Stockholm Royal Seaport

Sustainability Report

Consultation and learning

Innovative thinking and innovation are essential to address the local and global challenges presented by urbanisation. This requires all stakeholders to develop knowledge and collaborate in new ways, both within their own organisations and with others. Civil society also plays a critical role in transitioning to a more sustainable society.

In 2008, Stockholm City Council decided that Stockholm Royal Seaport would become Stockholm’s next sustainability-profiled area. The objective is to lead by example and serve as a testing ground, and to share knowledge, experiences, and best practice that can be scaled and disseminated.

2023 Highlights:

Key figures:

  • 5,700 study visitors in 260 groups visited Stockholm Royal Seaport in 2023. 50,000 since start.
  • 4,400 community builders have participated in capacity building development. The Construction Consolidation Centre has trained 12,200 professionals and officials.
  • Approximately 40 research, development, and innovation projects have been carried out.

Research, development, and innovation

Developing new knowledge and skills that can be scaled across the area is central to the mission of Stockholm Royal Seaport. Innovation and development projects are carried out across organisations and disciplines in collaboration with academia and civil society. New working methods are developed. This facilitates common frameworks and forums for discussions and collective learning on future issues such as digitalisation and resource efficiency, contributing to climate adaptation and citizen engagement.

Technology and service development continue throughout the implementation process in areas such as soil remediation, construction and mass logistics. Serving as a testbed attracts researchers and companies eager to innovate, contributing to innovative business models and solutions.

In 2023, three new innovation projects were initiated: Leaching of sulfide rock, Reflow, and Anchor. Reflow focuses on collecting data to visualise Stockholm Royal Seaport’s resource flows and their climate impact and is funded by Smart Built Environment. Anchor, an Interreg project (EU), involves collaboration between Stockholm and pilot projects in Hamburg, Ghent, Amsterdam, and Helsingborg to evaluate the function, technology, and benefits of source-separating wastewater systems.

During the year, three projects were completed that explored the potential for developing positive energy districts, using greywater for irrigation instead of potable water, and enhancing citizen engagement. Other innovation projects use Stockholm Royal Seaport as a subject for study, such as the Grusfabriken (Gravel Factory) and Propel. Grusfabriken is examining the process of turning excavated material into aggregate products. Propel investigates the use of organic residues as a resource in the energy system, funded by JPI Europe.

During the first five years, the projects were actor-driven, but over time the City of Stockholm has taken a more active role as a stakeholder, in which Stockholm Royal Seaport as a collaborative project contributes to collective learning that drives innovation. Innovation efforts have positioned ecosystem services and the Green Space Index prominently on the national agenda, while showcasing Stockholm Royal Seaport as a prime example of sustainable urban planning on the global stage.

Green courtyard with various types of vegetation with residential buildings in the background
Many development projects are linked to water and greenery

How we work

Overarching urban development principles and sustainability goals guide the work in Stockholm Royal Seaport. Sustainability requirements are set and monitored both in the City of Stockholm’s own projects and in agreements with developers. Verification is conducted and reviewed by a third party. Every four years, the “Sustainable Urban Development Programme” steering document is revised to ensure that new research findings and lessons learned from ongoing work are integrated and implemented. The current revision began in 2023 and is expected to be completed in 2025.

The monitoring process has provided unique insights into the project’s achievement and has led to new working methods, some of which have been transferred to other parts of the city. Requirements such as energy performance, digitalisation, the reverse traffic hierarchy, the Green Space Index, and stormwater management have been widely adopted by the City of Stockholm. This also applies to methods and processes for monitoring. Experience feedback occurred in conjunction with the development of the City of Stockholm’s environmental programme and climate action plan, which is effective until 2030.

Evaluating compliance with requirements leads to continuous improvement in how requirements are formulated. In 2023, several requirements were revised, including climate impact thresholds for buildings and selected infrastructure materials, site-built timber constructions, and the use of reused and recycled building materials.

The approach with thematic expert groups, that is, City of Stockholm experts in respective subject areas, has contributed to shifting from working in vertical silos to working more horizontally. This has increased consensus within and between administrations and companies, broadened and more deeply rooted the learning process, and fostered network building. A new thematic expert group was formed to discuss, among other things, the climate impact from public open spaces.

To meet knowledge needs, build trust, and establish a common framework, a capacity development programme has been developed. This is a tailored series of seminars aimed at assigned developers and their consultants, as well as City of Stockholm employees. To date, more than 100 seminars have been held, with a total of 2,100 participants. In 2023, four seminars aimed at City employees were held, reaching over 160 civil servants and their consultants. Seminars for developers are initiated as soon as a need arises. Developers and construction contractors undergo a web-based introductory course on sustainability issues, with approximately 1,400 participants in 2023. In total, over 12,200 individuals have participated so far.

