Located in Kronoberg County in southern Sweden, Växjö has a population of around 65,500 (86,000 for the greater municipality). Växjö has long been a role model for environmental action in Sweden. It was the first city in Sweden to use biomass for district heating, one of the first to start working on UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and it committed to being climate fossil fuel free over 20 years ago. It is now the first Swedish city to win the European Green Leaf title.
Biodiversity and Land Use
Växjö has a large amount of protected natural areas and green space. The city has developed strategies to conserve these areas while also increasing their accessibility to citizens through the creation of cycle paths and walkways. Växjo is also developing urban agriculture to ensure the city’s inhabitants have access to local and organic produce.
Växjö regularly engages with its citizens in its sustainable transport planning and has introduced a range of measures to improve mobility in the city. Cycling and walking are prioritised and encouraged, for example, through creating new cycle paths. The city also made improvements to its public transport system, increasing the number of buses by 40% and switching to a biogas fueled fleet.
Quality of Air and the Acoustic environment
The improvements in Växjö’s transport system will also positively impact air quality and the acoustic environment, as traffic is one of the main sources of air and noise pollution in the city. Växjö also adopted an Action Plan against Traffic Noise for 2015-2020, which includes measures such as using silent asphalt, and having noise-related requirements in public tenders.