Stockholm Royal Seaport is a testbed and a role model in sustainable urban development. Several research and innovation projects drive knowledge development to address future issues. To enable more people to participate and become active in urban development, new approaches to dialogues are also being tested.
Stockholm Royal Seaport’s policy document “Sustainable Urban Development Programme” was revised for the third time and adopted by the City Council. In the revision, new research findings and experiences from follow-up have been incorporated into urban planning principles and sustainability goals. Gender and broader equality issues in particular were defined, as were ways Stockholm Royal Seaport will contribute to Stockholm’s work on Agenda 2030 and the City of Stockholm’s overall development plan.
- Some 40 research, development and innovation projects have been conducted.
- Four innovation procurements have been conducted in reuse of waste, soil remediation and construction logistics. Land allocations have been used to develop plus-energy houses and various housing concepts on social issues to attract a greater diversity of people.
- More than 4,000 community builders have participated in capacity building development. The Construction Consolidation Centre (CCC) has trained 9,800 professionals and officials. Some 43,800 study visitors from more than 120 countries have visited the urban development project.
Engage and involve citizens
Involving Stockholmers and residents in different ways and staying close to people are key aspects of the development of Stockholm Royal Seaport. This helps to embed urban development and adds valuable perspectives. By using different methods, processes and places for dialogues and participation, more people, irrespective of gender, age and backgrounds can get involved in the process. It should be easy and transparent to follow how Stockholm Royal Seaport develops.
Street walks were carried out at an early stage of the project and in conjunction with the development of the in-depth programme for Hjorthagen. Street walks are a way to be present and note one’s perceptions of surroundings. The idea is to establish a deeper dialogue between residents and people who work in the area and City of Stockholm officials. The street walks were supplemented, among other things, with the first residents’ survey, which provided important feedback on how residents viewed urban development and what they thought about living close to construction sites. School children were also asked about their favourite places in the district – the places they liked and those they felt were unsafe.
The physical model of the urban development area provides an overview, sets contexts and underpins various meetings and events. Personal meetings and conversations are supplemented with digital map-based dialogue tools that often reach wider and younger target groups. Most recently, these were used to obtain views and suggestions on the content of a temporary park along Bobergsgatan. When the Green Space Index (GSI) was to be further developed and evaluated, residents were asked how they experienced their courtyards. This provided important insights into how the planning tool can be further improved.
To include more people in the planning process, dialogues and open houses have been organised at the exit of the local supermarket to enable more dialogue about the future of Värtahamnen. This was supplemented with a qualitative study of the views of young girls about public places, and workshops with local entrepreneurs. Dialogues have been held at the metro station to discuss the use of public spaces in Kolkajen. The social impact assessment for Kolkajen included focus groups with schoolchildren from different parts of Stockholm.
All newcomers to the district receive information about services and other functions available. In addition to project websites and newsletters, there is an active and project-oriented Facebook page where several hundred posts are published every year. Questions are answered quickly on the page, and it serves as an important channel and point of contact with residents. Those who moved into the area in the first phases were invited to introductory evenings to learn about these systems. Currently several guided tours are arranged every year. Three such tours are planned for the spring of 2022.
Occasionally, more targeted information and communication campaigns are needed to raise specific issues. In 2020 and 2021, various information and awareness campaigns were carried out to ensure that waste was sorted correctly.
LEDs on vacuum waste collection chutes indicate from a distance which ones can be used at any given time. A green light means that it is working properly. At one site, tests with vacuum waste collection monsters were used to direct people more effectively, and a residents' app called LocalLife were used to increase motivation and awareness of the system. This development project continues to be scaled up. Information is supplemented with an open house in the vacuum waste system terminal and targeted newsletters to residents and tenant-owner associations.
Comprehensive residents’ and attitudes surveys are conducted regularly to monitor how the area is experienced over time. The fourth such survey will be conducted in 2022.
Strengthening and collaborating with local resources
Encouraging residents of the new and existing Hjorthagen to meet contributes to and strengthens local affiliation and identity. Trust – as well as a sense of security – increases when people meet and become visible to one another.
