Other shortlisted cities include Strasbourg and Lille. In the European Green Capital Award (EGCA) competition, cities are selected for the finals on the basis of twelve themes indicated in the application. The themes describe the state of the environment, progress with environmental issues and future plans. Lahti was top rated in four indicator areas: air quality, waste, green growth and governance. A total of nine cities from Europe participated in the competition.
Lahti offers environmental solutions to other cities
Lahti's strength in the European Green Capital competition is its ability to produce applicable environmental solutions for other cities and various conditions. Lahti's innovations in circular economy, good examples in water conservation, and participatory master planning process are solutions that can be easily used elsewhere. Lahti's services and solutions enable a carbon neutral lifestyle.
-"Choosing Lahti would be very important regionally, nationally and internationally, as Finland has never had a European Green Capital. I believe that Lahti would implement the idea of the European Green Capital in an excellent way and support its ambitious goals", says Mayor Pekka Timonen.
Lahti has made a major energy transformation and stopped using coal on 1 April 2019. Lahti is spending approximately EUR 180 million on an environmentally friendly bioenergy plant. The city is also implementing personal carbon trading for citizens' mobility as the first city in the world in the autumn of 2019.
Pioneering city in environmental activities
In the competition, Lahti has profiled itself as an internationally attractive environmental city. Lahti was also a finalist in the 2020 European Green Capital Award competition last spring, along with Lisbon and Gent. Success in the competition helps Lahti attract international and EU funding and open up cooperation opportunities that benefit companies and institutes of higher education in the area.
Next, the finalists will present the jury with an operational and communications plan for 2021. The winner will be announced at an award ceremony in Oslo on 20 June 2019. The winner will be awarded monetary price of EUR 350,000. Previous winners include Lisbon, Oslo, Essen, Bristol and Ljubljana.
Of Finnish cities, Lappeenranta also was shortlisted for the European Green Leaf Award for cities with less than 100,000 residents.
Lahti's European Green Capital 2021 application (in English)
Mayor Pekka Timonen, tel. +358 50 337 4386
Environmental Director Saara Vauramo, tel. +358 44 716 1585