At first glance, Malmö’s Bo01 (pronounced ‘bo noll ett’) neighbourhood could be mistaken for pretty much any other trendy, upscale seaside residential area in Sweden. Tucked behind the stunning Turning Torso, it’s a lovely place to walk and socialise in its cafes and unique outdoor spaces. What makes it infinitely more interesting to me is the fact that not so long ago, it was classified as a “brownfield” due to years of industrial activities associated with the city’s western harbour.
The area’s conversion into a mixed-use development began in 1998 as part of a national housing exhibition that positioned Bo01 as both a modern architectural undertaking as well as a pilot community for new sustainable technologies. The main environmental objectives of the project were to reclaim the contaminated soil and build housing that could be fully powered by renewable energy, reducing vehicular traffic to promote walking and bicycling and increasing biodiversity in the flora and fauna.
One of the most charming things about the neighborhood is the variety of public spaces to explore. A unique goal of the residential development was for everyone who lived there to be able to see water from their home, so canals, ponds and water features were integrated into all the central public spaces. The complex was also designed to mimic a medieval town plan, with meandering paths that eventually lead to the waterfront on the west side, where spectacular sunsets and a great view of the Öresund Bridge are on offer pretty much year-round.