienation already thematized through their conversation.

Stuck in traffic

Swedish public service television radically changed the policy of drama production during the late 1960s in an effort to affect public opinion and increase awareness of societal issues. This resulted in the production of a vast number of films and series containing explicit social critiques.15Per Vesterlund, “Uses of Vulnerability: Two Eras of Social Commitment in Swedish TV Drama?”, Vulnerability in Scandinavian Art and Culture, eds. Adriana Margareta Dancus, Mats Hyvönen and Maria Karlsson (Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, 2020), 127–148. Side by Side was a part of this tendency, as was the phenomenon of theme nights, where the schedule of a whole evening was dedicated to a certain general societal problem.

On November 5, 1969, the theme of the evening was the societal effects of cars. More than five hours were devoted to questions of motor vehicles and traffic. The evening contained documentaries, debates and a jazz concert on the theme “everyday traffic” (vardagstrafik). SOS, ett TV-spel [SOS, a TV play], a drama piece produced by the evening paper Expressen, written by Tore Zetterholm, and directed by Jackie Söderman, formed the climax of the evening’s programming.16Lennart Öjesten, “Bilen, människans glädje och förbannelse,” TV-Expressen, October 31, 1969. During the second half of the 1960s, questions of traffic had become an extremely frequent theme in Swedish television. Beside the emerging numbers of private cars, the most important reason was the transition to right-hand traffic in September 1967. The traffic reform inaugurated one of the most intense national information campaigns ever undertaken by the Swedish government.17Fredrik Norén, “H-Day 1967 – An alternate perspective on ‘propaganda’ in the historiography of public relation,” Public Relations Review 45, no. 2 (2019): 236–245. This campaign included a wide range of media, with television, radio and the daily press among the most important arenas. All kinds of genres were involved in the campaign, including documentaries, talk shows, musical entertainment, quiz shows and children’s programs. The educational efforts associated with the information campaign were apparently paralleled by a growing critical discussion on motor traffic, especially on the dangers of car traffic. Programs on traffic rules were often found in the TV schedule even after the transition to right-hand traffic in 1967, and there were also critical voices in all kinds of media concerning the effects of traffic on city spaces, putting the discourse from Gösta Werner’s The Lost Melody into a more overt political context than in the 1957 film. A quote from an article by well-known author Lars Gyllensten in the major daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter in September 1968 exemplifies the then contemporary attitudes towards traffic: “Who has decided that heavy freight traffic and wild growing private motoring should make their way into old cities and new suburban centers? Motorism has mighty advocates and economical resources that affect City-planning. No one has asked the inhabitants, they have no organizations.”18Lars Gyllensten, “Riv Skärholmen – eller rösta bort stadsbyggarna,” Dagens Nyheter, September 12, 1968. Further, in 1969, the documentary film Rekordåren 1966, 1967, 1968… [The Record Years 1966, 1967, 1968…] by Lena Ewert was one of the most discussed films of the year. Ewert heavily critiqued the intertwining structures of regional planning, politics and national and international economic interests. In the film, traffic is visually used as a symbol of this structural power. Emblematic is a sequence with the filmmaker Ewert and the reporter Olle Jeppson riding bicycles, stuck on a heavily trafficked thoroughfare.19Per Vesterlund, “Vulnerable Representations of Urbanization – Rekordåren 1966, 1967, 1968… (The Record Years 1966/1967/1968),” in Consuming the Environment 2017: Multidisciplinary Approaches to Urbanization and Vulnerability, eds. Eva Ekstrand and Olle Findahl (Gävle: Gävle University Press, 2018), 68–77.

Stuck in traffic. Still from Rekordåren 1966, 1967, 1968… [The Record Years 1966, 1967, 1968…] (1969).
When SOS, a TV Play aired in November 1969, critiques of cars had become a common feature in Swedish public life. Zetterholm and Söderman’s film was adapted from a stage play by Zetterholm. It mainly focused on the danger of traffic, and the title SOS was not only supposed to connote danger, but was also an acronym for “Sanningen om Saab” (“the truth about Saab”), which implicated the Swedish car manufacturer Saab. However, that secondary meaning was changed to “Sanningen om säkerheten” (“the truth about security”) before the teleplay aired. The film is a surreal story about an engineer in the car industry who wants to go public with warnings about the failing safety of the cars he is constructing. It begins with a four-minute sequence in which an ambulance on its way through the city center of Gothenburg is shown from different angles. During the ride we hear a voiceover reciting statistics about contemporary road deaths and damage. The ambulance carries the protagonist who has been the victim of a car accident and it is being chased by representatives from his company. In the rest of the film, graphic scenes from an operation on the protagonist are interwoven with flashbacks, hallucinations, and dreams, through which we can successively grasp the big conspiracy against the protagonist. The strange mixture of styles is completed with recurrent safety statistics – such as numbers of victims and numbers of cars – represented in graphic form as well as by a voiceover. The protagonist states the harsh conclusion of the film: “During the six or seven decades that cars have existed, more people have been killed and massacred in traffic than during any war in history.”20From the film SOS – Ett TV-spel [SOS, a TV Play], 1969.

