Guest post by David Johansson, Head of Real Estate, Humlegården Fastigheter AB and Chairman of the Board, Hagastaden Property Developers
In 2007, the business community, four universities, the City of Stockholm and Solna and Stockholm County Council were united in their shared vision for an area that was at that time an eyesore in terms of infrastructure and poorly utilised land in central Stockholm. We are talking about the Norra Station district, strategically located, with a large concentration of research and enterprise activities in the life sciences in the vicinity. The conclusion of this agreement was that a brand new city district should be built here, with world-leading life science research and enterprise activities. And the area would be called Hagastaden – a world-class science city!
Today, nearly nine years after the birth of this vision, I can only marvel at the far-sightedness of it and confirm that we have made good progress. As early as this year, the new university hospital New Karolinska Solna will receive its first patients, and the Karolinska Institutet has been given an acclaimed auditorium. New office and laboratory buildings are being constructed that will be home to thousands of life science jobs. A decision has been taken to build a new metro line, with a dedicated station in Hagastaden that will be ready for use in 2020. In addition, a densely built-up residential district will appear, with all the services, restaurants, culture and recreation facilities that go with it. Once the whole district is finished, around the year 2025, it will contain about 6,000 homes and 50,000 jobs. At that point the total investment for the area will have amounted to over EUR 7 billion.
There is no doubt that Hagastaden will be a world-class science city. A report from the respected think tank Brookings, in collaboration with JP Morgan Chase and the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, shows that Stockholm is one of the most productive regions in the world. A focus on a well-educated workforce, a high level of innovation, numerous multinational companies, modern infrastructure and high-quality universities have all contributed to its success.
If we include the nearby Uppsala region, there are six renowned universities, with 82,000 students. Overall the region houses more than half of Sweden’s life science companies, with over 20,000 employees and an annual turnover of over EUR 19 billion.
Hagastaden is in a unique situation, with the business community being within easy walking distance of the Karolinska Institutet and the University Hospital. With an optimal mix of housing, workplaces and research, we are creating excellent conditions for combining work and private life. All that remains is to congratulate the companies and people who have already established themselves in Hagastaden, or are on the way to doing so.
A warm welcome to a world-class science city!