In recent years, wooden buildings have reached new heights, with soaring timber skyscrapers completed or underway in countries like Norway, Switzerland and Australia. Singapore, meanwhile, can lay claim to the largest timber building in Asia with a sprawling 468,000-square-foot college campus that opened in May. Now, real estate developer Atrium Ljungberg has announced plans to build the world’s largest “wooden city,” which will be constructed in Sweden’s capital, Stockholm, from 2025. Stockholm Wood City will feature 7,000 office spaces and 2,000 homes in the city’s southeast, and will offer “a vibrant, urban environment with a mix of workplaces, housing, restaurants and shops,” according to a press release. Set across 250,000 square meters (2.7 million square feet), it has been described by its developer as the “world’s largest known construction project in wood.” The project is being built in Sickla, a neighborhood already home to more than 400 companies, according to Atrium Ljungberg, which owns a retail park on the former industrial site. The developer describes the area as a “five-minute city,” claiming that workplaces, homes, leisure facilities and amenities are all within a five-minute walk of one another. Timber has been championed as a sustainable alternative to concrete and steel, with ambitious new construction projects utilizing wood beyond single-family homes and modest residential or office buildings. A mixed-use development of this size would, however, be “a historic milestone for Swedish innovation capability,” said Annica Ånäs, CEO of Atrium Ljungberg, in a statement. Although some experts have raised concerns over fire risks posed by wooden buildings, advocates argue that engineered timber burns at a relatively slow and predictable rate, making it safer than many conventional steel structures. Timber is also a “carbon sink,” meaning that carbon dioxide removed from the air by trees is stored in the material rather than being returned to the atmosphere. Wooden buildings have been found to enjoy better indoor air quality and can be constructed with significantly lower carbon emissions than those made with conventional materials. A 2022 study, published in the journal Nature, estimated that constructing enough mid-rise timber buildings to house 90% of new city dwellers between now and 2100 would lower carbon dioxide emissions by 106 gigatons (the planet currently emits about 40 gigatons every year). A transformation of that magnitude would require sustainable timber plantations, so as not to cause deforestation. But Sweden is a country primed to innovate with wood, with almost 70% of its land covered in forest. Real estate has a massive carbon footprint, and is responsible for just under 40% of global emissions, according to consulting firm McKinsey. Atrium Ljungberg said it is hoping to build a model for other developers by being “catalyst for innovation.” “Our industry leaves a big mark, and it is important for us to make a positive difference in both the shorter and longer term,” Ånäs said. The first buildings in Stockholm Wood City, which is being designed by architecture firms White Arkitekter and Henning Larsen, are set to complete in 2027.