Sustainable Urban Planning in Malmö

Urban Planning - Flagghusen in Malmö

Malmö is a compact city, facilitating provision of collective services, including transport and bicycle pathways whilst simultaneously incorporating mixed use planning and green space; creating favourable conditions for sustainable urban development.

Guiding principles
In current efforts, as well as long-term planning, an underlying ambition of Malmö´s master plan is to create a sustainable and attractive city — particularly related to the three pillars of sustainability: social, economy and ecology.

New comprehensive plan
Malmö faces several serious challenges in the coming years. It is vital for the development of Malmö to create a socially balanced city with good living conditions for all its citizens. The city should be allowed to grow, but with the smallest possible environmental impact, both locally and globally. The aim is to create a robust and long-term sustainable urban structure for an increased population, green growth and a continued development of Malmö’s attractiveness.

Summary of the new comprehensive plan (pdf)


The Environmental Building Programme South
The cities of Malmö and Lund, in cooperation with Lund University, have jointly created a programme by which to support and facilitate sustainable construction. This programme utilises a standardised classification system to compare building criteria, similar to eco-labelling schemes for electronics. The programme has 3 criteria levels (A, B and C) and all of them are stricter than national regulations.

Excellent arable land
The South of Sweden (Skåne) contains some of the most fertile land in Europe. As Malmö expands, it attempts to balance growth with preservation of open areas for nature appreciation and food cultivation. The city aims to densify existing city areas with many new building sites located within the central vicinity or on former industrial sites in order to avoid over-exploitation of surrounding arable lands and urban sprawl.

Tough goals set by the environmental programme
City of Malmö’s Environmental Programme, adopted in 2009, have four main goals:

  • Sweden’s most climate friendly city
  • Malmö – the city of the future
  • Sustainable use of natural resources
  • It’s easy to do the right thing in Malmö

The development of reaching the targets in the Environmental Programme is monitored continously in the online tool ”Miljöbarometern” and in the yearly report ”Miljöredovisningen”. According to the Environmental Programme the City of Malmö will in the year 2020 be climate neutral and by 2030 the whole municipality will run on 100% renewable energy.