South of Kroksbäck and Holma, with Svågertorp to its east and Limhamn’s kalkbrott to its west, Hyllie wasn’t really much of anything other than a wasteland at the city’s edge until the railway station—the last stop before the Öresund bridge to Denmark—was opened in 2010, shortly followed by Emporia, in its first incarnation as a hideous late-postmodern shopping center. An assortment of high towers followed in the decade or so that followed, in what was sometimes framed as an attempt to create a “technology cluster” for Malmö, but which with hindsight looks more like a frantic grab for the dwindling “cheap money” of the development boom of the early C21st.
The end result is a great deal of fairly decent and recently-built housing, though rather less in the way of employment opportunities, and a distinct lack of local amenities. Emporia was probably intended to take the role of both local store, restaurant and recreation facility—and in a rather roundabout way, that’s exactly what it has done, though it took a lengthy occupation and a total reinvention of the place for it to happen. The “reloaded” Emporia, with its craft and repair workshops, clothing exchanges and free hanging-out opportunities, is now a draw for the whole of Malmö, and sometimes further afield—an absolute must-see for visitors to the city, and a much-loved haunt for long-term residents.
There are still some stand-out fancy hotels for visiting business dignitaries, for the stars (and their retinues) playing shows or games at the now rather shabby Arena, and for other high-rolling types; the Hotel Highrise Hyllie is surely the most successful of these, given by how frequently the others have had to rebrand and lower their prices.
Still, the sheer scale of the place can be a little exhausting, as if it were designed to make individual human beings feel dwarfed by the works of civilisation in the abstract. Quirky legacies of an earlier era, such as the old water-tower, can provide some aesthetic respite—and a bit of shade, when the summer gets too relentless—but if you want to reacquaint yourself with habitation at a human scale, it’s just a short walk to Holma to the north…