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Malmö - Sweden

Display Compliments Malmö’s Sustainable Agenda


With 265,000 inhabitants comprising some 164 nationalities speaking over 100 different languages, the city of Malmö provides a rich melting pot where commerce and education thrive. Recent structural changes in Malmö’s economy have distanced it somewhat from its industrial roots and today the economy is characterised by small and medium-sized enterprise in trading, industrial and service companies, with IT business forming the largest sector. Malmö University, with more than 20,000 students, provides a fertile breeding ground for research and innovation for the city, and the new bridge to Copenhagen provides a valuable link to Denmark’s capital.

Malmö is very active in the field of sustainable development and is currently in the midst of its 2003-2008 Environmental Programme: A central objective under this is to reduce CO2 emissions by 25% between 2008 and 2012. This is being achieved primarily through investment in more efficient installations, but also through behavioural change among users and residents. Ultimately, the aim is for a zero carbon environment without adversely affecting comfort or lifestyle: in a climate that can swing between minus 15oC and 30oC this is both inspiring and judicious!

The City of Malmö is the holder of nearly 500 buildings, or approximately 1,400,000 m2 of gross floor area. As with many Swedish cities, the district heating network is well developed, with over 90% of the building stock being connected to it. Continuous improvements to this system have increased the amount of renewable and waste energy powering the system to 50% and major investments are planned to introduce more solar energy.

In addition to Display, Malmö has been participating in a number of national and European projects and networks within the sustainable energy field. An important part of its strategy is to be a driving force in the development of a more sustainable Europe

Building details

Type of building: New build, mixed use
Heating and cooling installed Local, renewable energy serves over 1000 local homes receiving their heating and cooling needs - through a heat pump that extracts heat from sea water and an aquifer – a natural water reserve in bedrock that enables seasonal storage of both warm and cool water.

These systems are connected to the city’s energy system for district heating and district cooling. The 100% renewable heating and cooling is based on an annual cycle balanced by surpluses from the district flowing in to the city systems at certain times, and from the city into the district at other times.
Energy/CO2/Water label In 178 schools throughout Malmö, the Display Campaign is thriving: a total of 51 schools scored A or B ratings for energy, CO2 emissions and/or water consumption.

Project Description

Aim Innovation in Vastra Hamnen
The Bo01 area (or first phase) of Vastra Hamnen (‘Western Harbour’) was once a harbour, shipyard and industrial area. Now, it is a newly developing city district where new schools, housing, shops, offices and local services are being built and supplied with 100% renewable energy. At the core of this development, is an environmentally sound master plan inspiring creativity, further learning and economic growth. This vision presents an ideal context for the Display Campaign: the whole development presents an opportunity to educate the public about energy and environmental impacts.

Key points In Malmö’s Display Schools – of which there are 178 - pupils are educated daily by real life, Shining Examples of sustainable development. In addition to the 100% renewable energy systems described above, in Vastra Hamnen:
- In some properties there are IT solutions for the metering and control of energy use and ventilation.
- Many houses are equipped with advanced technology to cut energy needs.

- Some buildings sport large solar collectors, clearly visible to passers-by.
- All houses are built to a ‘quality standard’ jointly established between the developers and the city of Malmö. The standard includes guidelines for choice of materials, energy consumption and other green issues.
- A central tenet of this system is low energy use in the buildings: Each unit is only allowed to use 105 kWh/m2/yr, including household electricity – although these have not always been met.
- Tall houses on the outskirts form a wind shelter around a small-scale green interior.
- Residents are encouraged to use bikes and the area is car-free with bus stops within 300m of all houses.
- There are many narrow alleys and pedestrian areas to discourage road transport and to create a more stimulating environment.
- There are parks, alleyways and walkways interlinked throughout the area, creating interest and enabling greater social interaction.
- Open storm water run-off systems include green roofs, parks, gardens and ponds which reduce and delay flows to the sea.
- A ‘10 Green Points’ system is used in every courtyard promoting e.g. bat nesting boxes, butterfly flower beds, wild Swedish flower meadows, country gardens and enough top soi-soil for vegetables to be grown.
- A biotope for nesting seabirds is to be created in the northern reaches of the Harbour.
- In Anchor Park, situated in the Western Harbour, various habitats have been created: An Alder Carr, an oak grove and a beech grove appear as islands in a large grassy area.
- Waste issues are also tackled with energy and water conservation in mind: The aim is to minimise the production of waste in the first place, make re-use and recycling possible, and finally to use remaining waste and sewage as sources of energy.
- Having waste separation units close to home is an important part of planning in the area. Residents either have a separation in their home or nearby, making it easier for them to sort paper and packaging material. Two systems for food waste disposal are currently being tested: food waste disposers in the sink, and a centralised vacuum chute system.
- Materials used in the streets and public spaces have been chosen for their long life and possibility for re-use; recycled material has been used as a foundation layer under the streets and alleys.
Reason for inclusion as Shining Example The City of Malmö is a Shining Example of integrating multiple partners, funding and projects in order to achieve and communicate truly sustainable development. Through projects like Display, it has set new benchmarks by which towns and cities across Europe can assess their own progress.


Costs &


This successful harbour development and demonstration project has been supported by EU, FP5 (Europe’s Fifth Framework Programme) and the City of Malmö received the Campaign for Take-Off, Grand Prize, for this innovative energy concept.
Benefits All this activity has of course generated a lot of interest in the district, and the City of Malmö is keen to capitalise on this by funding information dissemination and educational projects; a natural progression was to bring these principles in to the classroom. No less than ten universities are involved in the evaluation of Vastra Hamnen, and it receives visits from all over the world; this research covers many areas concerning sustainable development, energy and water use, as well as education itself.


Achievements Of course, Display provides a unique opportunity to feed into the process that is educating Malmö’s citizens, and to inspire students to learn from their surroundings. But crucially, it also empowers them to internalise these lessons, and apply them in their own activities and experiences at school.

To this end, the City strives to demonstrate to its pupils that it ‘practices what it preaches’: The Display Campaign has helped to inspire students in 178 of Malmö’s schools: in 51 of these, A or B ratings for energy, CO2 emissions and/or water consumption have been recorded
Lessons Learned The energy services contract approach is a good solution for promoting the renewable energies and for gaining in energy saving. And the technologies used can be widely implemented.This example showed that refurbishment can lead on a success in energy effectiveness.

To know more

Organisation City of Malmö
Contact Trevor Graham

Useful info

Websites amcnet/bo01.html
Arrangements to visit


Organisation EuroACE
Contact for question on the case study realisation Anson Wu
Publishing date 29/11/2006

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