In addition to Lahti, Budapest (Hungary), Cagliari (Italy), Dijon (France), Lille (France), Skopje (Macedonia), Strasbourg (France), Tirana (Albania) and Västerås (Sweden) have been accepted as nominees for the award.
Another Finnish city, Lappeenranta, is competing in the Green Leaf category.
Lahti has the vision of becoming a bold environmental city. Its environmental strengths include long-term investment in water conservation, waste management and the circular economy. Lahti is home to plenty of new environmental innovation in cooperation with companies, universities, students and residents. Local industrial production is not a burden for this environmental city, but an opportunity to produce international and responsible solutions. For example, the Päijät-Häme Grain Cluster, a cooperation network between grain processing companies and cereal growers, is a key example of socially responsible activities in the region, strongly involving the circular economy and global and local sustainable development.
The City of Lahti's topical assets in the competition include the Kymijärvi 3 power plant, which will be ready at the end of 2019 and herald the end of reliance on coal for power generation sometime in 2020. Emissions trading among residents, which began in the autumn of 2019, will also form part of Lahti's pitch. As a unique solution and pilot, personal emissions trading is raising interest among other cities around the world. Cities need new and rapid ways of having an impact in the fight against climate change.
Lahti also offers nature-based and urban-oriented solutions for the management of stormwater. In Lahti, nutrients and contaminants that run off the urban environment into water bodies will be handled using new water systems.
The visibility generated by the competition is strengthening Lahti's reputation as an internationally attractive environmental city.
"Lahti's being chosen as the European Green Capital 2021 would be important for the whole of Finland as well as the city itself. Lahti is committed to becoming a trendsetter," says Mayor Pekka Timonen.
The finalist cities will be announced in early April and the winner in June 2019. Lahti reached the finals in the 2019 and 2020 European Green Capital Award competitions. Oslo won in 2019 and Lisbon in 2020.
The City of Lahti's application for entry to the competition has been posted on the website lahdenvuosi.fi.
Mayor Pekka Timonen, tel. +358 (0)503374386
Environmental Director Saara Vauramo, tel. +358 (0)447161585