Other shortlisted cities include Gent and Lisbon. A total of 13 cities from Europe participated in the competition.
In the European Green Capital Award (EGCA) competition, cities are rated on the basis of twelve themes indicated in the application. The themes describe the state of the environment in the cities, their progress with environmental issues and future plans. Lahti was top rated in five indicator areas: nature and biodiversity, air quality, noise, water and governance.
International visibility through the competition
Participation in the competition allows Lahti to profile into an internationally interesting environmental city. This visibility will help Lahti attract international and EU funding and open up cooperation opportunities that benefit the area's higher education institutions.
– The decades of effort that Lahti has put into promoting environmental issues is now paying off and giving Lahti much sought after international visibility. We compete in a tough group, and I highly admire all the finalist cities. Lahti sets out for the finals believing in its own strengths. We have learned much more during the past year, and I hope this will also be reflected in the outcome, says Pekka Komu, Chair of the City Board.
Lahti is known in Europe for its environmental expertise
Lahti was also a finalist in the European Green Capital Award 2019 competition, last spring, along with Oslo, Tallinn, Lisbon and Gent. The jury especially highlighted the long-term activities in waste management and protection of waters, as well as the innovative, sustainable land use planning models in master plan work and resident participation as Lahti's environmental strengths.
Next, the finalists will present the jury with an operational and communications plan for 2020. The winner will be announced in an award ceremony in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, on 21 June 2018. For the first time, the winner will receive a monetary award of EUR 350,000. Previous winners include Oslo, Essen, Bristol, Hamburg and Ljubljana.
Lahti's European Green Capital 2020 application
Chair of the City Board Pekka Komu, +358 (0)40 741 3299
Environmental Director Saara Vauramo, +358 (0)44 716 1585