Umeå is the largest city in North Sweden with more than 125 inhabitants with an average age of 38. Umeå is a centre of education, technical and medical research in Sweden, with two universities and more than 39.000 students. The climate is subarctic, with short and fairly warm summers. Winters are lengthy and freezing but considering the latitude, very mild due to the influence of the Gulf Stream.
Main environmental challenges faced by the city
Umeå has high ambitions for the environment. One of the largest challenge to become climate neutral by 2030 is CO2, air pollution caused by car traffic. Due to the arctic climate and geographical location, this is also made worse due to inversion during cold winter months.
NBS implemented or planned
The green healing wedge - healing the city and its people. As the green wedge is running from one edge of the city to the other edge, it will become a perfect green corridor for people to move from one side of the city to the other in a green and healthy corridor. By making the green wedge coherent, it will be an important green corridor where we will handle the stormwater. The trees and forests in wedge will also be important in improving air pollution. The trees on the wedge will be an important noise reduction from the road. Water purification, pollination and flow control are other environmental benefits of the wedge.
Umeå is also well known in Sweden for its many birch tree alleys lining the street space. Originally they were planted to prevent fire from spreading across the street space, but now they serve as air purifiers while also counteracting heating of the street areas, thus reducing the urban heat island effect and also improving the air quality.