Kolkajen in the Stockholm Royal Seaport area is a development plan in the City of Stockholm with high sustainable urban development ambitions.
Kolkajen is a development plan in the Stockholm Royal Seaport (RSP). RSP is the City of Stockholm’s most ambitious urban development area in terms of climate, energy, waste and green space. The detailed development plan for Kolkajen includes around 1600 apartments, 2 kindergartens, 3000 square meters of commercial spaces, squares and parks, and a water front.
Kolkajen addresses the need to develop more sustainable urban areas in the cities, and how to incorporate the developers in doing so by using available planning tools in an innovative mode. Action programmes with sustainability demands are customised to each phase of the development, from the RSP comprehensive programme of sustainable urban development. The action programmes are addressed to the builders and sets the terms for the legal agreements that will be formed between the municipality (who owns the land) and the builder. In this way the demands can be more ambitious than the Swedish building regulations (BBR). No developer can get a land allocation if they do not agree on the terms set up by the municipality’s action programme, but they are free to chose which sustainability demands they find most useful for each project if the basic level has been reached.
The stakeholders are the builders/developers but also the co-workers, the politicians, the researchers and the inhabitants of the area. The beneficiaries are the citizens of Stockholm and the city itself.

Resources needed

The project has required a lot of resources in developing the work tools for the ambitious sustainability demands, however the implementation is done by private developers/builders who must agree to follow the sustainability demands to get a land allocation.

Evidence of success

The success lies in the holistic approach of sustainability where factors such as energy, sustainable mobility (including bike friendly and walkability planned infrastructure as well as charging stations for EV:s), green structure, waste, transportation, construction materials – all are considered. The sustainability accounting done every year measures and monitors the results. There is also a linkage to research and innovation with several research studies done on site.

Potential for learning or transfer

The possibilities for learning from this project are many, as it covers many aspects of urban sustainability. Here are some suggestions on aspects of the practice that can be transferred to other organisations:
The importance of a strong vision and goal for the sustainability aspects in urban development, here formalised in a Program for sustainable urban development.
The invention of tools for binding the developers to a sustainability contract when allocating (selling) land for construction.
The implementation of several new solutions and ideas for waste management, mobility index, construction logistics, sustainable construction materials etc.
The follow-up of the whole area to monitor its going in the desired direction.
The possibility to use the knowledge obtained in research projects and pilot projects in this area, when developing other areas further on.

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Main institution
City of Stockholm
Stockholm, Sweden (Sverige)
Start Date
January 2017
End Date


Ulrika Palm Please login to contact the author.