The Eco Urban Living project was orchestrated by Synocus. This initiative began as a collaboration between the founding partners the City of Espoo, Fortum, Nokia, Valmet Automotive in 2010 and was expanded further during spring 2011 as part of the national EVE program. The original founders agreed to apply for financing from Finland’s innovation funding agency Tekes (now Business Finland) under the EVE program for the period of 2011-2015.
The EUL initiative focused on the development of passenger vehicles and services in an urban context, exploring elements ranging from battery technology and charging infrastructure to consumer behavior. The project also formalized the collaboration between the project partners and Tsinghua University in the formation of the World Alliance for Low Carbon Cities, establishing a platform for the continued effort to improve sustainability in society.
Over the course of the EVE program’s five-year duration, the contributing consortia made a considerable impact on the development of the electric vehicle industry. The program report, published by Tekes, found that the EVE program resulted in the foundation of some ten start-up firms and contributed to the growth of existing companies on international markets.
In June 2010, the City of Espoo, Fortum, Nokia, Valmet Automotive, and Synocus launched the Eco Urban Living initiative. As the first activity, the founding partners organized a participatory future mapping process, carried out during the second half of 2010, the result of which was a scenario report entitled Eco Urban Living 2020. This report offered a source of information regarding the impact of eco-conscious urban development on citizens. It also raised awareness of these issues and inspiring officials and citizens to put these principles to use in their own cities.
Eco-Urban Living scenario report
The scenario report served as a basis when formulating the outline for the next phase of the initiative, the focus of which is how to make the City of Espoo a front runner in implementing new low carbon measures. A decision was made to establish a sizeable demonstration project to rapidly implement the ambitions identified during the scenario work.
In spring 2011, Eco Urban Living became a key project in the national EVE program, a national five-year program supported by Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation. The EVE program funded five testing and pilot projects in various cities around the country. The programs €100 million budget was comprised of €9.5 million of funding from the Ministry of Employment and the Economy in addition to €30 million of funding from Tekes and individual contributions from over 50 participants in the program’s various projects.