The Bo01 high-density mixed-use development in Malmö, Sweden, was based on innovative planning procedures and products. A very broad definition of sustainability required new approaches in collaboration by the city, developers, planners, and designers. The outcomes of the project included outstanding aesthetics in the plan and the individual elements, as well as spaces that foster social interactions at the city, neighborhood, and block scales. A density of 26 residential dwelling units per gross acre balances the 50% open space dedication. Comprehensive planning for energy, water, and waste systems resulted in significant improvements, especially in energy production (100% is from renewable sources) and solid waste management. A wind turbine provides most of the electricity while a district-wide system supplied by a geothermal storage network provides almost all of the heating and cooling resources. Measures taken to replace and sequester toxic soils on the brownfield site were coupled with the concept for the stormwater system. The surface stormwater system provides a model of effective design, due in part to high permeability requirements. While admirable by American standards, the energy efficiency of most of the 70 buildings failed to achieve the project goals. Similarly, on-site biodiversity measures achieved mixed results. The cost of the residential units precluded a mix of residents of various economic levels typical of the city.

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Associate Professor, University of Idaho, Department of Landscape Architecture,