The Environmentally Sustainable City of Tomorrow in Malmö’s Western Harbour


Malmö’s Western Harbour, previously a run-down shipyard and industrial area covering 187 hectares, is now a vibrant ‘city within a city’, with a university, around 10,000 residents and more than 16,000 people working there (figure from 2016). The area has its own systems for managing its energy supply and waste treatment, and car traffic in the area has been minimised as an environmentally sustainable approach to urban planning and mobility. Following the European Housing Expo of 2001, a team of international architects designed the Bo01 district in Malmö’s Western Harbour with an emphasis on sustainability in the broadest possible sense. Many of the area’s buildings have ‘green’ roofs, featuring various plants of different colours depending on the season, and extensive rain water run-off systems. Visitors can see the successful transformation of a previously decaying industrial area into an exciting and sustainable urban environment.

The Aktern heat pump plant is at the heart of the energy system, producing both heating and cooling. The energy is stored seasonally in natural aquifers in 90-metre-deep wells. The electricity needed to power the heat pumps is produced by a local 2 MW wind power plant that also supplies 1,000 apartments with electricity. Some 1,400 m2 of solar collectors are mounted on roofs and walls of buildings in the district and these contribute 15% of the total heating requirements. The renewable energy system also uses 120 m2 of solar cells for electricity generation. Modern systems for the collection of different fractions of household waste have been put in place to facilitate efficient waste management.

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