Nature Based Solutions - Implementation Models Database

Vegetable gardens, green roofs & walls, waste management

Private and public funding to adapt Western Harbour in Malmö

A short description of the NSB

Since the early 1990s, the city of Malmö has been experienced negative effects of climate change due to rising temperatures and excessive rainfall, dealing with various flood-related problems (the most problematic issue has been the frequent overflow of sewage systems). Therefore, the city aimed to realise climate adaptation measures by integrating it directly in the design of urban development projects. It has chosen to realise its sustainability ambitions (including climate change adaptation) by focussing on co-creation with private developers through the organisation of so-called ïstakeholder partnership processesÍ. This allows for an effective mix of private and public funding. The approach entails the initiation of dialogues with private developers from the very start of an urban development process. Through the dialogue a sustainable urban development model is co-created for a specific site. In this way the city makes sure that the envisioned sustainability ambitions take shape in the construction of the urban development without having the financial responsibility for its execution. In addition, the city is able to identify through the dialogue whether additional (public) funding needs to be obtained to realise a higher level of environmental standards.Western Harbour is an example of an urban development project in Malm_ in which stakeholder partnerships are utilized. This former brownfield was redeveloped into a sustainable ïeco-cityÍ. The development includes both climate adaptation and mitigation measures (i.e. green roofs, green areas and stormwater management measures). One of the first projects in Western Harbour consisting of housing development included the following phases: Phase 1: design of a Quality Program which consisted of a set of strict sustainability guidelines developed together with a selection of developers. Phase 2: dialogue with the stakeholders. It involved all the private developers attached to the area as a buyer or owner of land. Through the dialogue the stakeholder partnership developed 5 to 6 sustainability goals for the area. Phase 3: evaluation to check whether the developers have lived up to their promises from the previous two phases.The Quality Program is a document developed specifically for the Western Harbour case. The document included a common ground for developers, a minimal quality level and requirement standards for architecture, landscape, energy, water, waste management and biodiversity. It outlined a set of guidelines that were developed together with all stakeholders to ensure that high environmental standards were maintained. The program was developed through a set of meetings that are referred to as the ñCreative Dialogueî to emphasize its open character. The Quality Program served as a stringent base for the consecutive phases of the project.Two programs were developed to foster site sustainability. The first is the Green Space Factor requirement and the second is the Green Points system. The green space factor is a 1994 City of Berlin innovation that essentially defines the percentage of the development parcel that must be permeable. The Green Points list is another measure developed during the Creative Dialogue sessions and incorporated in the Quality Program to ensure that developers incorporate site sustainability measures but allow them to do so in a creative and context sensitive way. In particular, developers agreed to incorporate at least 10 of the 35 green point options within each development parcel. Some of these 35 Green Point Options are: All the buildings have green roofs, A section of the courtyard is left for natural succession, At least half the courtyard area consists of water, Only recycled construction materials are used in the courtyard, All rainwater from buildings and hard surfaces in the courtyard is collected and used for irrigation, No more than five trees or shrubs of the same species, All walls, where possible, are covered with climbing plants, No surfaces in the courtyard are impermeable (all surfaces are permeable to water), All non-paved surfaces within the courtyard have sufficient soil depth and quality for growing vegetables, The courtyard has a certain colour (and texture) as the theme, Etc.

NBS Implementation context
Location Malmö (Sweden)
Status (from - to) Ongoing (since 2001)
NBS Scale Object (building, etc.) Neighbourhood
NBS Impacts scale Object (building, etc.) Neighbourhood City
Urban density/ Soil consumption High (dense city center)
NBS Typology

NBS Uban Challenges
Climate Issues Climate mitigation
Climate adaptation
Other 0
Urban water management and quality Urban water management and quality
Flood management
Other 0
Air Quality Air quality at district/city scale
Air quality locally
Other 0
Urban Space and Biodiversity Biodiversity
Urban space design
Urban space management
Other 0
Urban Regeneration and Soil Air quality at district/city scale
Other 0
Resource efficiency Food, energy and water
Raw materials
Other 0
Public health and well-being Acustic
Quality of life
Other 0
Environmental justice and social cohesion Environmental Justice: Recognition
Environmental Justice: Procedural Justice
Environmental Justice: Distributional Justice
Environmental Justice: Capabilities
Environmental Justice: Responsibility
Social Cohesion
Other 0
Urban planning and governance Urban planning and form
Governance in planning
Other 0
People Security Control of crimes
Control of extraordinary events
Other 0
Green economy Circular economy
Bioeconomy activities
Direct economic value of NBS
Other 0
NBS Stakeholders & Governance

