Miriam Bottinga graduated with a degree in Medical Engineering and a Master’s degree in Engineering Physics from KTH Royal Institute of Technology in 2014. Ever since then, Miriam has worked at companies such as Siemens and Elekta. As of today, she is a Product Owner for the Cross-Enterprise products at Sectra – a global provider of imaging IT solutions that support healthcare in achieving patient-centric care. The company stems from research conducted at Linköping University but did not officially begin their operations until the mid-80s. Sectra opened the doors to its headquarters at Teknikringen 20 in the Park exactly 20 years ago. Miriam Bottinga recently turned the page and decided to trade her life in the big city for a life in Mjärdevi and Vallastaden.

It is a known fact that the living situation in Stockholm is chaotic. The demand for housing exceeds the supply by far, and rent prices are through the roof. In the middle of this crisis, Vallastaden was built. A new district in Linköping with a focus on urban living, diversity, and sustainability. Vallastaden is still a work-in-progress, and through September an expo for anyone to visit. Miriam said that her decision behind choosing Vallastaden was primarily about the location, but upon moving, she had a list of requirements. She wanted to live next to a forest, within walking distance from work, a supermarket, and a gym. Miriam also wished to be able to get to the city by bike, have access to her own garden, as well as a manageable economy situation. “I never thought I would find a place that fulfilled all of these wishes, but Vallastaden did! As a bonus, it takes 5 minutes by car to get out onto the motor highway. This is the dream for every Stockholm citizen”, Miriam adds enthusiastically.

Skanska were the ones to inform about the expo but Miriam had already made up her mind to buy the apartment before that. “We were so thrilled by the location, we did not really focus on the other building projects in the area. The fascinating city plan and architecture in Vallastaden came as an exciting bonus”, says Miriam. Before the move, few of her relatives and friends in Stockholm were familiar with Vallastaden. However, over the last few weeks Miriam has received phone calls from them saying that they saw Miriam’s new house on TV.

So far, Linköping has exceeded Miriam’s expectations in terms of quality as well as location. “I have come to know wonderful people and wherever I go I discover new beautiful places. The Valla forest, the park and the fields around are stunning. I also like that there are animals this close to the city. We have horses, goats and cows grazing the fields around Vallastaden. I have also managed to get my own spot in the park where I have started to plant a few berry bushes and to sow vegetables”, says Miriam.

Along with the move, Miriam did not only trade cities but working environments too. Sectra’s Stockholm office is located at Kungsgatan where there is heavy traffic of both pedestrians and cars. Miriam explains this by saying that everyone has a different purpose, and therefore heads in different directions. “There are shoppers, tourists, political activists, and many more, that needs to be navigated passed on the way to work, not to mention the overcrowded subways”, Miriam adds. However. In Mjärdevi Science Park all the people are there because of the simple reason that they work at one of the companies. Miriam believes that this makes for a good flow where everyone has lunch at noon and takes a stroll in the park. “There is a community atmosphere that I like about Mjärdevi Science Park. The concept of arranged after-work events and early morning lectures with breakfasts makes me feel like I am back at university”, she says. Miriam can come up with one downside of Mjärdevi as a working environment compared to an office in central Stockholm – trying to fit in Christmas shopping during lunch breaks.