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Capital of Sweden

Stockholm is the Swedish capital and the country’s largest city. It is the most populated urban area in Scandinavia with a population of around 868,000 in the city and 1.4 million in the urban area. Stockholm has very good system of metros, local trains, trams and buses. The municipality installed a congestion charge in its inner city area and they are very active in the promotion of cycling and public transport.

Overall Grade: B- 80%

Pie Chart 80
  • 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 Promotion of Public Transport
  • Graph Promotion of Walking & Cycling
  • Graph Transparency & Communication Policy


Reduction Success Local Emissions

Since 2008, Stockholm’s air quality stations have registered a continuous reduction trend in both PM10 and NO2, for example at the traffic measurement station Hornsgatan. The annual mean for PM10 decreased from 36.8 µg/m³ in 2008 to 25.7 µg/m³ in 2012. NO2 at the same time decreased from 46.1 µg/m³ to 42.6 µg/m³. However, the recorded levels of both pollutants were still in breach of the EU limit values (exceedance days for PM10 in 2012 were not). The high levels of NO2 and PM10 at the traffic station are almost exclusively from traffic. In comparison, the background station Södermalm recorded very low levels of both PM10 (13.4 µg/m³) and NO2 (11.9 µg/m³)

Low Emission Zones & Bans of High Emitters

In Stockholm, 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 II standards. Diesel trucks less than 8 years old need to meet either Euro II or III. Euro IV vehicles will be phased out before 2017 and Euro V trucks before 2021. As the LEZ addresses only part of the total vehicle fleet, it has a limited scope. However, the timetable for phasing out Euro IV & V shows the continuous future development of this measure. Interestingly, the timetable for transport measures mentions the introduction of an LEZ with a ban on fossil fuels for sometime between 2025 and 2035, a glimpse into the future of local standards for urban motorised transport.

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 for greening its vehicle fleet, there was no information on measures that are effective in reducing soot and particulate matter, i.e. retrofitting programmes or emissions standards. Stockholm’s public procurement targets are developed in conjunction with its climate and energy 2012-2015 policies. Consequently, the targets for the fleet in place are: in 2016, 75% of the bus fleet will be powered by renewable fuels, 90 % before 2021 and that the fleet will be free of fossil fuels in 2025. Furthermore, the city also promotes the use of electric vehicles in its municipal fleet; in 2014, about 9% of the fleet was electric.

With regard to air quality targets, the information was limited, however the city has set requirements that new HGVs most comply with Euro IV and from 2016 onwards with Euro V.

Non-Road Mobile Emission Sources

Since 1999, Stockholm has run a programme to reduce emissions of off-road engines. The programme applies to a variety of engines, ranging from construction machines, wheel tractors and excavators to lawn mowers and hedge cutters. Contractors have to meet certain environmental requirements to be eligible to bid for municipal contracts. The contractor has to either use only new engines that meet the latest emissions standards, or to retrofit older engines with a certified emission control device. The requirements are a good step towards cleaner non-road machines, as they require at least a certain emission performance, however not yet with regard to particulate filters.

Additionally, the city’s port has several measures in place to improve its air quality. This includes differentiated port fees as well as long-term environmental targets, including 0% CO2 emissions by 2025. Several measures to promote the use of LNG have also been undertaken.

Use of Economic Incentives

The city of Stockholm applies many economic incentives to its transport. On the one hand, it permanently introduced a congestion charging zone 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. Also, 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. There are also incentives for cleaner vehicles. For example, in order to incentivise electric vehicles, the city exempts them from both the congestion charge and parking fees.

The city has a long-term road map for transport in Stockholm which estimates what measures are needed to halve car travel in the city, including further development of the congestion charge, parking management and more incentives. On a more short-term timescale, the city’s timetable on transport measures contains both the introduction of more restrictive parking rules and development work on more differentiated congestion charges between 2015 and 2019.

Traffic & Mobility Management Incl. Modal Split

Stockholm’s strategic targets are determined in particular by its ‘roadmap for fossil-fuel Stockholm 2050’. Its current modal split shows a share of motorised individual transport of 25%, public transport of 30% and the soft modes (cycling and walking) of 45%. The modal split thus features only a relatively low share of individual motorised transport, but a high share of sustainable transport. The 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 which it plans to expand. There are information services for journey planning, including online campaigns & free-trial tickets. Also, the city offers travel plans for schools and businesses.

Promotion of Public Transport

Stockholm’s Urban Mobility Strategy 2012 is an agreement between the Swedish government, the City of Stockholm, the county council and the other municipalities in the county. It determines large-scale developments up to 2021. It featured the extension of light rail by 2013, a new tunnel for commuter trains called Citybanan by 2017 as well as further light rail lines to Solna and Kista by around 2018. Other measures include new tram lines, metro extensions and other measures.

Also, the city further prioritises buses and trams and crossing signals and from 2015 intends to develop a new strategy on attracting more passengers to public transport. However, it has to be noted that the public transport is not the responsibility of the city but of the region. Furthermore, there are tendencies towards privatisation in the public transport system, which is seen very critically by NGOs.

Promotion of Walking & Cycling

Stockholm has ambitious and well-funded plans to increase the share of cycling, with dedicated targets up to 2030. Information collected by the European Cyclists Federation showed that the number of cyclists increased by 76 % between 2003 and 2013. In 2013, the modal share of cycling was 9%. Stockholm wants to increase this share to 12% by 2018 and at least 18% by 2030. In terms of investments, the city has earmarked 115 million euros for new infrastructure up to 2018. In 2013 the city had around 760 km of cycling paths, including bicycle lanes that are often separated from other types of traffic lanes. Also, the city has operated a bike sharing system since 2006 that was expanded in recent years and serves around 900,000 withdrawals annually. The city provides for safety measures, 24 h service-depots, pump-stations, a journey planner for cyclists, paper maps and has led several promotion campaigns.

European cyclists federation 2013:

Transparency & Communication Policy

There is an extensive regional website on air quality with background information on, for example, pollutants, their legislation and their health implications as well as detailed information on monitoring stations. Current pollution levels as well as a forecast section can be accessed, and there is a database for hourly, daily and annual pollution levels. Maps are only marginally used and only sometimes in an interactive way. An extensive database for various reports is accessible. A phone and email contact to the department is available.

Uppsala County Air Quality Management Association:

Response to Questionnaire

The City did not reply to the questionnaire.