Blending climate neutrality, technology and accessibility to create a smart tourist experience and improve quality of life for its community
Helsingborg is one of Sweden's oldest cities with close cultural and historical links with Helsingör, Denmark, which is situated a short 20-minutes ferry ride away across the Öresund. The vibrant city, located in the south of Sweden, prioritises climate neutrality, technology and accessibility to create a smart tourist experience and improve quality of life for its community.
In 2012, Helsingborg set itself a 2035 goal to make the city a creative, vibrant, united, global and balanced city for its residents and businesses. To achieve their ambitious vision, the city established a comprehensive quality-of-life programme focused on sustainable development, placing people at the core, with enhancements that directly impact the overall quality of life.
Championing Climate Neutrality
Helsingborg's was selected as one of Europe's pioneering cities in the drive towards climate neutrality by 2030. Through participation in initiatives like the Viable Cities and Cities Mission of the European Union, Helsingborg collaborates with other Swedish and European cities, businesses, academic institutions, and residents to pave the way for a climate-neutral future.
A notable accomplishment that sets Helsingborg apart is its complete transition to fossil fuel-free public transport since 2018. The city's buses are powered exclusively by renewable fuels, including biogas and certified renewable electricity. Additionally, as early as 2009, regional train services switched to renewable electricity. Historic ferries that connect Helsingborg to Helsingör in Denmark, which have been operating since the mid-19th century, shifted to electric power in 2018, resulting in a substantial 65% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.
Oceanhamnen: the future of sustainable living
In 2022, Helsingborg created a new, centrally located district out of an abandoned harbour area. The Oceanhamnen community is a testament to the city's commitment to sustainability and circularity, both for its residents and visitors. Notably, the district utilises innovative and pioneering three-pipe technology to segregate water flows for different purposes. This approach offers possibilities for biogas production, reduced water consumption, and cleaner fertilizers. Below the depths of Oceanhamnen, an artificial reef promotes marine biodiversity; smart solutions allow the city and nature to live in harmony. There is also a marine colony for mussel farming; soon, restaurants along the quayside will be able to serve mussels grown just below in the sea.
Empowering the next generation
Helsingborg’s understands that children are an essential part of the green transition and incorporates these important values in a playful and exciting way for younger residents. In 2022, the city introduced four superheroes to engage and educate children about the importance of protecting the planet. These engaging characters have not only resonated with locals but also with visitors, enhancing the city's appeal. To connect with the history of the city, historical landmarks such as Kärnan, the famous 13th century tower, make use of VR technology to help younger visitors understand the historical context. In an app, children can immerse themselves in the medieval period around Kärnan and be part of life through a game.