Sustainable Cities stockholm-royal-seaport

Published on May 21st, 2012 | by Ellen R Delisio


Stockholm Royal Seaport

With the construction of apartments under way, the Stockholm Royal Seaport project will start to take shape as an enormous showcase for sustainable living and clean technology.

The development will spread over 236 hectares on property owned by the city of Stockholm. Plans for the complex include 10,000 new apartments and new work places for 30,000 employees. Currently, about 700 apartments are under construction, with another 1,200 planned by autumn. By the time the Royal Seaport complex is completed in 2030, the area will have room for more than 50,000 people. The infrastructure will include biogas buses as well as city trams and the metros and new lanes on the roads for bicyclists and pedestrians.

The seaport area is being developed in sections and by many different developers, explained Ingmarie Ahlberg, head of the environmental department at the development administration for the City of Stockholm. The character of the north district is quite different from the south; while the north has more apartments, the southern area will have more of a focus on business and transportation.

The planners have set an energy goal of using 55 kw per square mile per year, and are aiming for a carbon footprint of 1.5 tonnes per person per year by 2020 and achieving a climate positive city district by 2030.

“Our hope is that we will build a good example of how it [sustainability] can be done,” said Ahlberg. “Then we will do a good follow-up to see how it works, and if it really does reduce water and energy use.”


The Seaport project will be testing ground for many research and development projects one of which concerns the development of extensive smart grid use and a comprehensive information-communication technology (ICT) system. The Urban Smart Grid project is led by the utility company Fortum and ABB and including Ericsson, NCC and the Swedish Royal Institute of Technology. This project is studying the use of a complete smart grid in the complex. The smart grid will allow the Royal Seaport’s full-time residents, businesses and government services to increase renewable energy production while reducing energy consumption.

“The smart grid system is an integrated group of technical solutions that will enable the city district and its inhabitants to become more sustainable. These include the increased use of renewable energy sources, the creation of buildings that have been ‘activated’ to be more energy efficient, reduced emissions in the harbour, and installing infrastructure to support the large-scale use of electric vehicles,” according to the project’s web site. The smart grid system also will allow residents to take a more active role in energy conservation, by monitoring and changing their consumption patterns.

“The purpose of the Smart Communications innovation project is to develop an efficient and reliable generic communication platform and to develop selected proof concepts. A generic communications platform for fixed and mobile broadband would have multiple applications, including involvement with transportation, providing a substitution for travel, such as virtual meetings and contact with government agencies,” notes the project web site

The lessons from the Stockholm Royal seaport project are expected to influence future planning and construction throughout the nation. “This project is making it easier for us to work with environmental goals and targets on other projects,” noted Ahlberg.


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