It’s amazing what the founding of a new university, attracting new business and building a 22 kilometre-long bridge between Malmö and Copenhagen will do.
Malmö has done this and more. Sustainably.
Is Malmö and sustainability for real?
Yes. When industry left Malmö to its fate the city started building for the future at Western Harbour, or Västra Hamnen in Swedish. This former heavily polluted industrial area has been regenerated into an attractive residential and business district that runs on 100% local and renewable energy, has low energy housing and buildings and living green roofs. If anywhere in Malmö symbolizes the city’s transformation into a sustainable city it is Western Harbour. Fancy a cycling tour of Western Harbour and some of the city’s other sustainable attractions? Malmö is a fantastic city to cycle in, it’s pancake flat and compact and has some 420 km of bike lane for you to enjoy. Look for bicycle hire schemes in the city and the Malmö Green Map. The best way to experience Malmö, of course is on foot or by bicycle, otherwise you can use public transport.
As well as its sustainable and environmental smarts Western Harbour faces the gorgeous Öresund Sound and is fronted by an attractive boardwalk packed with restaurants, cafés and shops. The locals go for a dip in the brisk, clean waters of the Öresund, maybe you should join them.
The highpoint, literally of the area is the turny, twisty 190 metre-tall and 54-storied Turning Torso building. It is a residential building, so unfortunately you can’t go inside. Shame really, the views must be amazing.
Green roofs and Fair Trade
At Augustenborg Ecocity, about 1 kilometre from the city centre, is the world’s biggest roof gardens. What’s the point you may wonder. As the 2000s approached the Augustenborg residential area was becoming run down and tenants were leaving. The city took an ecological approach to the problem by laying out 10,000 m2 of green roof vegetation to avoid flooding in the area, which was a problem, built expansive green areas and improved the energy efficiency and access to recycling facilities. Apart from being a model of sustainability it really is a very cool place to visit and apparently the residents are very happy about it all as their apartments were renovated (sustainably).
Malmö was Sweden’s first Fairtrade City which means that it promotes and stimulates continual improvements in ethical consumption. Partly because of this, there is a growing number of fair trade restaurants, cafes, clothes shops, design and furniture retailers and other retailers of fair trade products in the city.
Come to Malmö and discover a city that is shaking off its industrial past and striding confidently towards a sustainable future. It has good choice of cultural attractions, gorgeous parks and gardens, a wide range of quality eateries and excellent shopping.
If you’d like to find out more about sustainable Malmö here’s a comprehensive guide from the city council.