IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute

Eco-city Hammarby Sjöstad

In the early 1990s, Hammarby Sjöstad had a reputation for being a run-down, polluted and unsafe industrial and residential area. Now, Hammarby Sjöstad is one of Stockholm’s most pleasant residential districts and one of the world’s most successful urban renewal districts.

Sustainability was one of the primary areas of focus in the design and planning of Hammarby Sjöstad. The high sustainability ambitions were integrated into the planning process from the first phases. Sustainable alternatives for managing water, energy and waste were carefully studied at the level of the architecture and infrastructure. The district is the product of a positive collaborative process between municipal authorities, urban planners, developers, architects, landscape architects, engineers at eco-tech businesses, energy company Fortum and the Stockholm Water Company.

The district area spans over 200 hectares. The attractive mix of apartments, shops, offices and small traders with a focus on culture and entertainment gives Hammarby Sjöstad an inner city atmosphere. Some of the environmental solutions implemented in the district are:
– All the electricity used comes from renewable sources
– Testing of new types of fuel cells, solar cells and solar panels
– Energy from purified wastewater utilized in district heating and cooling
– Biogas extracted from sewage sludge and food waste and used as vehicle fuel
– Digested sewage sludge used as fertilizer
– Combustible waste becomes district heating and electricity
– Rainwater from streets purified locally to avoid strain on sewage treatment plant

Positive environmental and economic impacts
Hammarby Sjöstad has shown that an urban district can be built with a far lower environmental impact than usual. Specific differences are:
• The environmental impact is 30–40% lower than for a typical 1990s district.
• Car use is 14% lower than in comparable districts of Stockholm.
• Daily water use is 150 l per person, compared with 200 l per person in the rest of Stockholm.
• When the lakeside town is completed it will produce half its own energy.

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