The experiences of Stockholm Royal Seaport are generating significant interest, both internally and externally. In 2023, three digital lunch seminars were organised on topics such as climate impact, wood in outdoor constructions, and biodiversity. A total of some 400 people attended these events.

Workshop in an office room with about twenty people sitting on chairs. Two presenters are standing by a whiteboard that has post-it notes in various colors.
WorkshopSaid Karlsson

Engage and involve citizens

Various methods, processes, and places for dialogue and participation are used to involve more people in different ways in urban development. This includes communicating with and engaging local resources and stakeholders and being where people are. By using various methods to enhance engagement and dialogue, more people, regardless of gender, age, or background, can be included in the process. For some detailed plans, expanded consultation has been held involving groups that are otherwise difficult to reach.

In 2023, children participated in beehive tours in the area and celebrated Biodiversity Day. CA Fastigheter held an open Lucia procession that was attended by more than a hundred people. Residents initiated a flea market and trunk sales were organised in Värtahamnen. 115 planting boxes were set up and the library organised an event to swap cuttings.

Politicians participated in the inauguration of a new pedestrian and bicycle bridge in Värtahamnen, a naming ceremony of the gasometer (Gasklocka 2), and the inauguration of the wet screening facility at the Mass Consolidation Centre.

Increasing engagement among housing associations in the long-term management and operation of buildings is a central issue. The “Citizen Engagement for Reduced Climate Impact” innovation project, financed by Vinnova, was completed in 2023. The project was led by ElectriCITY (Hammarby Sjöstad 2.0) in collaboration with the City of Stockholm, KTH, and the residents’ group, developing a method to increase citizen engagement.

According to the 2023 residents’ survey, 80 per cent of residents are aware of the development plans for the area. Most receive information via local media and the Stockholm Royal Seaport Facebook page, website, and newsletter. Slightly fewer than a third were interested in actively participating in the development plans. To reach more target groups, an Instagram account posting in both Swedish and English was launched during the year. Overall, posts on various social channels reached more than 500,000 people for the year.

Children are gathered around beekeeping boxes, listening to an adult discuss the significant role of bees.
Preschool children learn more about beekeeping.

Stockholm Royal Seaport as a visitor destination

There is significant national and international interest in the experiences from Stockholm Royal Seaport.

Some 5,700 study visitors in 260 groups visited Stockholm Royal Seaport in 2023. Those visiting on study tours are usually officials and decision-makers from other cities and municipalities, students and researchers, and interest groups and businesses. They are often interested in various aspects of sustainable urban development such as climate adaptation, stormwater and wastewater management, and social sustainability. The number of study visits has returned to pre-pandemic levels.

Many attended Gasverksdagen 2023, organised by CA Fastigheter in collaboration with the City, and participated in activities such as guided tours and seminars about the area’s history, transformation, and future. Stockholm Royal Seaport also participated in the architecture festival Open House Stockholm with guided tours of the Gasverket. A total of 6,000 people participated in these events.

Related links:

Research and innovation projects

About the project - Our way of working

Achievements for 5. Consultation and learning

5.1 Stimulate long-term participation

  • Plant boxes are available in the area since 2012, 115 under 2023.
  • Preschool children and residents have the opportunity to participate in tours of beehives and guided tours etc.

5.2 Sustainable consumption

  • Pop-up Reuse have to date has 39,000 visitors in Stockholm Royal Seaport.
  • To date, 6 people outside the labor market have been employed for a shorter period of time.
  • 4 pre-schools of 10 are Green Flag certified.

5.3 Innovation and development

  • About 40 R&D projects have been completed and around 10 are ongoing. 4 innovation procurements have been conducted in the areas of reuse, land remediation, and construction logistics.
  • To date, just over 4,400 community builders have participated in various capacity development programs and 12,200 in introductory training at the .
  • More than 50,000 visitors from 120 countries have visited the urban development project. In 2023, 5,700 visitors in 260 groups visited Stockholm Royal Seaport.

Updated: 26/06/2024

Strategy Consultation and learning and the UN Global Goals

Strategy Consultation and learning contributes to reaching the Agenda 2030 goals for sustainable development:

The vision: An inclusive process is based on opportunities for participation and consultation during all phases of city development. It is crucial that stakeholders can participate in different ways. By using a variety of methods to drive engagement and influence, greater numbers of people, irrespective of gender, age, and background, can be included in the process.

Communication is key to creating interest and participation in the city development process. Research, innovation, knowledge development, and experience sharing are important factors in identifying sustainable solutions to complex challenges and can contribute to synergy effects in all target areas relevant for developing sustainable cities. Furthermore, these work efforts with Stockholm Royal Seaport can contribute to creating new jobs.