Espoo is a forerunner city in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) work, aiming to reach the goals by 2025. Espoo is participating in EU Mission for 100 climate-neutral and smart cities.
In 2018, Espoo signed the Covenant of Mayors 2030 commitment to reduce the city’s greenhouse gas emissions. Espoo’s overarching sustainability objective is to reach carbon neutrality by 2030, including fossil-free district heating and sustainable mobility, and to reduce its emissions by 80% by the same date compared to 1990. “Sustainable Espoo,” the city’s development programme, sets out the city’s strategy to implement actions towards carbon-neutrality by 2030.
Carbon neutral by 2030;
To be a global frontrunner city in the UN Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) work and reach the goals by 2025;
To be the most sustainable city in Europe now and in the future.
SPARCS Lighthouse City Espoo Leads the Way in Smart Development
In the Lighthouse City Espoo, the demonstrations take place in three districts, each with their own unique characteristics. The three areas are also all in different phases of development and construction: one is in the planning phase, one is in the redevelopment phase, and one is already a densely built urban area.
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Kera is an underdeveloped industrial area in the Greater Leppävaara. Kera will be rebuilt into a new residential district with 14,000 citizens and 10,000 jobs during the next decades. Kera will be turned into an international example for circular economy and digital solutions. The creative temporary uses of the old logistics halls in the area, and the multistakeholder co-creation processes that have been used to develop the area, have gained significant interest.
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Espoonlahti district is the second largest center in Espoo with 56,000 residents. The area is partially redeveloped, and the new shopping centre Lippulaiva in the heart of the district was opened in March 2022. A newly built extension to the metro line, which runs under Lippulaiva and was opened in December 2022, connects the Espoonlahti area to a fast rail-based public transportation network.
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Sello district is the largest and the most active center in Espoo and one of the busiest transportation hubs in the whole metropolitan area. There are over 65,000 residents in the area, and the Sello shopping centre acts as the core of the area. The area is expected to grow substantially in the near future.
Positive Energy Districts (or PEDs) for both electricity and heating are an important development point in fostering sustainable solutions within Espoo (and beyond). Currently over half of the greenhouse gas emissions within Espoo are derived from electricity and heating. PEDs enable the use of new sustainable and local energy solutions in order to achieve the emission reduction goals while engaging local actors.
Electric (e-)mobility plays a major part in sustainable mobility. In 2021, mobility caused ca 35% of the greenhouse gas emissions in Espoo. In addition to increasing the share of electric vehicles of all sizes in public, private and shared mobility systems and supporting walking and cycling, some novel actions are needed to reach the emission reduction goal.
People make the city. By engaging citizens and developing modes of co-creation it is possible to create more human-centric solutions that are ecologically, economically and socially sustainable, and to foster sustainable everyday life in the city.
Developing new sustainable and smart solutions means that we need to also reconsider more broadly “how” things are done. This is done through co-creation in the development of new smart business and governance models.