Live, Work, Play at the Royal Seaport Redevelopment

The Royal Seaport Redevelopment

On our last day in the glorious city of Stockholm we met with Bo Hallqist; a sustainability consultant for the City in the industrial area of the Royal Seaport Development - just to the north of the city centre. After learning a bit about the redevelopment in the office we were taken on a walking tour of the residential areas where we were put into an eco-trance by Bo’s tour.  The development was started under construction in 2008 with a finish goal of 2030, at which point they expect to be Fossil Fuel free. Cool! 

Pictured below: A model of the Royal Seaport Redevelopment.

Notably, the Royal Seaport Redevelopment took advantage of the example set by Hammarby Sjostad and was able to learn from the successes and failures experience in that community. The take-away messages from Hammarby Sjostad implemented in the Royal Seaport redevelopment are two-fold:

1. The integration of the development with the rest of the City is important. 

2. Setting clear, measurable goals helps to keep track of progress and stay on target.

Pictured above is a local resident utilizing the recycling facilities located throughout the development. These are vacuums that literally suck your waste through tubes to big storage compartments, where each recyclable (glass, plastic, paper, food waste) gets transported to the appropriate location via a lorry.

The Royal Seaport redevelopment has built on the successes and shortcomings of Hammarby by incorporating these and other lessons into the planning process. Another important lesson learned from Hammarby was to ensure that the people within the community can “live, work, and play” without having to travel very far. At Hammarby there were too few workplaces to provide this type of living, and the Royal Seaport redevelopment sought to learn from this by providing 12,000 apartments and 35,000 jobs in the community, as well as cultural centres and social hubs. 


In addition to the lessons learned from Hammarby, Bo identified 4 Challenges that Stockholm is facing that also had to be taken into consideration at the Royal Seaport: 

1. Stockholm is rapidly growing city resulting in an extremely high demand for housing.

2. Stokcholm is built on 14 islands which means it can be hard to commute (this translates to a necessity for live/work/play community hubs).

3. Stockholm competes on an international market and needs to be attractive to outside companies/workers.

4. Since population is growing so rapidly, Stockholm needs to provide local services (ie. hospitals, schools, playgrounds, grocery stores, etc.) to keep up with demand.

One of our key take-away messages is that there is no such thing as a sustainable development model, and that it is a constantly evolving process, in which each location must be resilient to the cultural, economic, and physical features of its own area.

Royal Seaport

During our tour of the ever-expanding development we applied Meg Holden’s revolutionary and comprehensive Eco-Urbanism worldwide assessment framework to the project. Our overall findings for the project are of course, varied throughout our large group, but we were overall impressed and are excited to see how the Royal Seaport community evolves as construction continues. 

Unfortunately this was the end of our busy and informative stay in the beautiful city of Stockholm. Up next: Malmo and Lund!

Good night Stockholm! #ecourbanismworldwide #neat #geography #chill #NESFS2015


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