In the autumn of 2006, the Municipality of Stockholm embarked on developing a 25-year strategic blueprint for the development of Stockholm. Entitled Vision 2030, this initiative takes a holistic approach to urban growth, focusing not only on expanding physical capacity but also on the nurturing of vibrancy, diversity and the overall quality of a dynamic urban lifestyle.
This ambitious but vague vision has been translated into an action plan which outlines four strategies for sustainable growth: strengthening central Stockholm, developing outlying strategic nodes, connecting various city areas and creating a vibrant urban environment throughout Stockholm. The plan Vision 2030 emphasizes mobility, accessibility, versatility and sustainability.
Reshaping Stockholm’s Legacy
Stockholm Royal Seaport represents a major step forward in attaining this goal. One of the key urban development initiatives articulated in Vision 2030 is a 15-year mega-makeover of Stockholm’s industrial waterfront district northeast of the city centre. The project encompasses 236 hectares enveloping legacy industrial buildings, gas terminals and the Royal Hunting Grounds.
This massive undertaking is designed to add 12,000 living units, 600,000 sq. m.of commercial space and 35,000 work places. The district will also include green areas, art galleries and a renovated cruise ship terminal. Architecturally, it will fuse old with new, creating an eclectic environment. The district’s hallmark gas installations will be converted into a culture and entertainment centre and heritage sports arenas such as the Stockholm Olympic Stadium and the Royal Tennis Hall will be joined by new parks and sports facilities.
A Model of Sustainability
Stockholm Royal Seaport is designed to be a showcase of urban sustainability and innovative energy, transportation, ICT and cleantech technologies Situated on municipal land, the project is a collaboration between the city, business and academia.
One of the project’s stated goals is to make the district fossil fuel-free by deploying energy-efficient public transportation, converting waste to biogas, constructing environmentally friendly buildings and recycling water, waste and energy. The area is being wired with highly integrated smart grid, smart communications, smart waste and trash collection and smart ICT networks. The Swedish ICT project is a two-year project funded by VINNOVA, the Swedish Government Agency for Innovation Systems, involving dozens of small and large companies from the telecom and construction industries. Its goal is to develop a generic ICT infrastructure that will obviate the need for proprietary industry-specific technology for each district.
An Auspicious Start
The gas works were shut down and ground broken for the project in 2010 and the construction of the first 682 houses commenced in May 2011. In October the first 20 residents began calling the Garphyttan neighborhood “home” and the Royal National City Park “neighbour”. Construction of the Värtahamnen Port is planned to begin early 2013 and the new passenger terminal at Värtapiren Pier is scheduled to open by 2015.
It is estimated that the population of Stockholm will grow 20% by 2025. Stockholm Royal Seaport promises not only to provide dwelling space, but to deliver innovative solutions for urban life anywhere on the planet.