Bo01, Malmö, Sweden

Western Harbour riverbank, Malmö Bo01 © atelier GROENBLAUW, Madeleine d'Ersu

Malmö is the third-largest city in Sweden, with a population of 280,000. It is perfectly situated along the straights separating Sweden from Denmark and linking the North Sea to the Baltic. In 2000, Malmö became Sweden’s principal point of entry with the opening of the ‘Öresundsbron’, the bridge over the Sound that connects Sweden to Denmark.

Similar to Hammarby, Bo01 was realised on a former industrial estate/port where the ground was polluted. The Bo01 district is supplied by 100% renewable energy and serves as an example for sustainable urban renewal far beyond Sweden’s borders.

Bo01 represents the first step in the process of transforming the 160 hectares of industrial estate and port. When completed, the area will offer homes to 30,000 people.

© Sébastien Ludwig / Jonathan Perrin

Despite the high density and the urban character, a great deal of attention has been given to highly diverse green spaces and biodiversity. Large numbers of trees, creeper plants, ponds and green roofs mean that every garden is home to at least 50 varieties of plants and offers food for birds. The public spaces, most of which are closed to cars, provide a range of opportunities for cycling or walking along its pleasant routes.

The area is characterised by its use of recycled water, raw materials and waste, and its use of natural resources such as sun and wind energy. By stimulating a great deal of diversity in the architecture without the usual restrictions, the district’s planners have created an unusual laboratory, resulting in an exceptionally pleasant district.

Bo01 City of Tomorrow, Malmö, Sweden © Sébastien Ludwig
© Jonathan Perrin / atelier GROENBLAUW, Madeleine d'Ersu


100% renewable energy

The largest part of the heat for the district is delivered by the ‘Aktern’ heat pump installation. This pump extracts heat and cold for the largest part from a natural underground reservoir and the cold for a smaller part from seawater. In the Western Harbour there are 10 cold and warm wells in an aquifer at a depth of 40 to 70 metres placed in the ground. The water of the aquifer contains a stable temperature of 10-11°C throughout the year and is used in the summer for storing heat and in the winter for storing cold. The cooling part is mainly used for office buildings outside the Bo01 area. In Sweden it is not usual to use cooling for dwellings. The heat production is supplied with the heat from the solar collectors. 1400 m2 of solar collectors are realized on apartment buildings and 200 m2 of this are vacuum collectors. The solar collectors are directly connected to the district heating system, precluding the need for extra storage tanks.

The district heating system has four pipe systems: one for surface water (seawater), one for groundwater and one for district heating and cooling. The electricity for the homes is produced by a 2 MW wind turbine in the north of the harbour area and 120 m2 photovoltaic solar panels on the buildings.

Masterplan Western harbour Bo01, Malmö © Jonathan Perrin

The Bo01 system produces 5,800 MWh of heath, 5,000 MWh cooling and 6,300 MWh electricity. It is designed to provide heat and electricity to 85,000 m2 of living space. The system is connected to the net because the energy consumption of the district is not parallel with the production of the installed renewable energy like wind and solar energy. In the yearly balance the district produces the amount of energy it needs.

To restrict the usage of energy and heat there were contracts made with the building developers. The starting point was that by the houses 105 kWh/m2/year will be used for both energy and heat. Facilities were made so that the residents can track their energy consumption. While the first built houses did not meet these requirements, the later realized homes performed better. International District Energy Association, 2008

Malmö City distribution system 100 per cent local renewable energy © E.ON Värme Sverige
- Source: atelier GROENBLAUW - Madeleine d'Ersu


Rainwater is diverted through above-ground gutters. The rainwater drainage system has been designed to be aesthetically pleasing, with waterfalls, ponds and various elements for buffering and purifying the water. Some of the district’s topography was designed specially to realise a natural rundown to the sea or the central canal. The green roofs help reduce the amount of rainwater to be drained. Each building is surrounded by a gutter that is part of the design of the public space.

All homes have internet connections to enable quick access to water and energy consumption data. Combined with the pleasant and sustainable outdoor spaces, this helps make awareness and a pleasant life in a sustainable district possible.

© atelier GROENBLAUW, Madeleine d'Ersu
© Sébastien Ludwig

© Jonathan Perrin
© Malmö City Planning, Photo by Jan-Erik Andersson
© Sébastien Ludwig