As its reason for the accolade, the jury listed the significant and diverse measures that Lahti has taken to make cycling and walking an easier and more attractive transport choice.
The award was presented by Finland’s Minister of Education and Culture Sanni Grahn-Laasonen and Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services Juha Rehula at the Fit for Life event held on 22 March, at Finlandia Hall in Helsinki.
Lahti numbers among Finland’s top cycling cities
Lahti is one of Finland’s top cycling cities. The share of journeys taken by car within the city is seeing a steady decline, whereas walking and cycling are increasing in popularity.
Lahti is a densely built city where a quarter of all journeys are made on foot, which is more than the Finnish average.
As part of its effort to promote cycling and walking, the city has built traffic-free cycling and pedestrian routes, developed seamless journeys, and created a safe and pleasant travel environment. Alongside these initiatives, Lahti has also taken measures to increase everyday physical activity and to improve well-being among its residents.
The city has open-mindedly adopted new solutions to make cycling an easier option by upgrading cycling routes and by improving bicycle parking facilities.
Long-term work to promote smart mobility
Transport Planning Manager Jukka Lindfors and Transport Engineer Kristiina Kartimo, who accepted the award, praised the city’s management team for its support and strategic decisions that have promoted smart mobility.
‘We’re particularly grateful to the city’s cross-sectoral Smart Development working group and all the other council employees who have been involved in the promotion of cycling and walking,’ Lindfors and Kartimo say.
Measures to increase cycling and walking are taking on a new significance in the promotion of well-being and health among residents, now that health and social services are no longer part of the council organisation, forcing the city to find new ways to encourage healthy lifestyles.