In Stockholm Royal Seaport, previously closed industrial areas are being transformed into an open and attractive part of Stockholm. A starting point for urban planning is places for everyday life, such as parks and squares, as well as public and private services.
More life and activity around Bobergstorget
Transforming a former gas purification building into a lively and playful museum for trams and buses at Gasverket, the Stockholm Transport Museum opened in May. Shortly thereafter, Bobergstorget was completed, further revitalising the area. The square gained even more life with the opening of a bakery, restaurant, and offices in the former workshop building.
- So far, we have built 4 squares, 11 parks and playgrounds, 1 outdoor gym, 1 elementary school, 10 preschools, 1 sports hall, and 1 library.
- 8 buildings in the Gasverket area have been transformed and given a new life and purpose.
- 3,160 dwellings, of which 52% are rental apartments. In total, 8% are student accommodations.
- 16% of public open space has social values equivalent to 26m2 per dwelling.
From closed industrial area to vibrant district
In 2000, the decision was made to start the development of the Stockholm Royal Seaport area, transforming it from an industrial, brownfield area close to the water and city centre into a vibrant, mixed-function part of Stockholm. The proximity to the Royal National City Park and national interests contributed to a lengthy planning process, and the construction of the first phase began in 2011.
The buildings in the area feature a mix of different heights, housing sizes, and tenure types. This variation is also reflected in their design and functions. Ground floor business premises are located along main streets and in some cases face squares and parks. Grocery stores, schools, sports halls, libraries, preschools, and other services in the vicinity make everyday life more convenient. Paths through the blocks connect semi-private residential courtyards and provide entrances to destinations such as Gasverket.
Stockholm Royal Seaport is situated adjacent to the Royal National City Park. The green structure plays a significant role in providing a distribution network for oak-living species and amphibians. Parks and plantings along the streets offer both recreational and ecological values, connecting walking paths and providing opportunities to move throughout the area and further towards the northern and southern Djurgården and Gärdet. Parks also serve as essential complements to preschool yards.
Gasverket: a new destination and focal point
Energy was produced at Gasverket for more than a hundred years. In 2011, the site was closed down, and remediation work began. Several of the industrial buildings and brick gasometers were designed by architect Ferdinand Boberg. Gasverket is now being developed as a local centre and visitor destination through the meticulous renovation, reuse, and repurposing of the buildings.
The culturally and industrially significant buildings are complemented by new buildings, such as Bobergsskolan. The school, which opened in 2019, marked the beginning of a new era. Since then, more businesses have moved in, including Berghs School of Communication and Klätterverket. Recently, Bobergstorget was completed with seating, tables, and a water mirror next to the former workshop building, which now houses a bakery, restaurant, and offices.
We're committed to preserving strong architectural qualities in Gasverket, both through the refurbishment of the existing valuable buildings and the addition of more modern structures. Bobergsskolan and the Stockholm Transport Museum are excellent examples of this. As the area continues to develop, urban life will gradually grow and evolve into a destination for a wide range of people, featuring a cultural venue, hotel, and commercial spaces.
The careful work of renovating, reusing, and giving the buildings new life and functions has been recognised and has received several awards and nominations. One of the brick gasometers, Gasklocka 2, is being transformed to function as a new cultural venue in a few years. To preserve the volume and space in the historically valuable building while also maintaining the brick walls, the stage is planned as a freestanding structure inside the old one. Gasklocka 1 will be restored and converted into a hotel.
Join us for a tour through Gasklocka 2. The cultural arena has 1,750 seats. Under the dome, a banquet hall for 1,000 people is planned.
Christina Salmhofer, Sustainability Strategist, and Staffan Lorentz, Head of Development at Stockholm City Development Administration, explain the history of the gasworks area in Stockholm Royal Seaport and how it is being transformed into a vibrant and attractive part of Stockholm.
Malin Claesson, Regional Manager at CA Fastigheter, explains building energy performance and the importance of selecting the right materials in order to ensure that the buildings meet a variety of requirements.
