Malmö, Sweden – Trend Analysis on the Future of City Centre

What role will our city centres play in the future? A Trend Analysis for the City of Malmö

Find the report here (in Swedish)

Today, city centres across the globe are currently in the midst of yet another transformation, largely propelled by the rise of e-commerce and further accelerated by the lasting effects of the pandemic. The traditional focus on shopping as the core function of city centres has diminished as more people opt for online purchases, and the reduction in visitors due to health concerns and remote work has necessitated a reevaluation of the city centre’s purpose.

Like so many other cities, the City of Malmö (Sweden’s third largest city) is currently in the process of setting up a new city centre strategy for how to create a vibrant, attractive and inclusive city centre in the future.

The task

As a first step in this process, Future Place Leadership was hired to provide insight and analysis as a foundation for the strategy. Our work included:

  • A historic overview of how cities (and the city of Malmö in particular) have changed and evolved
  • A trend spotting analysis to help identify and understand emerging patterns, preferences, and behaviours of residents, businesses, and visitors alike – both in Sweden and internationally
  • A forecast based on current trends, exploring how Malmö’s city centre can remain relevant in the era of digital shopping and remote work, emphasising the importance of an flexible, adaptive urban space that caters to a wide range of interests and needs.


The output

It is clear that the emphasis is shifting towards offering unique experiences, cultural events, and community engagement. City centres are becoming vibrant hubs that prioritise enriching experiences, fostering a sense of belonging, and promoting cultural exchange, aiming to attract both residents and visitors seeking a diverse array of activities beyond mere transactions. Malmö’s commitment to sustainability, culture and economic vitality makes it well-equipped to foster a city centre that not only adapts to the challenges of the present but also thrives in an ever-changing future. In doing so, Malmö city centre can become a vibrant and interconnected community where residents of all backgrounds can live, work, and flourish together.

This report is meant to serve as a source of inspiration and practical guidance, helping Malmö tailor its city centre strategy to its unique context while leveraging the tested strategies of peer cities to foster a city centre that is not just resilient but also a dynamic and thriving hub for its residents and visitors alike.

Does your city or municipality need help with reviving the city centre? Get in touch!

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