As the main stage for Finland’s EU Presidency period from July to December 2019, Helsinki shall be hosting around 20 000 EU delegates. Welcome to the most functional metropolis in the world, where it is easy to move around and sense good daily life!

Helsinki is a curious city of contrasts. From the backyard of Alvar Aalto’s monumental Finlandia Hall - the main EU conference venue and centre of all the buzz - opens up Töölö Bay, a peaceful oasis of nature. Only after a few walking minutes from there, you enter Ode, the new central library and a lively public living room. While enjoying a meditative walk around the Töölö Bay, you will also come across many other national landmarks.

Within a short distance, easily accessible by public transport or by bike, is the Kalasatama district, a former harbour area transformed into a smart city. Why is it smart? The vision is: The smart city district will save people one hour a day; 25/7. The smart solutions are co-created with residents, who have been very active, forthcoming and energized by the possibilities of making a difference in their own living and working environments. Innovative testbeds - be it new types of last mile services or flexible shared spaces - seem to make the ordinary life easier for all.

It is soon easier to live wisely in Helsinki as a visitor as well. As the European Capital of Smart Tourism in Europe 2019, Helsinki Marketing shall shortly launch a ”Think Sustainably” pilot. This digital service is based on sustainability criteria which enables you to make clever choices when choosing, for example, a place for dinner or an adventure at the sea. The service will soon be available at the MyHelsinki website.

In the name of open information and accumulating innovation, we shall be sharing you solutions that make Helsinki the European forerunner of sustainable city development. The cornerstones of Helsinki’s sustainable development are the ambitious measures to reach carbon neutrality by 2035, equality-driven and mixed urban planning and free high-level education for all.

Helsinki follows the way paved by the City of New York, being the first European city that has committed to report to the United Nations on the Sustainable Development Goals. The Helsinki SDG Report will be published in July. Helsinki invites all other European cities to join the voluntary local reporting. European cities can act together as even better platforms for change and catalysts for global good.

 

 

Riikka Lahdensuo
Senior Adviser, City Executive Office and Secretary of the EU Presidency Coordination Group of Helsinki
Riikka Lahdensuo
Senior Adviser, City Executive Office and Secretary of the EU Presidency Coordination Group of Helsinki