Mats Rehn is a local ethusiast
Mats Rehn is a local ethusiast who has been chair of Värtans IK sports club for 55 years. In addition to his involvement in the club, Mats is passionate about sharing knowledge and telling others about the area’s history and identity. At an open house that the urban development project held in the power line tunnel in Hjorthagsberget, Mats came up with the idea of the book Hjorthagen och runtomkring (Hjorthagen and its Surroundings). The idea became a joint project with proceeds from the book sales going to Värtans IK sports club. The first edition came out in 2011 and it was revised in 2019.
Many in civil society are involved in different ways or affected by urban development. In addition to Värtans IK, there are other local organisations and associations that the urban development project collaborates with in various events and communication initiatives as well. Several business networks, such as Stadstutvecklarna i Värtahamnen, conduct site development activities, podcasts and arrange car boot sales. There are also residents’ networks in Hjorthagen. The artist collective Blivande at Frihamnstorget runs a maker-space, organises clothes exchanges and co-organized events such as PARK(ing) Day – a cultural movement for sustainable cities and communities of the future. The centenary of Frihamnen was marked jointly on Frihamnstorget and involved a large number of local actors.
Over the years, many activities and events have been held at Gasverket and Storängstorget, natural nodes and target points between new and old. For example, several events have been held to showcase the area and strengthen local identity. Hundreds of residents were invited to participate in a light show at Gasverket, for example. Open houses and guided tours are conducted regularly. There was considerable interest in the opening of one of the old brick gas holder to the public. The urban development project is also involved in organising the Gasverket Day and has been involved with Stockholm Open House since it started.
The number of local meeting places will increase over time. In 2022 Bobergstorget in Gasverket will open, together with the Stockholm Transport Museum. A playground opened in 2021 and a library in 2020. Bee-hives, planter boxes, spring markets and a Christmas tree on the square are other examples of activating spaces and local meeting places.
Stockholm Royal Seaport leads the way for a sustainable urban development
Stockholm Royal Seaport’s mission is to be a role model and pioneer in sustainable urban development by building knowledge, driving innovation, and taking over the baton from Hammarby Sjöstad, another major urban development project in Stockholm. These ambitions were defined with a world-class agreement for the sector that saw the establishment of Stockholm Royal Seaport as a testbed where innovative technologies, system solutions and work methods are developed and validated. The aim is to create a valuable experience that contributes to a sustainable future, which can be scaled up and disseminated in Stockholm, nationally and internationally.
Forward-looking workshops implemented with the support of KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm created forums for collaborations between different stakeholders and identified innovative solutions that formed the basis for visionary and ambitious goals. The ambition to be a testbed has attracted researchers and companies willing to think in new ways. Initially, work was more stakeholder-driven. But over time, the City of Stockholm has taken on a more active role.
Stockholm Royal Seaport is a collaborative project based on joint learning that drives innovation. This is done by applying sustainability goals at early planning stages and collaborating across organisational borders.
Follow-up and review of project goals have contributed to a unique knowledge of new work methods and technical solutions. It has encouraged a shift from vertical downpipe working approaches to a more horizontal approach, resulting in more shared views in administrations and companies, a broader and more established learning process and network building. The City of Stockholm has adopted the use of requirements and follow-up to some extent, along with strategies for digitalisation, reverse traffic hierarchy, stormwater management and waste systems.
Work in innovation in Stockholm Royal Seaport has, among other things, contributed to putting ecosystem services and the GSI on the national agenda and the roadmap for a climate-positive district on the international agenda. Technology and service development has taken place in implementation processes in terms of land remediation, construction and bulk materials management.
Research and innovation projects are ongoing or have recently been completed in digitalisation, construction logistics, source-seperated wastewater systems, circular models and plus energy areas. Gamification has also been tested as a way to visualize and explain the area’s flows with the Cities: Skyline computer game together with college students and gamers. Stockholm Royal Seaport’s eco-cycle model – Reflow – was tested with a digital visualization tool to pedagogically demonstrate recycling in the district to middle school students. It was also part of an exhibition at Kulturhuset and was nominated for a major Swedish design award.
Future innovation needs to relate to the challenge of how a greater diversity of people will be able to live in Stockholm Royal Seaport, for example the development of new concepts for housing and inclusion.