The stakeholder partnership process is initiated by the urban planning department. It generally consists of a series of meetings and workshops. The size of the partnership varies depending on the project (a group of 30 people is considered a small partnership). Such a group consist of 8-10 developers who each bring 2 representatives on average. Other participants are usually specialists from the energy company, the municipal waste company or other relevant (municipal) agencies. The composition of experts varies per meeting depending on the topic that is discussed. Private partners may also bring in additional specific experts, such as architects or consultants. So far the partnerships have not included any NGOs or citizens, although this would also be a possibility.

Initial actors (Leaders) Governments Local government/municipality
Involved actors Governments Local government/municipality, Market Private sector Social enterprises / social entrepreneurs
Ecological scale Local scale green area
Governance model CLUSTER 2: New Public Management Public_private partnership (PPP)
NBS Financial aspects

The costs for the city to implement a partnership process are limited. They include the time spent by policy officers managing the process and the provision of resources to facilitate meetings and workshops. Private developers are responsible for all the costs relating to the development of the plots. Even the roads, parks and streets on the site, which are developed by the city, are included in the price of the building plots and are therefore indirectly paid by developers. The costs of the development of the building plot itself are completely covered by the developers. The stakeholder partnership process can offer an opportunity to private partners to reduce costs by conducting shared studies. In the case of Western Harbour a sustainability coordinator was employed by the municipality and the developers to make exhaustive energy calculations. The costs involved in this hire were split between the municipality and the developers. These costs would have been much higher in case each developer would have needed to pay a coordinator separately. In the case of Western Harbour the city applied for funding from both national and European sources to improve energy efficiency, realise green roofs and organise events to raise awareness (i.e. higher level standards). A total of SEK 250.000.000 (approximately €26.300.000) in national funding (Local Investment Fund) was awarded to the city for the implementation of various environmental projects within Western Harbour. The projects ranged from a sustainability exposition to support developers in the realisation of green roofs. The subsidies were also used to construct more energy efficient buildings. The involvement of the number and type of stakeholders in the funding application varies case by case. The application involving national funding to acquire energy efficient materials for the Western Harbour development was created in cooperation with the developer. In the case of funding for green roofs, the city completely managed the application and the developers applied for the funding from the city. This difference in approach was mainly due to the fact that the decision to apply for funding came later into the development process. The European funding application for the energy system was developed by the city in cooperation with the energy company. The selection of stakeholders to involve in the funding application is usually made by the city based on the input of the stakeholder participation process. This allows the city to make more specific funding proposals. The city always acts as the initiator and lead writer of the funding application.

Global (estimated) cost of the project more than 5M€ (€26.300.000)
Financing mechanism CLUSTER 1: Public financing,CLUSTER 4: PUBLIC-PRIVATE Private Finance Iniative PFI
NBS Business Models Archetype
Technological Non applicable
Social Adopt a stewardship role
Organisational Develop scale-up solutions
NBS Success and limiting factors
Process enablers
Knowledge Awareness Climate Change
Governance Co-creation and participation Tools to build a common vision
Economy De-risking Sharing risks Public de-risking strategies
Process inibitors
Knowledge Uncertainty Operational unknown Performance unknown
Governance Disconnection between short-term actions and long term goals Establishment of long term responsibilities,Institutional barriers Lack of flexibility of decision making structures Bureaucracy and unsupportive legal frameworks
Economy Budget constraints NBS not a priority
IM Keywords
  • Public_private partnership (PPP)

  • Local scale green area

  • Public financing

  • Private Finance Iniative PFI

  • Adopt a stewardship role

  • Develop scale-up solutions

References European Environment Agency – EEA (2017). Financing urban adaptation to climate change. Report 2. Link: Dalman E., Månsson M. and Hansson L. (2011). ‘The creative dialogue’ for Flagghusen. Malmö City Planning Office. Gary Austin. CASE STUDY AND SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT OF Bo01, MALMÖ, SWEDEN. Journal of Green Building, 8(3): 34-50. Link: Stefan Anderberg (2015). Western Harbor in Malmo. In: ISOCARP Review 11. Pp. 210-227. Link: