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Förbifart Stockholm, Sweden


On the 3rd of September in 2009, the Swedish government decided to allow the construction of a 21 km long highway (whereof 17 km will be tunnel) known as 'Förbifart Stockholm' in Stockholm, Sweden. The plan to build a highway between E4/E20 by Kungens Kurva in the south, under Ekerö and towards Häggvik in the north can be traced back to the early 1990s where the project was known as Yttre Tvärleden and was a part of a larger infrastructure program known as Dennispaketet.

A strong opposition to the project has grown since it is expensive, it emphasizes a future with reliance on cars instead of public transportation, and because of the fact that the major part of the highway would be in a tunnel where exhaust would be trapped. This has led to concerns about health and safety issues for people using the highway.

The construction start for the project was supposed to be in 2012 but has been delayed. EJOs, citizens and academics now hope that it will never take place, and instead that the 4,3 billion dollars, which is the estimated cost of this project, can be put towards expanding and improving the infrastructure for public transportation in Sweden. (1-4)

Basic Data

Name of conflict:Förbifart Stockholm, Sweden
State or province:Södermanland/Uppland
Location of conflict:Stockholm
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)

Source of Conflict

Type of conflict. 1st level:Infrastructure and Built Environment
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Urban development conflicts
Transport infrastructure networks (roads, railways, hydroways, canals and pipelines)
Pollution related to transport (spills, dust, emissions)

Project Details and Actors

Project details

The estimated length of the six lane wide highway is 21 km, where 16 km would go through road tunnels. It is expected to be finalized at the earliest year 2020. (2)

Level of Investment for the conflictive project4,300,000,000: estimated cost
Type of populationUrban
Affected Population:880,000: inhabitants of Stockholm
Start of the conflict:09/2009
Relevant government actors:Trafikverket, Naturvårdsverket, Länsstyrelsen
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Klimataktion Stockholm,, Alternativ Stad,, Naturskyddsföreningen Stockholms län,, Stockholms Naturskyddsförening,, Söderorts naturskyddsförening,, Mälaröarnas naturskyddsförening,, Nacka naturskyddsförening,, Kollektivtrafikant Stockholm,, Cykelfrämjandet,, Lovö hembygdförening,, Föreningen Rädda Lovö, Arbetsgruppen Rädda Grimstaskogen,, Fältbiologerna Stockholm, Uppland. Gotland,, Gröna kvinnor,, Södertörns miljö- och utvecklingsförening,, Nej till Västerleden, Ingenjörer för miljön,, Klimax,, Nätverket Järva Framtid,, Gemensam Välfärd,, Djurgården Lilla Värtans miljöskyddsförening,, Human powered vehicles Sweden,, Alarm Stockholm,, Drottningholms BBB, Ekologiska Lantbrukarna,, Föreningen Nej till Västerleden, Föreningen Rädda Järvafältet, Gröna Bilister,, Hesselby Byalag,, Koloniföreningen Stugängen,, Kungshättans Sportstugeförening,, Miljöförbundet Jordens Vänner,, Naturskyddsföreningen (riksorganisationen),, Paradiset Hanvedens Vänner,,,, Praxis, Sollentuna Naturskyddsförening,, Stockholms Vandrareförening,, Svenska Turistföreningen,, Stockholmskretsen, Symbios,, Naturvårdsverket (governmental agency),, Statens Institut för Kommunikationsanalys (SIKA) (governmental agency) (no longer existing)

Conflict & Mobilization

IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:International ejos
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of mobilization:Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Development of alternative proposals
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches


Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Global warming, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Health ImpactsPotential: Accidents, Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Deaths


Project StatusPlanned (decision to go ahead eg EIA undertaken, etc)
Proposal and development of alternatives:The money that now are planned to finance Förbifart Stockholm should be used to improve and expand the Swedish public transport system and infrastructure.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:Despite the fact that Förbifart Stockholm is met with a lot of resistance from citizens and EJOs as well as various academics and experts, the project is still planned. At this point it is too early to say what the outcome will be.

Sources & Materials

Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

Miljöbalken 1998:808 (Environmental Law)

Sveriges Miljömål: Begränsad Klimatpåverkan (National Environmental Goal)

(1) Motorvägsmotståndet, Jordens Vänner

(2) Bakgrund, Stoppa Förbifart Stockholm

(4) Därför säger vi Nej till 'Förbifart Stockholm', Aftonbladet, 2008-09-15

(3) Förbifart Stockholm Ökar Förtida Dödsfall, ETC, 2011-05-27

örbifart-stockholm -ökar-förtida-dödsfall

Meta information

Contributor:Linda Dubec
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:423