Hammarby Sjöstad

Dates of completion1992 – 2020 (originally 2015)
Surface areaAround 150 ha
LocalizationStockholm, Sweden
Project description
20 000 housing units
New energy management system and innovating waste management 
Soft modes of transportation
A good living environment
CertificationNo official certification system 


Originally conceived as an Olympic Village in order to support the Swedish candidacy for the 2001 Olympics Games. The project was in fact a way for Stockholm City to assert oneself as a metropolis, being capable of controlling and rehabilitating its territory. Located in South Stockholm, Hammarby used to be an industrial area and a strategic harbour, deserted during the 1970s. Transforming the area into one of the most performant eco-districts was a way to assure its influence as a capital and to comfort the Swedish avant-gardism on environmental matters. Nevertheless, the way the eco-district was created (eviction of the then current population, no social housing, submission to the real estate market) had consequences on social issues in the district to this day.


Hammarby Sjöstad eco-district is mainly a public project, drawn up by Stockholm City, in order to solve an urban planning issue and an increasing housing demand. The city benefited from a large financial autonomy that allowed it to invest in sustainable development. It associated itself with public partners, especially with local companies (Birka and Fortum for energy, Statoil for car-sharing). Other actors contributed to the project include the environment and healthy city committee, environmental  associations and research institutes. Today, GlasHusEtt information center, located at the heart of the district, is a showcase for high energy performance and the success of Hammarby. 

Sustainable Development

Concerning the environmental pillar of sustainable development, the eco-district of Hammarby Sjöstad is known to be one of the country’s most energy efficient developments. It is most famous for using the Eco-Cycle model where waste sorting, water treatment and electricity production are connected and considered as a whole ecosystem in order to reduce energy consumption. Electric cars and biogas buses are given privileged access, as well as priority being given to cyclists and pedestrians. Regarding the economic aspect of sustainable development, urban planning has been balanced between commercial spaces, offices and living areas. The main problem however is its social homogeneity; most of the inhabitants belong to the same social category (upper and educated classes). Whereas in some countries, like France, an emphasis has been put on the importance of social diversity in eco-districts.

Researchers working on this project

Camille Bressange