Stockholm is a city known for its waterways. Founded on an archipelago of some thirty thousand islands, bodies of water are rarely more than a stone's throw away in the Swedish capital. An appreciation for lakes, rivers, and nature in the fullest sense runs high in Swedish sentiment. It's not by chance, after all, that Stockholm is world-leading in air quality, access to green spaces, and sustainable urban planning.
That green mentality recently challenged engineers tasked with the design and construction of a new six lane bypass running 21km (more than 13 miles) north to south along the rapidly expanding city's western edge. How can you tackle a task that big whilst keeping the environmental impact to an absolute minimum?
Floating islands are common in Minnesota; it’s the size of this one that’s causing all the fuss. Sue Galatowitsch, a wetland ecologist at the University of Minnesota, says the island likely weighs at least 1,000 tons and could extend 30 feet below the water. Technically, it’s a floating bog. A natural assemblage of peat moss festooned with cattails and tamarack trees, the bog is more than four acres across—that’s about 64 tennis courts. “A bog that size,” Galatowitsch says, “can kind of do whatever it wants.”