Back to overview


Capital of Sweden

Stockholm is the capital and the largest city of Sweden and constitutes the most populated urban area in Scandinavia with a population of 851,155 in the municipality (2010), 1.37 million in the urban area (2010), and around 2.1 million in the 6,519 km2 (2,517.00 sq mi) metropolitan area (2010).

Stockholm has a metro system, local trains, tram and bus lines. It has installed a congestion charge in its inner city area and has been very active on the promotion of cycling as well as it public transport.

Overall Grade: B- 82%

Pie Chart 82
  • Graph Reduction Success Local Emissions
  • Graph Low Emission Zones & Bans of High Emitters
  • Graph Public Procurement Clean Cars
  • Graph Non-Road Mobile Emission Sources
  • Graph Use of Economic Incentives
  • Graph Traffic & Mobility Management Incl. Modal Split
  • Graph Modal Shift to Public Transport
  • Graph Modal Shift to Walking & Cycling
  • Graph Transparency & Communication Policy


Reduction Success Local Emissions

The number of days exceeding the limit value at the Hornsgatan traffic station declined from 80 to 65 between 2005 and 2009. At the same time the background station located in Södermalm reported for both years 1 day in exceedance only. The air quality problem in the city comes almost exclusively from traffic. Emissions due to traffic improvement slightly, but concentration levels are nevertheless much above limit values.

Low Emission Zones & Bans of High Emitters

There has been a low emission zone (LEZ) for heavy goods vehicles already since 1996. The zone covers the entire city centre. Diesel trucks and buses over 6 years old are required to meet at least Euro 2 standards. Diesel trucks less than 8 years old need to meet either Euro 2 or 3. Euro 4 vehicles will be phased out in 2016 and Euro 5 trucks can be driven until 2020. As the LEZ addresses only part of the total vehicle fleet, it has a limited scope.

Stockholm – Traffic and Air Quality

Public Procurement Clean Cars

The City’s own vehicle fleet consists of 100% alternative fuel vehicles where this possibility is available. Although the city has an intensive programme on greening it’s vehicle fleet, we did not gain information on measures that are effective in reducing soot and particulate matter, i.e. retrofitting programmes or emission standards.

Non-Road Mobile Emission Sources

There is currently no existing large-scale measure. However, the municipality includes non-road mobile machinery in public procurement proceedings where possible.

Use of Economic Incentives

The city introduced a congestion charge as a trial period in 2006 and permanently in 2007. Journeys in the city area are subject to a fee varying between 1 and €2. The Stockholm inner city zone is active on weekdays from 6.30 AM to 6.29PM. As a result, incoming traffic decreased by 18%. Furthermore, all on-street parking lots in the city are managed and rates vary between 2 and €4 per hour. Other parking spaces in the city are subject to time limits. The city is pursuing a strategy aiming to shift from on-street parking to private off-street car parks. Currently a new traffic planning strategy is being debated.

Traffic & Mobility Management Incl. Modal Split

Speed limit on the majority of roads is 30km/h, accompanied by enforcement and communication measures. The city has a carpooling programme with almost 170 vehicles and is planned to be expanded. There are information services for travel planning, including online campaigns & free trial tickets. Also, the city offers travel plans for schools and businesses. Real-time information on public transport and traffic situations is available on the web and peak-hour traffic situation is broadcasted on local radio. Real-time information is being disseminated, e.g. through email or text message.

The modal split shows that between 2004 and 2010, 14% of Stockholm inhabitants moved away from motorised individual transport to public transport and cycling. Those two air quality friendly modes of transport have increased by 9% and 3% respectively.

Modal Shift to Public Transport

Stockholm has a well-developed public transport system. Over the past few years new direct bus lines, increased metro capacity and frequency, an expansion of park & ride and a new tramway network section were introduced. Real-time information was developed. In trial periods, the integration of local ferries has been tested. Plans for the next years include the expansion of the light railway, more capacity on the commuter rail network and expansion of the inner city tramway. However public transport is not responsibility of the city but the region. Even though investments into public transport are fairly high with about €900 million/year, the strategy does not define goals or targets. Also, the public transport system is in a state of privatisation, which is valued very critically by the ranking.

Modal Shift to Walking & Cycling

Within the last 10 years the cycle lane network increased by 12.6%. In the city, dedicated bicycle lanes are often separated from other types of traffic lanes. The lanes reserved for bus and taxis are free for bikes, as are one-way streets. The city added new cycle lanes, enhanced maintenance, introduced safety measures, 24 h service-depots, pump-stations, a journey planner for cyclists, paper maps and has led several campaigns. There is a bike sharing programme with 1,000 bikes over 83 stations and it is planned to be expanded. However, it is only active during the warm period of the year. Bicycles are allowed on commuter trains and light rail (not on inner-city buses, metro, suburban trains), although there are restrictions in peak hours and at the central station. There are new plans to promote cycling with a new plan planned for adoption in 2011.

Transparency & Communication Policy

There are different campaigns aiming at the promotion of public transport and cycling. A website offers online reports on annually measured air quality compared to EU limit values, exposure of PM10 in the Stockholm municipality and health effects of PM10. General information and contact details are easily available on the website. The city has worked towards public involvement in decision making.

Uppsala County Air Quality Management Association

Response to Questionnaire

The City replied to the questionnaire.