Espoo is Finland’s second largest city totaling over 525 km2 and home to over 250,000 residents. The city is located in southern Finland, on the shore of the Gulf of Finland and together with Helsinki and Vantaa forms Finland’s Capital region.

The City of Espoo has, since 1999, been doing its part in helping to reduce the negative effects of climate change.  From 1999 onward, energy conservation has been a central priority governing all of Espoo’s development efforts.  These early ambitions were further formalized in 2007 with the introduction of a joint climate strategy for the Helsinki Metropolitan Area, including the cities of Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa and Kauniainen, in which the cities committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 39%, as compared to Kyoto (1990) baseline levels, by the year 2030.

Espoo’s vision for the future is defined by preserving the very qualities which make the city such an ideal place to live, such as: a versatile and thriving natural environment, enjoyable living areas, efficient public transportation network and provides a wide range of high quality services for residents as well as local businesses.

In line with its strategy and vision Espoo has been actively networking with key stakeholders in the city to establish new initiatives that will support the objectives that are stated in the 2020 vision. The ultimate goal is to establish Espoo as a globally leading regional innovation ecosystem emphasizing sustainability with the Aalto Campus area as the physical innovation hub.

The City of Espoo was a key member of the Eco Urban Living initiative. Eco Urban Living was funded through a national electric vehicle development program, EVE, a five-year program funded by Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation. This initiative brought together leading Finnish companies and research institutions in an ambitious action research initiative aimed at developing solutions for combating the challenges of global warming. A scenario report exploring the impact of eco-conscious urban development and climate change on citizens was published in 2010, Eco Urban Living 2020, and served as the basis for the Eco Urban Living Initiative.

In 2011, Espoo became the first Finnish city to be elected to the UN university´s Regional Centre of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development (RCE) network on sustainable development. This network served as a means of raising public awareness of sustainable development and of ways to act in a sustainable way, producing services and products which increase the wellbeing of the inhabitants, protecting the diversity of nature, responsibility, participation, sustainable consumption, recycling and energy efficiency.


Reframing City Districts (ReCiDi)

A research project conducted by the Universities of Turku and Tampere which aims to form a new conceptual framework which will help shape the collective identity and common vision necessary to realize the future low-carbon and sustainability targets.

Systemic Architectures for Sustainable Urban Innovation (SASUI)

An action learning and research project conducted by Aalto University and the University of Tampere which aimed to form a better understanding of the architectural requirements for successful innovation projects.