Trevor Cooper-Williams, Co-Owner of Klätterverket, delves into the history behind the old gas metering building, which has been transformed into a rock-climbing facility in Gasverket.
Source: Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance
Well-being and safe surroundings
As the area grows with an increasing number of residents and businesses, construction and development continue. By focusing on a diverse range of functions and amenities, the area becomes pleasant and safe all year round. So far, most development in Stockholm Royal Seaport has been residential, with just over half of all dwellings being rental units and slightly more than one in ten being student housing. As the expansion reaches Ropsten and Värtahamnen, the proportion of commercial spaces will increase. The current percentage of commercial spaces is around 20 per cent of what has been built to date.
Publicly accessible open spaces with social values, known as "sociotopes," such as parks, squares, quays, and natural areas are planned for the area. Several new meeting places for children and young people have been provided, including libraries, sports halls, activity squares with parkour, playgrounds, and park recreation areas.
Since 2008, the City of Stockholm has conducted four extensive residential surveys in the area, most recently in 2019. The aim is to gain knowledge about how residents feel and their attitudes and awareness of the development plans for the area. The next survey will be carried out in 2023.
The 1% rule for art is an economic principle to increase access to art, which means that approximately one per cent of the city's total budget for urban development is allocated for public art. In Stockholm Royal Seaport, Stockholm Konst and developers have installed around 30 artworks in public buildings, open spaces, and on development sites.
Stockholm Konst is part of the City of Stockholm’s culture administration and is responsible for the commissioning and purchasing of art for Stockholm’s indoor and outdoor public spaces.
Interactive map: Discover the proximity to everyday sevices
Interaction between city and port
Historically, the waterfront has primarily been used for transportation and businesses related to the port. The development of Stockholm Royal Seaport aims to bring urban life closer to the water as well as strengthen the port with a new entrance to Stockholm. The waterfront location provides excellent opportunities for quayside promenades and public spaces, where diverse content and thoughtful design contribute to making the area an open and attractive part of Stockholm. An important strategy for urban development has been to concentrate port activities, thereby freeing up space. This has been achieved through the expansion of Värtapiren with a new terminal, relocating container handling from Frihamnen to a newly built port in Nynäshamn, and the decommissioning of the oil port at Loudden. Both Värtapiren and Frihamnspiren remain crucial to Baltic Sea traffic.
Södra Värtahamnen consists of three phases, and currently, the expansion of Saltkajen is underway, a crucial step for developing new buildings. There will also be a new pier and promenade along the water. The "Valparaiso" phase is centrally located near the port, Värtabanan railway, and Norra Länken motorway and plays an essential role in connecting Hjorthagen, Gärdet, and other parts of the port. A mixed-function area with offices, retail, hotel, cultural venues, and residential properties is planned here. Work on structural planning is ongoing.
National interests present challenges
The location of Stockholm Royal Seaport, near an international port and important infrastructure such as the Värtabanan railway and the Norra länken (Northern Link motorway), presents complex issues that need be considered. National interests encompass issues of particular national significance and are incorporated in urban planning. The development of the southern parts of Värtahamnen is dependent on the relocation of a portion of the Värtabanan railway yard, as well as the potential expansion of the Östlig förbindelse (Eastern Link motorway). The question of how noise from ships in the port can be addressed affects where and how much housing can be built.
Overcoming barriers and connecting the city
One of the main goals of the planning of Stockholm Royal Seaport is to create a robust and interconnected urban structure, with streets that are clearly connected to the city centre and that buildings, streets, squares, parks, and green spaces are linked.
One challenge is to bridge different physical barriers such as major roads, railway tracks or elevation changes at strategic locations. Concentrating the harbour's operations has allowed the development of the city to come closer to the sea at multiple locations. The development of Valparaiso, Värtahamnen, Frihamnen, and Loudden creates important connections to the adjacent urban districts and natural areas.
The area has several active and significant functions for the supply of energy and goods. To prevent these areas from being perceived as unsafe industrial environments, the city also places demands on the design, paths, and lighting of these areas – balancing functional needs with the need for safe surroundings and aesthetics in urban design.
