Governance

How we work

The Swedish planning monopoly allows municipalities to decide how land should be utilized and developed. Moreover, in Stockholm Royal Seaport the city owns the land which enables it to implement stricter requirements than existing building codes and legislation. When Stockholm Royal Seaport was designated by Stockholm City Council as a sustainability profile area, it was decided that the City Development Administration would lead and manage the project. Structures were established to enable administration- and company-wide working groups, including municipal experts, to collaborate.

The task of the working groups is to review sustainability targets, which are then set as requirements for developers in the same way as they are for the City of Stockholm’s own projects in public open space. The City of Stockholm set requirements included in land allocation- and development contracts. These requirements are reviewed and audited at all phases of a project – from preliminary concepts all the way through to property management.

Developers submit results in an online database which are reviewed by City of Stockholm experts. If requirements fail to be met, a request for deviation from the requirements may be submitted. If such a request is rejected, the requirement in question is registered as not having been met. Working groups continuously evaluate work and results. This, in combination with external monitoring, results in constant improvement to the requirements.

Stockholm Royal Seaport´s working model.

Working group participants are also required to share experiences within their administrations and companies and with other City of Stockholm projects. Continuous capacity development is crucial to meet the project’s high ambition levels. Since 2014, progress has been reported in an annual sustainability report.

Capacity development

A key responsibility in our sustainability work is to contribute to and disseminate knowledge in different ways.

Since 2010, we have run a capacity development programme – a series of seminars for developers, their consultants, and City of Stockholm representatives. The purpose of the programme is to increase knowledge and understanding of sustainability requirements and to highlight best practice and the latest research. The programme is adapted for developers in each phase of the project.

There is also a capacity development programme for personnel involved in planning and implementation of public open space. To encourage innovation and development of clean-tech companies, the Forum for Sustainable Solutions provides “matchmaking” seminars with the aim of highlighting different innovative solutions – products and services – for sustainable buildings and contributes to knowledge building and experience sharing. It is also a way for suppliers and developers to meet. Since the forum was launched in 2012, more than 25 meetings have been held and more than 1,900 people and 100 companies have participated.

Lessons learnt

  • Political will and shared vision is the foundation
  • Holistic perspective enables an integrated planning process
  • Interdepartmental collaboration to avoid silo thinking and to draw on the city´s expertise
  • Systematic work, monitoring and feedback ensures the achievements of goals
  • Capacity building rises understanding and feeds into a shared vision
  • Communication and citizen engagement is key to raising awareness