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.
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, economic and ecological sustainability.
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 MiljöByggprogramSYD (the Environmental Building Programme in Southern Sweden ) utilises a standardised classification system to compare building criteria, similar to eco-labelling schemes for white goods (electronics). The programme has 3 criteria levels (A, B and C) all of are stricter than national regulations (Boverket Byggregler, BRR).
Excellent arable land
The South of Sweden (Skåne) contains some of the most fertile land in Europe . Skåne is an important agricultural region, with a defining character in terms of its cultural heritage. 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.
Malmö´s new neighbourhoods
For more than 20 years in a row, Malmö´s population has grown. Presently, some 288,000 reside in Malmö, with an increase of 50,000 inhabitants over 20 years. Together with Copenhagen and surrounding urban areas, the Öresund Region represents one of the fastest growing urban districts in Europe . To accommodate rapid population growth in Malmö, targeted expansions are planned in particular neighbourhoods including, the Western Harbour and North Sorgenfri (both former industrial areas), as well as in Hyllie (where the new city tunnel will include a station) in order to densify specific districts of the city.
Flagghusen in Malmö´s Western Harbour
Malmö´s Western Harbour has become the city´s most famous district in terms of integrating environment and energy in urban planning. And while the Western Harbour is famous for its large-scale demonstration projects, such demonstration is now mainstream. Flagghusen, the second large-scale urban development in the Western Harbour, stresses environment, energy and quality aspirations, whilst incorporating affordability — demonstrating that sustainable construction does not have to be expensive.
In addition to affordability, stakeholders engaged in a new planning process: the Creative Dialogue (ByggaBoDialogen) which facilitated discussion amongst representatives of Malmö, together with property developers and architects concerning sustainability themes and expectations. Various firms, traditionally competitors, learned to cooperate in order to build a more attractive and sustainable neighbourhood district. While there were challenges to start, most participants agreed it was a worthwhile process to engage in.