Gasverket, which was previously a closed industrial area between Hjorthagen and the Royal National City Park, no longer serves as a major barrier. The development of Hjorthagsparken has helped to connect new and old Hjorthagen and enhance social qualities to increase movement between the two areas. The development of Kolkajen creates connections between Gasverket and the bridge to Ropsten.
In Ängsbotten, which consists of two blocks of residential buildings and smaller premises, planning is awaiting the findings of a noise study on the Värtabanan railway. In the meantime, the site is being used temporarily for paddle courts and a skate park.
Key events in 2022
- The urban development project worked intensively to address challenges related to barriers, national interests, and the interaction between the city and the harbour. An investigation was conducted to determine whether it is possible to reduce the area defined as a national interest for the Östlig förbindelse (Eastern Link motorway) in Frihamnen.
- In September, the Swedish Transport Administration decided to close down the eastern rail yard in Värtan, conditional on the construction of a new rail yard in Lunda and the rebuilding of the western rail yard in Värtan. The decision has been appealed.
- Together with Ports of Stockholm, work was done to investigate how residential buildings can be placed near the harbour, based on planning and building laws and the environmental code, while not restricting the harbour's operations. The approved detailed development plan relates to offices and was created to facilitate future detailed development plans and agreement processes.
- Remediation work from the oil tanks at Loudden is almost completed. In-depth studies have been conducted for the continued program work. The study "Connections and Entrances, Loudden-National City Park" has been completed.
- Preparatory groundwork was carried out in Värtahamnen, among other things, as preparation for the expansion of Saltkajen. Convea was also appointed by the City of Stockholm as the primary developer for Valparaiso and will develop a structural plan together with the City of Stockholm.
- Work is ongoing to extend a temporary pedestrian and bicycle bridge over the Värtabanan railway to better connect Värtahamnen and Gärdet.
- The development of a new proposal for the structural plan of Kolkajen continues. A part of Kolkajen, Terrasskvarteren, have been separated into a detailed development plan of its own, which is currently under review.
- Parallel architectural assignments for the design of Stadsljus (City lights), which replaces gasometers 3 and 4 for OBOS, continue with the City of Stockholm.
- The development of Hjorthagskransen continues, and during the year, over 100 rental apartments were allocated to Gimle Bostad and Nrep.
- A temporary skate park was opened in Ängsbotten, and the temporary park in Brofästet was completed. 115 temporary planter boxes were placed in Hjorthagen to create intermediate meeting places and Jockum Nordström's artwork “Triumfbåge för halta” (Triumphal Arch for the Disabled) was inaugurated.
- The Östermalm District Administration conducted a safety walk with the participation of the Traffic Administration, Development Administration, local police, and residents.
Achievements for 1. Vibrant city
1.1 An equal city
52% of the apartments in Stockholm Royal Seaport are rental apartments and 48% are tenant-owned apartments. 8% are student accommodation.
Apartment sizes vary as follows: 10% (one-room apartments), 33% (two-room), 29% (three-room), 23% (four-room), and 4% (five-rooms or more)
In all land allocations, there is a requirement to develop concepts for a norm-critical housing design allowing a greater diversity of people.
1.2 Active daily life
To date, 4 squares, 11 parks and playgrounds, 1 outdoor gym, 1 primary school, 10 preschools, 1 sports hall, and 1 library have been built.
16% of , which corresponds to 26m2 per dwelling. It is 11m2 green oases per resident.
To date commercial space accounts for about 20%.
According to a resident survey from 2019, residents are extremely or fairly satisfied with access to:
- pre-schools and schools 26%.
- culture activities 12%.
- supermarkets 64%.
- restaurants, cafés etc. 47%
- squares and meeting places 72%.
- sports and leisure activities 42%.
1.3 Create spaces that are attractive and safe all day, all year
To date, 11 safety walks have been completed.
The resident survey from 2019, shows that the proportion who feel safe in the area has decreased from 91% in 2016 to 79% in 2019, men and women's responses do not differ.