The title of European Green Capital is the European Commission's recognition of a city that is a pioneer in environmental activities, serves as an example to other cities and develops innovative solutions to environmental challenges. Winning the title means that in 2021, a number of international and local environmental events will take place in Lahti.
- Lahti receiving the title is very important regionally, nationally and internationally, as Finland has never had a European Green Capital. Lahti will implement the idea of the European Green Capital in an excellent way and supports its ambitious goals, says Mayor Pekka Timonen.
Lahti was one of the three finalists in the European Green Capital competition for 2021. Lahti competed for the title against Strasbourg and Lille. Originally the competition involved nine cities across Europe.
The final cities were evaluated on the basis of the application’s twelve indicators depicting the state of their environment, progress on environmental issues, and future plans. Lahti scored the best in four areas: air quality, waste, governance, and green growth and eco-innovation.
- Residents and industry will be able to participate in planning the 2021 programme further in August of this year, says Saara Vauramo, Environmental Director.
Lahti offers environmental solutions to other cities
Lahti’s strength in the competition was its ability to produce applicable environmental solutions for other cities and for various conditions. Lahti’s innovations in circular economy, good examples in water conservation, and its communal zoning scheme are solutions that can be easily used elsewhere.
Lahti will become carbon neutral already in 2025 as the first major city in Finland. Lahti made a major energy transformation and stopped using coal at the beginning of April. Lahti is spending approximately EUR 180 million on an environmentally friendly bioenergy plant. Lahti is also the first city in the world to launch a personal traffic emissions trading scheme for residents in autumn 2019.