Arenastaden, centrepiece of the new city outside Stockholm

Gamla Stan, the Klara, Ostermalm and Sodermalm together with a few other islands in the archipelago form the traditional conception of Stockholm. However as the city continues to attract people for jobs and a life, the boundaries of what is defined as Stockholm continue to stretch further and further. Consider that Stockholm has a severe housing shortage and yet the business can’t stop growing and the advertisements continue to try and entice professionals to move to Stockholm.

At the heart of the major developments in Stockholm, is the Solna district. Solna is an example of a different fate that can lie for a former industrial town once last fumes of factory smoke have disappeared, standing in stark contrast to the hip lifestyle district that is Grünerløkka in Oslo.

Solna is technically a city as Stockholm is that happens to be located in Stockholm county, but it is, for all intents and purposes an extension of Stockholm and merely another city. Within Stockholm, nothing is developing more quickly that Solna. Residential projects are being built all over Solna to house the population that is moving to Stockholm-Solna for work and play, with housing for at least 10,000 more dwellers by 2020. For a small district this is a huge growth.

The district of Hagastaden located at the border of Solna and Stockholm is located barely 20 minutes from the Stockholm city centre. And the vision of the municipal council is to transform this Hagastaden district into a world-renowned district for life sciences, taking advantage of the location of the Karolinska Institutet, Karolinska Hospital, Royal Institute of Technology and Stockholm University that are all located within the Haga area.

This transformation of the Hagastaden district is part of the physical infrastructure of a life science resurgence in Sweden after a massive tumble at the close of many pharmaceutical firms in the early 2000s. But the Solna district is not just a transformation of science, in fact the showcase of Solna’s development is the creation of Arenastaden, located a 90 minute ride away from a third of the entire Swedish population.

Arenastaden includes the national stadium – the Friends Arena,

work premises for 15,000 workers and the largest shopping mall in Scandinavia – the ‘creatively-named’ Mall of Scandinavia.

Housing almost 250 shops, the Mall of Scandinavia is the metropolitan Sweden that opens till the sun goes down like most major cities in the world.

The shops open till 9pm unlike other parts of Stockholm where shops close at 6pm, for a city-boy this is an amazing improvement – it means you can actually get stuff after leaving the office. A mall may be a mall, just as this one it, what is important about this mall is that it represents the centrepiece of the new city developing outside of Stockholm.

This is the economic future of Stockholm.

Watch out for it.


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