The Coastal City of the Future

This blog was written by Rasmus Fredriksson, project manager, Environmental Department, City of Malmö

Malmö is a coastal city with a 43-kilometer coastline. Proximity to the sea has always been a foundation for Malmö’s development. Historically the city has grown by building new industrial and port areas on land reclaimed from the Öresund, the Baltic Sea sound between Sweden and Denmark. In recent decades, a better understanding of the biological value of the sea and the ecosystem services it provides has grown, and the focus has shifted to preserving and developing Öresund’s valuable shallow areas.

Development of the sea and coast

Malmö’s maritime area, together with the rest of the Öresund, constitutes a unique and sensitive area, and the City of Malmö has a responsibility to preserve it. Malmö’s sea and coast have a great untapped potential that the city can develop and benefit from. A lot is already being done – but the city can and must do even more.

Through 2023, Malmö is following an action plan called the Coastal City of the Future. The content and initiatives of the action plan span many different city departments, but together they work to strengthen Malmö’s role as a sustainable coastal city of the future. The action plan contains measures to preserve marine biodiversity and improve water quality. It also gives Malmö’s residents and visitors a better opportunity to get closer to the sea and coast, and it improves the city’s ability to cope with rising sea levels by developing a strategy for coastal protection.

“Our work with Malmö as the Coastal City of the Future is important. If we keep up the pace, Malmö’s residents will in the future live in a city with better water quality at the beaches, better opportunities for fishing along the coast and in the canals. They will also be able to learn more about Malmö’s marine areas and its biology,” said Rasmus Fredriksson, project manager and coordinator for the Coastal City of the Future.

Citywide synergies

By following the action plan, employees from different departments in the City of Malmö who had not previously worked together are now approaching sustainability challenges from different perspectives, which has led to several synergies and coordination gains. The action plan has strengthened Malmö’s approach to coastal and maritime issues, and this way of working is now spreading to other parts of city operations.

The Coastal City of the Future is part of the City of Malmö’s work with the UN’s global Agenda 2030 goals. We operate locally to make an impact globally.

Contact: Rasmus Fredriksson, project manager, Environmental Department, City of Malmö,

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