ICLEI European Secretariat

ICLEI European Secretariat



Member in the Spotlight

Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm sits on Sweden’s south-central coast, where Lake Mälaren drains into the Baltic Sea. The Swedish capital is spread across 14 islands, is located at the heart of Scandinavia, putting all of the region’s major cities within reach.  The city operates with a holistic vision, one which combines growth with sustainable development for the benefit of its almost 850,000 citizens. Transport emissions are relatively low, and all trains and inner city buses run on renewable fuels.

Many years of successful environmental work have turned Stockholm into one of the world’s cleanest and most beautiful cities. Nearly every resident (more than 90 percent of the population) lives within 300 metres of a green area. There are extensive plans for developing new green spaces in the future or improving existing ones, and creating more beaches for swimming.

Stockholm was the first European Green Capital, winning the 2010 edition of the competition. Learn more about the city's activities here.


Sustainablity focus: Model Green Urban District

Just south of the city centre, the Hammarby Sjöstad residential area is a perfect example of a good, sustainable city environment. Hammarby Sjöstad is an exciting new district in Stockholm where the city imposed tough environmental requirements on buildings, technical installations and the traffic environment from day one. The area is still developing and is to be completed in 2015.

The neighbourhood has its own eco-friendly system for handling energy, waste
and water. Everybody who lives in Hammarby is part of an eco-cycle model that handles energy, waste, sewage and water for homes and offices. One example is the incineration of combustible waste to produce both electricity and district heating; another is the use of waste heat from treated waste water to heat water in the district heating system.

The neighbourhood now serves as an example of environmentally sustainable city development worldwide, even serving as inspiration for the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco City in China. With experiences from Hammarby Sjöstad, Stockholm is now building a new environmental profiled city district, Stockholm Royal Seaport, where holistic solutions and systematic thinking are the results of a close collaboration between governments, developers, policy makers and industry.

Fast facts:
  • The city has cut greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent (this is 37 percent per inhabitant) since 1990, corresponding to an annual reduction of 890,000 tonnes CO2 equivalent
  • Stockholm has adopted the objective of being fossil fuel free by 2050
  • 80 percent of heat demand is covered by district heating with co-generation of electricity
  • 80 percent renewable fuels in district heating system
  • 20 percent fewer cars pass through the inner city due to congestion charging
  • 40 percent of cars sold in Stockholm region are clean vehicles
  • 79 percent of citizens travel by public transport in peak hours and 60 percent on a daily average



  • Stockholm is a signatory of the Covenant of Mayors
  • The city was the winner of the 2010 European Green Capital Award
  • Stockholm is home to the world’s largest district heating/cooling network
  • The city hosts 2,700 clean-tech companies
  • Stockholm has introduced a congestion charging system in the inner city 
  • There are seven nature reserves within city boundaries (and more than 200 in the surrounding area), one cultural reserve and one city national park


Mayor Sten Nordin"The Stockholm model builds upon the principle that environmental aspects have to be integrated everywhere and at all times. Improving our environment, minimising our environmental impact and reducing our carbon emission levels are issues that need to be handled on a broad scale. We have set some very ambitious targets, and we all need to be involved to be able to achieve them.”

Sten Nordin,
Mayor, City of Stockholm



ICLEI and Stockholm: Stockholm has been an ICLEI member since 1991 and is one of the founding members of the organisation. The city has been a member of ICLEI's Cities for Climate Protection Campaign since 1996 and is a participant of the European Sustainable Cities and Towns Campaign having signed the Aalborg Charter and Aalborg Commitments.

http://international.stockholm.se [In English] and www.stockholm.se [In Swedish]