The urban redevelopment of Hammarby Sjöstad

Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Population: 2,226,795 [metropolitan area]

Climate: Humid continental

Duration: 2004 – 2016 [source]

Sector: Cross-cutting

Funding sources: Public-private

City Networks: Covenant of Mayors, C40, ICLEI

Savings: The 50% of energy demands are supplied by the energy generated in the district.

Solutions: Implementation of an eco-cycle integrating energy, solid waste, water and wastewater.

Multiple benefits: Urban growth and healthy residential environment.

The Hammarby Sjöstad is one of the most famous success stories of  development of a sustainable district.

Objective – To control the expansion of the city by converting old, abandoned and polluted industrial district into a modern neighbourhood with sustainable houses and infrastructure. In particular, the project aims at producing half of the needed energy for the residential buildings.

Solutions – The project is based on the idea of creating an eco-cycle integrating energy, solid waste, water and wastewater  [source]. In relation to energy efficiency, Hammarby Sjöstad integrated the following solution in its model: conversion of combustible waste and biofuel into district heating and electricity; conversion of heat from treated wastewater into district heating and district cooling; construction of residential buildings with double-glazed facades and low-energy lighting. The district heating system includes 100 connections with exhaust air systems, of which 20 kWh electricity/m² of usable floor area and 80 connections with heat extraction systems, of which 25 kWh electricity/m² of usable floor area [source]. FUNDING – A total budget of $1.9 Bln – $2 Bln*. It is real-estate project, under which 25 construction companies selling residential and commercial places spaces contributed 80% of the total cost of realization [source]. The remaining funding came from the Local Investment Program, the City of Stockholm, Stockholm Transport and the National Road Administration.

Innovation – Hammarby Sjöstad is Stockholm’s biggest urban development project for many years, offering an expansion of the inner city – defined as the “growth ring” to Stockholm’s urban growth. The large scale of the project increased the production volume, so that fixed costs were distributed over more units of output, leading to lower the cost per unit [source]. Moreover, the project included the creation of an innovative eco-cycle, the “Hammarby Sjöstad Model”, whose entire heating supply is based on waste energy or renewable energy sources [source].

Success factors – The partnership across three municipal utility districts (Birka Energy, Stockholm Water Company and the City of Stockholm Waste Management Bureau) allowed for the inclusion of each partner in the planning, development and implementation of the project. This procedure allowed the stakeholders to have a better understanding of the project and of how it affected their interest [source]. The Swedish  regulation, according to which constructors have the power only to rent land instead of buying it, allowed the City government to address the planning process by prioritizing  the environmental goals during the district development.

Significant outcomes:

  • GHG emissions from buildings reduced by 40-46% in comparison to the surrounding districts.
  • The energy generated within the district from waste incineration, biogas production, etc. covers 50% of energy demand as result of the project .

Synergies with local policies:

  • Stockholm City Plan 99 establishes the regulatory framework for the realisation of the district. The aim of the plan is to set a strategy that could prevent an uncontrolled expansion of the city by redeveloping old industrial areas like Hammarby Sjöstad district.
  • Stockholm action plan for climate and energy sets targets of 40% CO2 emission reduction by 2020 (1996 baseline), free of fossil fuels by 2050, 20% energy savings by 2020 (1990 baseline) and 50% energy savings in buildings by 2050 (1996 baseline).

Political alignment:


  • The development plans of the Royal Seaport of Stockholm include the replication of some of the solutions of the Hammarby Sjöstad Model.
  • Solutions from the eco-cycle model have been also replicated outside Sweden, in China, Brazil [source], Thailand, UK and Canada [source].
  • The city authorities were able to use the competition between the 40 contractors involved in the project to drive up standards across the development [source].
  • Retail space was included in many of the apartment blocks, creating- attraction and opportunities for new businesses to open.

*The conversion rate used is 1$=8.34SEK

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Sector: Buildings

Country / Region: Asia, Brazil, Canada, China, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, Northern America, Sweden, Thailand, United Kingdom

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In 1 user collection: Good practices of cities

Knowledge Object: User generated Initiative

Published by: Urbangreenbluegrids