The City of Lahti invited citizens, associations and companies to participate in building the European Green Capital. The people of Lahti were asked to come up with ideas about what they would like to do and implement in Lahti as a Green Capital.
With the project funding, Lahti wants to support local activities and strengthen everyone's opportunities to participate in the year as the Green Capital. 69 applications were submitted by the deadline. According to the selection panel, a vast number of excellent ideas and suggestions were presented in the applications. The applicants included entrepreneurs, young people, seniors, associations, artists and sports clubs.
Project funding applications were open for projects that support communality, citizen participation or biodiversity. Citizens could also suggest wintertime activities or events that promote sustainable mobility or improve the wellbeing of citizens or the environment. The aspects to be taken into consideration when deciding on project funding include the applicant's commitment to environmental perspectives, participation of citizens and results and impact of the project.
The requested amounts of funding for ideas totalled EUR 280,000. There is EUR 40,000 of project funding available. The selection panel has reviewed the ideas and scored them according to the criteria. The panel will make a proposal on the projects to be funded to the Division for Inclusion and Well-being, which will make its funding decisions on 18 December.
The projects and events created by the citizens, companies and associations will start in Lahti as early as 2020. The aim is to implement the projects that are now being funded by the end of July.
According to Programme Director Saara Vauramo, the Green Capital 2021 is a joint project for everyone in the city. Therefore, the plan is to fund similar activities by citizens in the future as well.
In June, Lahti was chosen as the European Green Capital of 2021. Lahti's strengths in the competition included the inclusion of citizens, circular economy and water protection solutions.