In a few years time, the light from Västra Hamnen will be reflected in the sea. Facing the Öresund Bridge and Denmark, Västra Hamnen is visible from far and wide, standing proud and proclaiming its presence.
Detailed plans are currently being drawn up for the development of this centre of learning, business and housing, which is on the very doorstep of the old Gamla Staden district. The initial stage in the reshaping of this former shipyard area concurred with the 2001 European housing expo Bo01. An obvious starting point is the fine cultural heritage left by Kockums the shipbuilders, which will be exploited to full advantage.
A general plan for the whole of Västra Hamnen has been drawn up. This illustration indicates some of the more important visions that are goals for the area.
The City of Knowledge
Västra Hamnen will be a site for a new type of business enterprise. Heavy industries are being replaced by other businesses. The city of knowledge is blossoming and, within a few years, several thousand new people may be gainfully employed within the area in close cooperation with its exciting neighbour, Universitetsholmen and the new university. Character buildings, sites and monuments will be preserved and will form a link between the past and the future.
Housing by the sea will be important. Västra Hamnen has a unique location by the sea and is close to the fantastic Ribersborg beach and all the exciting sites in the area.
A huge area. There's plenty of space for schools, service facilities, parks and playgrounds in sheltered locations. Västra Hamnen is just a short walk away from all the communication and service facilities, culture and recreation of the compact city centre.
The old Gamla Staden district is its closest neighbour. The area is adjacent to the most attractive parks and recreational areas of Malmö, including the Malmöhus Castle, and it enjoys a magnificent view in all directions across the sea.
Just a short distance to the Central Railway Station with the planned City Tunnel and the ferries to Denmark. The list of advantages with living here could almost go on forever.
Encounter with the sea
Västra Hamnen heralds Malmö's encounter with the sea. Universitetsholmen with the university and its new city buildings will be the intermediate link. Old and new streets are growing together and the city's most important parkway is continuing through and around Västra Hamnen.
A tree-lined boulevard, which forms a long, unbroken roof of tree tops, links the area around Malmöhus Castle with the sea furthest out to the north.
This tree-lined route will not just be a place for walks and exercise. It will entice with various activities, such as cafés, games of boules, ice-cream stands and many more good reasons that will cause you to stop in your tracks.
An east-to-west canal route is being built at right angles from the Bo01 expo area to the huge Kockums dry dock, with the 180-metre high Calatrava residential building as the predominant feature.
These intersecting main routes and the surrounding water and park landscape will form the basic framework for the new Västra Hamnen district. New, smaller districts, each with a character of its own, will grow up in between: The Bo01 area that is already underway is Wihlborgsstaden.
A city district for everyone in Malmö
Västra Hamnen will be a city district for everyone in Malmö. Thoroughfares, streets, squares, parks and open spaces all provide a welcome and form a link with the streets in the city today. Interesting and safe coastal and wharf areas are taking shape for the public to enjoy.
Older and beautiful buildings, such as the former foundry and nearby buildings next to the bascule bridge, are being preserved and will appear to their best advantage if they are used for club, cultural and leisure activities that can be enjoyed by everyone in Malmö. Even this list could continue indefinitely.
A united effort is being made to develop Västra Hamnen as the sustainable city. Top of the list are environmental concerns and the conditions that are necessary for creating a healthy ecological development, which it is hoped will play a major part in shaping the special profile of this city district. Västra Hamnen thus has all the basic essentials for becoming an exciting residential area close to the centre of Malmö, and a powerful and dynamic hub for the development of economy and learning.
One important goal has been to establish a robust and easily-understood structure that is linked to the very soul of the area. For instance, it is felt that the long-term perspectives will be able to help place the enormous, former car plant and other large buildings in the right context.
Just as important has been to concentrate on some of the smaller districts. This was essential for the Bo01 project and for the sale of the SAAB factory.
The future vision for Västra Hamnen can be summarised as follows: Västra Hamnen is being transformed from a heavy-duty industrial area to a diversified conurbation. There will be space for attractive homes, businesses, schools, service facilities, parks and green oases.
Great emphasis is being placed on the area's proximity to water, thereby reviving the contact that this city once had with the sea.
Everyone will enjoy easy access to the seafront. Scaniaparken is being regenerated and a stronger link will be formed with Ribersborg beach. Västra Hamnen will be an environmentally-oriented district of the future. Great heed is being paid to its history.