Live01 – Sustainable neighbourhood(?)



Live01 – translation of Swedish Bo01 that stands for a district developed few years ago as one part of redevelopment of Västra Hamnen – West Harbour, a former industrial wharf in a city of Malmo, Sweden. Bo01 as an ecological ´city´ of tomorrow is meant to be an internationally leading example of environmental adaptation of a densely built urban environment.

Bo01 was a multidisciplinary project with various specialists, designers and artists involved in order to deliver a sustainable neighbourhood. The neighbourhood has approximately 600 residential units, offices, shops and other service trade premises.

Vastra Hamnen plan

Vastra Hamnen Redevelopment Plan, Malmo

An exciting city plan provides tall houses on the outskirts that form a wind shelter around a small scale and green interior. There are many small blocks each with different characteristics what provides diversity of the area. There are also few examples of energy efficient single-family houses within the district. New landmark of Malmo was built in the neighbourhood too – The Turning Torso. It is the highest skyscraper in Sweden and all the Nordic countries with 54 stories – 147 apartments and other different facilities and service spaces.

Wind turbines provide all the district´s electricity. Solar panels on the roofs supply a fifth of the heat. Recyclable and organic materials are sorted and contribute to energy production by the city´s biogas plant. Paths and cycle tracks have been given high-priority as has the use of healthy materials in the dwelling and surroundings.

Bo01_v4Bo01 proves that it is possible to supply a whole neighbourhood with 100% locally renewable energy. The neighbourhood offers people to live in a sustainable way, use public transport and economise on resources. Bo01 was not supposed to deliver only environmental sustainability, but also social sustainability in terms of providing diverse residential opportunities, diverse open spaces encouraging community gatherings. This was to be achieved by architecture its self, arts and nature to support emotions and aesthetic appeal.


Local residents claim a larger sense of community in Bo01 than anywhere else in Malmo. But what has happened is that the project failed to integrate different social groups and prevent social segregation since prices of the dwelling are far above average. Residents of Bo01 consist of those healthy, affluent, almost entirely white citizens, but almost 40% of Malmo´s population is foreign-born that live on the other side of the city. In a student district of Malmo they have even started selling t-shirts with graphics of the Turning Torso tower as a raised middle finger and a slogan “Fucking Torso”. A cut of the profits goes to the local homeless shelter.

Because of glass facades of the buildings, especially the ones on the promenade, local residents have feeling of an “exhibition housing” with all the “people pressing their noses against the glass all the time”, says Scott, an American who lives in one of those apartments. The glass facades are also a subject for higher expanses which contradicts the ideas of sustainability.

“A lot of the goals we set ourselves weren’t reached, but I think what’s special about Bo01 is its high ambitions,” says Eva Dalman, an architect who has been with the project from the start. “We’ve worked with all the questions, and even if we didn’t go all the way, we got a long way, and we’re happy to share our knowledge. Maybe some cities can go further, and maybe we will in the next part.”

Bo01 has its pros and cons, as most of projects have. The sustainability in all aspects have not been reached, but it is still a great project to look up to.



Guardian, n.d. Swede dreams. The Guardian.

Malmo Städ, n.d. City of Malmo – [Online]
Available at:

Medea, n.d. Artist-In-Residence Projects Summarized. Medea – Malmo University.


One thought on “Live01 – Sustainable neighbourhood(?)

  1. Hi Sam

    Very interesting post. I have never heard of this place before, but I am an admirer of Sweden.

    In the post you have highlighted that they did not look to integrate it socially and have a very much segregated community of a certain type of class. Do you think that this was an initial goal of theirs, purely and simply to attract the affluent and middle class residents? Or do you think that a project of this type just happens to attract that class of people?

    In my opinion, the technology that they have implemented here is fantastic, in order to get the mix of classes there needs to be some sort of incentives or financial help to the lower income residents. That way it can provide a mix of classes. By doing this in similar developments of this nature there can begin to be a spread of classes, compared to just having on nuclei of middle class.

    In terms of design, this could be delivered by offering lower quality housing from the interior. The exterior would remain the same to reduce obvious differences in class. But if the interior was lower quality then it would reduce the overall cost of the house.

    This is just my opinion, if you have anything you would like to reply with, please do?

    Thanks for the read.

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