Capacity development and knowledge building
The project’s ambitious sustainability goals mean that new knowledge and skills need to be developed. To create understanding and knowledge, capacity development programmes were developed in a series of seminars aimed at land-allocated developers with consultants and the City of Stockholm civil servants. During the year, the capacity development programme for developers and consultants held one activity. However, four capacity development seminars aimed at City civil servants were held. During the pandemic, capacity development seminars were held digitally, which made it easier for employees of City administrations and companies to participate. Digital seminars are simpler to organise, take less time and participant numbers are not limited by the size of meeting rooms. Therefore, it was possible to invite a larger number of civil servants from the City administrations and companies. The opportunity to document and disseminate content become easier as more people have crossed the digital meeting threshold.
The development of knowledge and skills is important to the project’s role as a testbed and pioneer in sustainable urban development to create a common framework and forum for joint learning and discussion. With more than 50 developers and consultants participating in capacity development, Stockholm Royal Seaport contributes to increased knowledge in the sector.
Stockholm Royal Seaport is growing with increased housing and businesses in parallel with construction and civil engineering provision. The urban development project has a zero emissions vision for the construction working environment and the project collaborates with all construction activities in preventive work to achieve safe and secure construction sites.
Developers’ and contractors’ employees attend a web-based introductory course on, among other things, sustainability issues. To date, just over 9,800 people have participated in these sessions.
Another capacity development initiative within sustainable solutions is a series of “matchmaking” seminars to help developers build contacts with suppliers of innovative products and services.
During the year, digital lunch seminars were held on climate adaptation and low-energy buildings. The sector showed great interest in experiences from Stockholm Royal Seaport.
Stockholm Royal Seaport has so far welcomed more than 43,800 study visitors from 120 countries. Recently, due to the pandemic, most study visits have been digital. Most of the visits have been from universities and other cities. Stockholm Royal Seaport also participates in a large number of national and international conferences, seminars and exhibitions.
Key events in 2021
- Stockholm Royal Seaport participates in a Vinnova-funded project run by Electricity to further develop a citizen-driven method for reducing energy use that was developed in Hammarby Sjöstad. The innovation project Connected Stockholm Royal Seaport was concluded.
- Swedish Television’s news report about Stockholm Royal Seaport’s climate work reached over 30,0000 people on the project’s Facebook page.
- Participation in the Park(ing) day in Frihamnen and the Open House Stockholm architecture festival with, among other things, a guided tour of the old purification house at Gasverket.
- Participated in the international exhibition Expo Real in Munich and Smart City Expo in Barcelona. Stockholm Royal Seaport is included in an international guidebook by C40 about the road to net zero: "Green and Thriving Neighbourhoods: a Pathway to Net Zero, featuring the '15-minute city”.
- Two guided tours for residents to learn more about sustainability work and the local area.
- More than 2,000 study visitors have come to the urban development project, of which 400 are future architects and engineers from the Royal Institute of Technology.
- Two open houses and viewings of the vacuum waste collection system terminal.
- Five capacity development seminars aimed at developers and City of Stockholm officials and consultants conducted with more than 230 participants. More than 200 urban planners have participated in webinars on experience feedback.
- Residents use 90 planter boxes to cultivate and use as points of social contact.
- Six viewings of bee hives for pre-school children and residents.
- The Pop-up Reuse Centre visited Storängstorget twice and attracted more than 4,100 visitors.
Achievements for 5. Consultation and Learning
5.1 Stimulate long-term participation
2021: 90 plant boxes, 6 viewings of hives, 2 thematic tours, Open House Stockholm with 200 visitors in person and 1,400 vistors online via a 360-map over the area and Park(ing) day with 500 visitors.
5.2 Sustainable consumption
Pop-up Reuse have to date has 20,700 visitors in Stockholm Royal Seaport. The idea for Pop-up Reuse comes from an innovation work within the framework of the project.
To date, 5 people outside the labor market have been employed for a shorter period of time. In 2021, one person was employed as an intern for one month.
4 pre-schools of 10 are Green Flag certified.
5.3 Innovation and development
About 40 R&D projects have been completed. 11 ongoing R&D projects. To date, just over 4,000 community builders have participated in various capacity development programs and just over 9,800 in introductory training at the Construction Consolidation Centre. 2,000 community builders have participated in the Forum for Sustainable Solutions.
To date, 43,800 people from more than 120 countries have been on study visits to Stockholm Royal Seaport.