A SymbioCity in Malmö: From industrial area to city of tomorrow | Social Innovation Trends | Scoop.it

A once decaying industrial area has transformed into an exciting, sustainable urban environment with a bright future. Sustainability inspired the architects behind this eco-city within a city. The Western Harbour now has its own energy supply and waste treatment system, very few cars – and plenty of satisfied residents.


Clean soil is the start of the eco-city: After decades of industrial and port activity, the soil at Western Harbour was so contaminated by oil residues that a clean-up was necessary before the area could be start its urban renewal.

Water: Surface water is managed via a network of open canals and dams. The system slows down rainwater flow and lush vegetation and vortex technology ensure favorable oxygen content and reduced algae growth. Green roofs on a significant number of the buildings add to the eco-friendly atmosphere.

Energy systems and eco-efficient buildings: The district is self-supporting in terms of energy use. A system powered by renewable energy produces heating, cooling and electricity for residents and is connected to the city's heating grid and power supply network.

Core of the energy system: The Aktern heat pump plant is the heart of the energy network and produces energy for heating and cooling. The energy is then stored seasonally in natural aquifers in wells. A local wind power plant provides the electricity needed to power the heat pumps and also supplies 1,000 apartments with electricity.

Solar cells on the roof:  Rooftops and walls are fitted with solar collectors, meeting 15 % of the the region's heating requirements. The system also includes solar panels.

Transportation: Planned as a standalone community with close access to goods and services, the Western Harbour has virtually no cars. Most residents walk to their homes. Bicycles and pedestrians have priority, and the area can be easily reached from the rest of Malmö on biogas buses operated by the local public transport company.

Via Lauren Moss