People worldwide are increasingly aware of sustainability’s benefits, whether through individual experience or a larger context, such as entire cities or townships focused on a community approach to sustainable living.
Stockholm is such a city. Along the city’s western edge, Stockholm Royal Seaport is poised to become an eco living model. Though the seaport currently is an industrial area with several old, crumbling buildings and soil poisoned by petroleum products, plans are underway to revitalize this aging area into a modern eco city. Construction has begun; in a few short years this part of the city will be transformed into 10,000 homes all smart wired to the grid. The homes will require a very small amount of electricity, about 1/2 of what is currently permitted. The residents will generate a small amount of CO2 compared to most of the world: 1.5 tons per year compared to 19 tons per person, per year in the US. The eco city will also feature office space and open spaces incorporated into the master plan, as well as bike paths, public transportation and charging stations connecting residents to the center. Ferry boats and passenger ships will plug into 40 megawatts of available power instead of running their kitchens, lights and electronics on diesel while in port – a world first. Solar panels, biofuel generators and waste heat capture devices should make the region carbon neutral by 2030. The neighborhood may even become carbon negative; greater Stockholm won’t attain carbon neutrality until 2050. Many interesting features of the planned community are related to flexible demand; this is Sweden’s take on demand response. Consumers will receive signals one day ahead regarding pricing and potential carbon emissions for their upcoming energy use. The consumers, or a smart thermostat functioning on their behalf, can then map the following day’s energy strategy accordingly. Also included will be a smart heat grid and biofuel boilers with waste heat capture; copious renewable energy, about 30% of which produced locally; a smart garbage grid from Envac that vacuums away household waste; and a traffic hierarchy that encourages biking and walking over public transportation and electric cars. To learn more about this amazing project click here.