Scandinavians are recognized as being on the cutting edge of environmentally-friendly innovation. Nowhere is this clearer than at Hammarby Sjöstad, a community of apartments in Stockholm designed to reduce carbon footprint and generally enable clean living. Large windows make the most of sunlight, especially in the summer, and carefully planned logistics – down to trash pickup schedules – lead to lower emissions and a reduced environmental impact.
Once fully developed, the collection of 11,000 homes, which can be purchased or rented, take advantage of new technological developments to enable conservation without thinking. The consumption of water, for example, is lowered by showers that mix air with water to create the feeling of deluge without the environmental implications. Even raw sewage is converted to energy.
The flaw in most green initiatives – behavior modification – is present at Hammarby Sjöstad. Technology goes only so far, and people have to provide the final push. But, the residents surveyed said that living in there has inspired many to change their lifestyles.
The development is still new and remains a work in progress. The project is expected to be completed in 2015. But, early signs are positive. The home of the future will not resemble some Disneyland fantasy, it seems. Rather, it will reflect Scandinavian sensibility and an effort to keep the planet alive a little longer.