Welcome to Mälarporten
We are now creating a completely new district, in one of the most central locations in Västerås. We are building a new travel center, new homes and workplaces, to meet the city's growth and continue to be a good choice for both new residents and companies.
Innovative city development in the heart of Västerås
Västerås is growing. In thirty years, the population is estimated to have increased to 230,000 people. Therefore we need new homes for residents and space for more companies to establish themselves.
With project Mälarporten we are planning for and creating a completely new living district in the middle of Västerås, with housing, workplaces and services. A new travel center will be a landmark and a bridge between the city, Lake Mälaren and adjacent areas. It is the largest and most complex project ever in Västerås urban development, with fantastic opportunities to create an innovative and sustainable district for the future.
We are cleaning up old industrial plots and making room for housing, companies, green areas, restaurants and services as the city grows. Mälarporten will be the first place that travelers meet. A place to be proud of, that benefits both residents of Västerås, the city's businesses and the environment. Together we create our new favorite places - an open and welcoming district for everyone!
The area of Mälarporten
The area of Mälarporten is over 90 hectares in size and has mainly been characterized by industry. We are now transforming the area, with sustainability and innovation in focus.
There are many people on the move in the area of Mälarporten. The current travel center of Västerås is located here. The districts surrounding the travel center have already been developed and people need to transport between different districts. There are several old, and sometimes dangerous, industrial sites in the area, some which are no longer used. Our vision is to make the whole area alive and inviting, a place where people to want to be.
The new travel center of Västerås is the single largest construction project within the project of Mälarporten. Travelling will continue to increase in the future and Västerås will continue to grow. This means we need to build a travel center with good accessibility, good coordination and smooth transitions between all sorts of transportation.
The international architects Bjarke Ingels Group are designing the travel centre. Their mission is to link the city together, and remove the barriers that the train tracks are creating today. The architecture will be a land mark for Västerås, an iconic building that is easy to recognize. It will open the city up and create passages over the tracks that are open and accessible to everyone.
To make people feel welcome from all parts of the city and avoid creating a back- and front of the building, the new travel center will have entrances on both sides of the tracks.
A central puzzle piece in the development of Västerås
The area of Mälarporten is a central piece of the puzzle in the heart of Västerås. An important piece for Västerås entire development. The area connects the city center with Lake Mälaren and adjacent districts, and it gives Västerås a connection to the outside world through the new travel center. The area of Mälarporten will get a completely new design - feeling like a big city as well as a hometown.
The area will be characterized by innovation and new thinking
In the project, we constantly strive to find smart and sustainable solutions to all the different challenges we face, preferably with the support of modern technology. We listen to what the people of Västerås think - especially the young. We challenge both ourselves and the project's other actors to think new and be creative. Together we simply want to create a world-class district!
Goals for project Mälarporten
The goals for project Mälarporten are included in the detailed plan proposal for Västerås new travel center. The goals for the entire project are expressed as following:
- The area will be a clear and obvious link between the city and Lake Mälaren, and contribute to an expanded and strengthened city;
Attractive neighborhood areas for offices, housing, trade and service
Attractive public areas and an attractive and efficient travel center.
- The area must be characterized by accessibility;
Open, easily accessible and accessible to everyone
Contribute to increased accessibility both within Västerås and between Västerås and other places.
- The district must be urban and versatile and contain dense and mixed buildings in a neighborhood structure with varied scale, with contrasts between new and old. The legacy of previous industrial activities must be preserved to give character and identity.
- We will create a district that is an important step on the way in the long-term challenge of being the sustainable municipality.
A long term project
At present, we expect the entire area to be complete around year 2045 – 2050. Mälarporten is one of several urban development projects underway in Västerås. Project Mälarporten is distinguished by how large and complex it is, and how the area will link the city together as the surrounding districts have already been developed and established.
Västerås and the project of Mälarporten have participated in Europan, an international architectural competition for young architects. The competition entries will help to make Mälarporten a vibrant district during the time it is planned and built.
What are we hoping for?
With the help of the competition, we want to get valuable input on how we can make Mälarporten a pleasant and exciting place from now and until the time the area is completed. Today, the area is deserted and impersonal, we want to replace that with life and encounters between people. The fact that we focus on the expansion period also means that we can easily test different solutions and see what gives the greatest effects to create the feeling of a living city. Mälarporten is a project with high ambitions and a participation in Europe is well in line with the objectives of the project.
Why is the theme of living cities important for Mälarporten?
The theme of living cities is an interesting theme for Mälarporten, especially considering the status of the project right now. Our competition task is focusing on the time from today until the completion of Mälarporten, which is estimated to take 25 years.
25 years is a long time, and the area needs to be attractive and alive during the entire process. Those values cannot wait. Throughout the construction process, the area must be attractive and vibrant with social aspects and sustainability in focus. Putting the focus on people is very important for the project and it is important that this is done from the very beginning. The development of the area will happen step by step over time and Västerås wants to offer the possibility for people to enjoy this location by Lake Mälaren as soon as possible.
Already a great many people need to cross the area. Västerås is looking for proposals that show possibilities for how to make use of the dynamics in a constantly ongoing construction. The area successively needs to be filled with with the new neighborhood’s core values. When places are inhabited and visited, people can meet, and new stories and memories are formed.
The transformation should develop out of people’s needs. Västerås wants to develop the area together with the inhabitants and let them be cocreators. Children and young people are a designated target group both for visiting and discovering the area as it is today, for growing up here, and for choosing to move here when they grow up. It will not only be the people that will give life to the area. Today there is no greenery and the area consists of brownfields. In order for the city to become alive and sustainable we need to convert these areas and introduce greenery and biodiversity. With the power of nature we can reconnect urban and territorial fragments, promote movements in between, and create a city that is resilient to climate change.
What questions should the competition answer?
“How can we create a living city throughout the planning and construction process? How can we establish values that are important to people early on and let them be a part of the transformation?”
The competition task is to develop flexible solutions, that create attractiveness and activity for those who pass through and visit the area today, as well as for those who move in who move in during the early stages of development.
It is important that the solutions are connected and linked to a unifying theme that makes the area feel like a city district from the beginning. The proposals need to show a clear concept that builds on and develops the identity of the area.
Well-planned temporary architecture, buildings, parks and places contribute to creating a safe and attractive neighborhood and induces commitment and pride during the long and complex construction period. The winning proposal will create the platform and context for many conceivable activities during several years ahead. The projects will also be a tool to inform and create dialogue around the development of the area together with the citizens of Västerås. This will be an arena for culture, where people can meet again after the pandemic and create an interest in discussions about architecture and sustainable development.
Organization and contact
A project as large as Mälarporten requires large resources and many skills. The city of Västerås leads and manages the project, but we work in close collaboration with a large number of actors. They include Jernhusen, the Swedish Transport Administration, Klövern, Kungsleden, Hemfosa, ABB, Samhällsbyggnadsbolaget, Mimer and Mälarenergi.
If you have questions about project Mälarporten, you are welcome to contact us at email@example.com