Over the last years Malmö has received many international awards for its focus on sustainable urban development and pilot projects such as the European housing exhibition Bo01, the Western Harbour, the redevelopment of Augustenborg, as well as the major development of the Hyllie area, with its smart grid, solar energy and passive housing. Malmö was also appointed the first Fairtrade City of Sweden. Malmö is working actively for sustainability initiatives and is the first city in Sweden that has publicly announced the commitment to implement the SDG’s.
Being a coastal city, Malmö is also at the forefront when it comes to the impact of climate change and costal resilience as well as the wellbeing of our oceans. In Malmö sustainability is a top priority, and all SDGs are an integrated part into the city’s governance and management system. The city works with green bonds as on part of sustainable financing and has defined a green framework, which specifies the environmental and climate-related criteria for the city’s investments and in terms of public procurement also takes into account social and equity aspects.
Malmö is a growing and global city with a heterogenous population as migration and refugee paths have been shaping the city with housing needs, conditions for a new life-start and at the same time meet local needs. Despite the recent success story of Malmö’s revitalization, Malmö is witnessing deepening inequalities, and these structural changes are reflected in the housing landscape through processes of segregation, residualisation, gentrification and displacement. This pushes several challenges to the city.
- Affordable Housing for all
The Swedish welfare system aims to provide decent housing for everyone, this is the reason why the public municipal housing company (MKB) is crucial in discussions and output for the city’s strategic thinking. The goal is to provide housing for all kinds of households in low-energy and climate friendly buildings, high in physical availability and with child-friendly environments. The land allocation policy ensures that 10% of newly produced rental apartments shall be made available to Malmö residents who receive financial assistance and an equivalent amount must also be sublet for the municipality’s social housing activities. BID (Boende Integration Dialog) is a formalized cooperation of city and local property owners for making poorer areas of the town safer and more attractive, by local initiatives.
- Sustainable Food for all
Since 2010, Malmö has had an ambitious policy for sustainable development and food. Today, we have reached approximately 70% organic food purchases and have decreased our emissions by approximately 30% from 2002 levels. The school meals in Sweden are fully subsidised and contribute to 30% of pupils’ daily nutritional intake. The school meals system is therefore crucial for creating an equal food security and increasing healthy diets among pupils. Malmö still faces challenges: a study among pupils in elementary schools in Malmö has also shown that there are concerns regarding the number of children not eating breakfast before school, skipping school meals and the high intake of sugary food due to gender and social-economic gaps, depending on where they live in Malmö. The city is tackling these challenges by focusing on children and young people through the EU Horizon2020 project SchoolFood4Change. By working closely with schools, school restaurants, pupils, caregivers and the local community we can work to make sustainable food for all possible.
- Equitable and Socially Sustainable Economy
With a total waste generation of 473 kilos per inhabitants its clear that Malmö must undergo a transition to a more circular economy where spillage and waste is minimised. The city of Malmö has long experience of working with circular solutions: in procurement, with industry and with residents; the world’s first large-scale automatic sorting plant (SIPTex plant) opened in the harbour area in 2020. Malmö is also taking steps towards a socially sustainable city by creating sharing spaces: residents and visitors can use this smart map to explore the sharing economy in the city. STPLN is a space, open to everyone, to work inclusive, experimental and sustainably on creative, innovative ideas in arts and culture, technology and design, non-formal education and circular practice. In CTC (Communities That Care), the city collaborates with civil society to identify local challenges of problematic social behaviour, identify social risks, and find solutions together; all with the goal of creating good and equal conditions for children and young people to grow up in, as well as to contribute to social sustainability and equal health.
Malmö was recently selected as on of the EUs 100 climate neutral cities by 2030. This honour and challenge means that the city is currently finalising the development of a climate roadmap that includes action plans and financial plans regarding the city’s investments for the next couple of years to reach climate neutrality by 2030. Malmö has become Sweden’s gateway to the world. A place where people come to start afresh and fulfill their dreams. A place with room for different cultures, for exchanging ideas. Unique dialogue and partnership models have been the key to success.