The Hammarby Sjöstad project is a recognized model in urban regeneration of a brownfield site made up of a former industrial area. When complete in 2017, the project will have about 12,000 residential units, housing roughly 28,000 people and providing 10,000 working units.

What is it?

Stockholm, elected Europe’s first Green Capital in 2010, aims to become carbon neutral by 2050 and has been pioneering in its efforts to make the city among the most environmentally sustainable in the world.

The Hammarby Sjöstad project began in the 1990s as a way to meet the sustainable housing and infrastructure needs of the city’s growing population. The project has involved regenerating an old industrial and harbour area into a modern mixed-used space that has a low environmental impact. When complete in 2017, the project will have about 12,000 residential units, housing some 28,000 people and 10,000 working units.

How does it work?

Hammarby Sjöstad operates according to its own ‘eco-cycle’, the Hammarby Model, which outlines environmental solutions for waste, energy, water and sewage. The aim is to have half the total environmental impact compared to similar districts built during the 1990s. In order to achieve that, the project has six main goal areas:

  • Land-use: transforming brownfield sites, creating green spaces;
  • Transport: attractive public transport (including a free ferry), carpooling, cycle lanes;
  • Buildings: ‘environmentally sound’ materials;
  • Energy: use of renewables (solar, solar cells,); biogas and re-use of waste; energy-efficient buildings (overall, half of energy for consumption to be produced on-site);
  • Water and sewerage: clean and efficient; using new water-saving technology; re-use of drainage water; and
  • Waste: thorough sorting; maximum recycling and re-use.

CO2 reduction results

A commissioned study in 2008 found that greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from buildings were around 40-46% lower than the 1990 baseline set, and those from transport were 48% lower (source: Grontmij, 2008).

Next steps

Nearly Complete. Lessons learned are influencing future development in Stockholm and around the world.


The Hammarby Sjöstad project is due to be completed in 2017, with approximately 20,000 residents at present. A commissioned study in 2008 found that the project had already come very close to its stated goals (source: Grontmij, 2008).

The study also found that 79% of Hammarby’s population walked, cycled or took public transport to work – just 1% off the project’s 80% target and lower than an already-high 68% for Stockholm as a whole. Other indicators, in areas such as air pollution, waste and water consumption also scored well below 1990s levels.

The Hammarby project has proven inspirational to cities around the world, spurring ambitious goals in other port and industrial regeneration projects in Stockholm, at the Stockholm Royal Seaport, and in Copenhagen, Oslo, Toronto and New York City.




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