Eco-efficient practice (1)-Hammarby Sjöstad in Stockholm

09:03, November 04, 2009      

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As the current Presidency of the European Union, Sweden is promoting eco-efficient economy to improve EU's competitiveness and deal with the current financial and economic crisis.

Swedish Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Enterprise and Energy Maud Olofsson believes that eco-efficient economy is an opportunity to bring more jobs to EU and manage the environmental impact at the same time.

Then what is eco-efficient economy? How should people implement the strategy? From today on, People's Daily Online will give 12 examples of the practices of eco-efficient economy carried out in Sweden. They are seen as an inspiration for more similar projects and practices. The first project is the Hammarby Sjostad, dubbed sustainable city in Sweden.

A new district has emerged around the lake of Hammarby Sjö(lake) in Stockholm. A run-down port and industrial area has been cleaned up, developed and converted into a modern and environmentally sound district.

Rainwater collection canal in Hammarbysjostad

Hammarby Sjöstad is Stockholm's largest urban development project. A special organisation in the Stockholm City Development Administration is responsible for the construction project.

The lakeside town has its own environmental program which incorporates consideration of the energy and water supply, wastewater treatment and waste management.

Transport barriers have been removed and old industrial and terminal sites have been closed down, concentrated or given new uses.

Large-scale project with many investors

When the construction in Hammarby Sjöstad has been completed in 2015, the district will contain 11,000 apartments. It is estimated that 35,000 people will live and work in the area. The ratio between tenancy and tenant ownership is 45:55.

With the expansion of Hammarby Sjöstad, development of the area's municipal and commercial services is also taking place. Investment in public transport increased.

Many different parties have been involved in making it possible for the district to be financed. When the entire construction project is finished the cost will total 5.6 billion US dollars.

Stockholm has taken the initiative for the establishment of Hammarby Sjöstad together with around 25 different construction companies. The construction companies' investment represents just over 80 percent of the costs of the whole project.

The net investment from Stockholm city is 250 million dollars. Other funding comes from the government agencies such as the Swedish Rail Administration (rail transport) and
the Swedish Road Administration (routing of the Southern Link road).

Environmental ambition for Hammarby Sjöstad

Stockholm set stringent environmental requirements for buildings, technical installations and the traffic environment right from the beginning.

The aim of the environmental programme is to halve the total environmental impact in comparison with an area built in the early 1990s.

When Hammarby Sjöstad was built, nature was preserved as far as possible, and new green spaces were created. The land was decontaminated and old industrial land was transformed into attractive residential areas with fine parks and open spaces.

As transport has a heavy environmental impact, a major public transport initiative was taken in the area with the cross-rail service Tvärbanan, bus services and a ferry service on the lake Hammarby Sjö between the southern and northern ends of the new district. The ferry is operated by the City of Stockholm and is free. Car pools have also been opened both for residents and for people who work in the area.

Environmental concerns also apply to all materials used, both for the visible materials on buildings and on the ground and for material inside the buildings– carcass, installations and equipment.

The underpinning idea is to use proven, sustainable materials and products with environmental declarations, and not to use chemical products or building materials containing hazardous substance.

Another aim is for the district to be healthy for residents and to provide opportunities for exercise, sport and culture locally.

Sustainable and renewable energy

When construction of Hammarby Sjöstad has been completed, residents in the area will produce half the energy they need. Environmentally friendly energy is used in the form of renewable fuels and re-use of waste heat, as well as biogas products combined with efficient energy use in properties.

In the Hammarby waste water treatment plant, heat is extracted from the treated wastewater and cooling for the district cooling network is obtained as a by-product.

The Högdalen co-generation

At the Högdalen co-generation plant, separated combustible waste is used as an energy source in the production of electricity and district heating.

Another example of sustainable heat supply is that at the Hammarby thermal plant waste heat is extracted from the treated wastewater coming from the Henriksdal sewage treatment plant.

There is also centralized production of district heating and district cooling. Cooling is exchanged with the water circulating in the district cooling network in Hammarby Sjöstad from the cooled treated wastewater leaving the heat pumps of Hammarby waste water treatment plant.

The cooling is thus a clean by-product of district heating production.

There are also several photovoltaic cell installations in Hammarby Sjöstad. The light energy of the sun is captured and converted into electric current in photovoltaic cells. Photovoltaic cells are installed on several walls and roofs in the area. There are also solar panels in one block of buildings for warm water.

The Hammarby model

The Hammarby model is a unique cycle system that integrates energy, solid waste, water and wastewater for homes, offices and other activities in the area.

The cycle is also intended to serve as a model for the development of equivalent technical systems in cities.

All stormwater, rainwater and meltwater is managed locally in various ways.

Domestic refuse is separated into different chutes, including that for the stationary system. The various fractions are then transported by vacuum to containers in a central collecting station.

By doing all these, environmental impact is indeed halved.

By Xuefei Chen, People's Daily Online, Stockholm.

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