Conclusion

It may well be argued that these audiovisual representations of cars and traffic can be seen as parts of an ongoing negotiation of the cultural ambiguities of the car-centric planning ambitions of the Swedish welfare state, with the automobile incarnating the dualities of modernity. On the one hand, the car is used as a romantic symbol for personal freedom and increased mobility, but on the other hand it connotes unpleasantness and even danger. The dystopian images of traffic jams, pollution and inhumane as well as unfriendly urban landscapes parallels well-known aesthetic values of motor culture. Alongside this dichotomy of modernity, there is also a neutral position visible, manifesting the domination of the automobile as a societal force taken for granted. The genres – commissioned film and society-oriented TV drama – are perhaps not the most used ones in analyses of audiovisual modernity and car-centric postwar urbanity.21Some exceptions can be noted. See, for example, Floris Paalman’s study of Rotterdam and Les Roberts’s research on Liverpool, where issues on traffic, city planning and urban mobility in commissioned films from the postwar period are one of many themes and types of audiovisual material studied: Floris Paalman, Cinematic Rotterdam: The Times and Tides of a Modern City (Rotterdam: 010 Publishers, 2011), 392–419; Les Roberts, Film, Mobility and Urban Space: A Cinematic Geography of Liverpool (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2012), 97–127. These examples echo established notions on these matters in more well-known genre films and canonized classics.22For one example, see Edward Dimendberg’s study of film noir and postwar American urbanity in Film Noir and the Spaces of Modernity (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2004. However, they also add other insights. Being made for purposeful use – education, promotion, or public discussion material – the productions discussed in this article gain their major significance as integrated parts of the booming Swedish welfare state. Some of them promoted progressive planning ambitions and urban media modernity, while others expressed a severe critique of the outcomes of the very same ambitions.

Notes

Notes
1 Statistisk årsbok 1971 (Malmö: Drätselkontorets statistikavdelning, 1971), 477.
2 See Nils Edling, “The Languages of Welfare in Sweden,” in The Changing Meanings of the Welfare State: Histories of a Key Concept in the Nordic Countries, ed. Nils Edling (New York: Berghahn, 2019), 76–136.
3 Anders Gullberg, “Bilen som första stadsmakt: Hypoteser om en efterkrigshistoria,” in Miljö, media, makt, ed. Svante Beckman (Stockholm: Carlsson, 1990), 67–69.
4 See Charlotte Brunsdon, “The Attractions of the Cinematic City,” Screen 53, no. 3 (2012): 209–227.
5 See Charlotte Brunsdon, Television Cities: Paris, London, Baltimore (Durham/London: Duke University Press, 2018).
6 Brunsdon, Television Cities, 3–4.
7 See Charles R. Acland and Haidee Wasson, eds., Useful Cinema (Durham/London: Duke University Press, 2011); Vinzenz Hediger and Patrick Vonderau, eds., Films that Work: Industrial Film and the Productivity of Media (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2009).
8 Emil Stjernholm, Gösta Werner och filmen som konst och propaganda (Lund: Mediehistoriskt arkiv, 2018), 259–261.
9 For a background to the film see Erik Florin Persson, “Useful Cinema and the Dynamic Film History Beyond the National Archive: Locating Municipally Sponsored Swedish City Films in Local Archives,” Journal of Scandinavian Cinema 7, no. 2 (2017): 121–134.
10 For a comparable discussion of the role of the city planner in publicly commissioned documentary films in the UK from the 1940s and 1950s, see John R. Gold and Stephen V. Ward, “Of Plans and Planners: Documentary Film and the Challenge of the Urban Future, 1935-52,” in The Cinematic City, ed. David B. Clarke (Routledge: London, 1997), 59–82.
11 Per Vesterlund, “Förskingrat kulturarv: nedslag i HSB:s filmproduktion,” in Välfärdsbilder: svensk film utanför biografen, eds. Erik Hedling and Mats Jönsson (Stockholm: Statens ljud- och bildarkiv, 2008).
12 Urban Stenström, “Bilen, kärleken, livslögnen,” Svenska Dagbladet, February 26, 1963.
13 See Brunsdon, Television Cities, 4.
14 Anonymous, “Kärlekskonflikt i framsäte” [Love conflict in the front seat], Dagens Nyheter, February 15, 1965.
15 Per Vesterlund, “Uses of Vulnerability: Two Eras of Social Commitment in Swedish TV Drama?”, Vulnerability in Scandinavian Art and Culture, eds. Adriana Margareta Dancus, Mats Hyvönen and Maria Karlsson (Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, 2020), 127–148.
16 Lennart Öjesten, “Bilen, människans glädje och förbannelse,” TV-Expressen, October 31, 1969.
17 Fredrik Norén, “H-Day 1967 – An alternate perspective on ‘propaganda’ in the historiography of public relation,” Public Relations Review 45, no. 2 (2019): 236–245.
18 Lars Gyllensten, “Riv Skärholmen – eller rösta bort stadsbyggarna,” Dagens Nyheter, September 12, 1968.
19 Per Vesterlund, “Vulnerable Representations of Urbanization – Rekordåren 1966, 1967, 1968… (The Record Years 1966/1967/1968),” in Consuming the Environment 2017: Multidisciplinary Approaches to Urbanization and Vulnerability, eds. Eva Ekstrand and Olle Findahl (Gävle: Gävle University Press, 2018), 68–77.
20 From the film SOS – Ett TV-spel [SOS, a TV Play], 1969.
21 Some exceptions can be noted. See, for example, Floris Paalman’s study of Rotterdam and Les Roberts’s research on Liverpool, where issues on traffic, city planning and urban mobility in commissioned films from the postwar period are one of many themes and types of audiovisual material studied: Floris Paalman, Cinematic Rotterdam: The Times and Tides of a Modern City (Rotterdam: 010 Publishers, 2011), 392–419; Les Roberts, Film, Mobility and Urban Space: A Cinematic Geography of Liverpool (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2012), 97–127.
22 For one example, see Edward Dimendberg’s study of film noir and postwar American urbanity in Film Noir and the Spaces of Modernity (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2004.
Florin Persson, Erik and Per Vesterlund. "Stuck in Traffic: Car-Centric Urbanism, City Planning and the Welfare State in Swedish Commissioned Films and TV Drama From the 1960s." Mediapolis: A Journal of Cities and Culture 8, no. 3 (September 2023).
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