Innovative Sustainable Re-development – Hammarby Sjostad

place_thumb.jpgFor this week´s case study, we will present Hammarby Sjöstad, one of the biggest urban development projects in Stockholm in recent time, located at the perimeter of the inner city.

The old harbour and industrial area was aimed to be transformed into a modern neighbourhood, and because of the location the design was kept intentionally semi-urban rather than suburban. The unique opportunity emerged because of the proximity of a lake and a canal, and the focus of the design was kept interaction with water, enhanced through creation of plenty of quays and walkways along the water.


This area was known as Norra Hammarbyhamnen and Södra Hammarbyhamnen before this redevelopment project began. It was mostly industrial zone, centered around Lumafabriken, which now houses offices and a library. The neigbouring area called Lugnet was a run-down light industrial area, with an improvised trailer park. the north side of the lake was used as a harbour area.


The redevelopment of the area needed to include a thorough reconstruction of the infrastructure, removal of traffic barriers and a complete redevelopment or removal of old terminal and industrial areas. It was decided that all services and traffic will be concentrated along an avenue which links the area together, and which spans 3 kilometres from Skanstull to Danvikstull.

Investments in the public transport and traffic solutions were one of the main tasks, as a part of the concerted focus on the environment. Another major task was to achieve cooperation between two neighbouring municipalities, so that they could interact and develop the area together.


In the early 1990s the idea of the redevelopment of the entire area around the lake Hammarby Sjö had emerged, and the first plans for most of the Södermalm area were made. A masterplan, which included the extension of the Tvärbanan light rail link through the area, was presented.

The name of the project was inspired by the fact that the area is located on both sides of the lake Hammarby Sjö. Hammarby Sjöstad therefore means “the Hammarby town around the lake”. The area is a part of the Stockholm municipality, but it is also bordering Nacka municipality to the east. It is also a part of the districts Södra Hammarbyhamnen and Södermalm.

The solution was to combine a traditional inner city with modern open planning. Water areas in the centre are designed so that they create a park – “district´s blue eye”, and quays, parks and walkways are laid out in different styles.


There have been a lot of public services developed in the area, including high schools, schools and preschools, health clinics and a retirement home. Also, there are plenty commercial services like cafes, restaurants, grocery stores, hairdressers, tailors, dry cleaners, cobblers and florists. Sickla mall is also nearby, and there are a many good active leisure opportunities in the neighbourhood, from small boat moors and the proximity to jogging tracks and slalom slopes, to a planned sports hall and a potential construction of an outdoor sports facility. There are many cultural and educational activities in the district too, including a library, parish organised activities, theatrical venues, concert venues and workshops.

It was important to detect the influence of the project in all of the four sections, to put emphasis not only on the hard factors, but also on the soft factors of the project, mainly the effect it will have on the community.

In the graphic displayed below, we have mapped the vision of the project, through four main factors that we identified were relevant in all of the projects we analysed.


Most of the financing for this project came through private investment, while only 14% was public investment. In total, 41 developers and 29 architectural firms were included in the project.

The average income from age 16 in the area is almost 20% higher than the average income in the City, and the unemployment rate is 1.5%, compared to the City average of 3.3%.


Hammarby Sjöstad area has its own eco-cycle model – the Hammarby Model – which shows how energy, waste and water treatment can be integrated. This model is a part of an environmental programme to ensure a focus on environmental issues during both planning and implementation phases.

GlashusEtt is an environmental information centre, located at the heart of the district, and is an important element of the above mentioned extensive environmental programme. Residents can come to GlashusEtt for tips and advice on a wide range of environmental issues.

The scale of the area is 200 ha of which 40 ha is water, and 160 ha is land. By the end of the construction, it is expected that around 30,000 people will work and live in the area. In total, approximately 250,000 m2 for commercial use will be build, combining new offices, light industry and retail.

The design combines closed, traditional inner city with more modernistic and open planning, creating a modern, semi-open and block-based neighbourhood. The height of the buildings is limited, and the average is 24m (seven floors). One office building with around 30 floors is planned.

When looking at transport distribution in the area, we can see that 52% belongs to public transport, 27% to pedestrians / bicycles, and only 21% to private commuters.


Next week we will be presenting the Hudson Yards redevelopment project in New York, an innovative transformation project in which the harbour area is being transformed into a vibrant, pedestrian-friendly, transit-oriented mixed-use district.

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