There’s a lot of talk about eco-cities and we’ve mentioned at least two of them (Dongtan + Masdar). But an unassuming Swedish suburb, known as Hammarby Sjöstad, has received high praises as a legitimate sustainable community. In Hammarby Sjöstad, houses use half the energy and water than normal Swedish properties. Plus, all the homes are built to sustainable standards and will house roughly 25,000 people by 2015 (11,000 units).
In this community, families live in apartments, prefabrication is the norm rather than the exception, and buildings are going up at an unusually quick pace. Also, rather than using a natural, pristine greenfield site for development, the community is built on a former industrial and harbor brownfield site. Suburb of the future?
The model, or eco-cycle model, used to handle energy, waste, and water is known as the Hammarby Model (pdf – image below). This models shows how sewage processing and energy systems interact and how refuse is handled. It also illustrates the added-values society gains from modern sewage and waste processing systems.
What’s more, the public transportation system has helped decrease car use by 10% — early planning and integration prevented residents from getting used to cars. We’re talking about a city that considers every aspect of life and pushes the envelope on sustainable development.