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Niko Kyynäräinen chosen as the new Mayor of Lahti

In its meeting on October 2, 2023, the City Council selected Niko Kyynäräinen as the new mayor of Lahti. He was appointed to an indefinite-term employment contract, and his start date will be decided separately.

Niko Kyynäräinen won the mayoral election with a vote of 31–28 in the second round, competing against Rinna Ikola-Norrbacka. The decision was made by the Lahti City Council through a closed ballot vote.

– As the mayor, I intend to be a visible and approachable figure, both nationally and internationally, for the city’s residents and all stakeholders. I plan to ensure the effective management and ongoing development of the city while making Lahti more prominent and visible. Key priorities include fostering the growth of the city as a university hub, supporting local businesses, enhancing everyday services, and improving the urban infrastructure for the benefit of the residents, answered Kyynäräinen when asked about his vision as the mayor.

Kyynäräinen has been working as the Director of Economic Development in the City of Turku since 2021. His previous roles include serving as the CEO of Turku Science Park Ltd. and, before that, as the Director of Economic Development in Turku.

Kyynäräinen believes that Lahti is well-equipped to succeed in the competition among cities.

– The world continues to urbanize rapidly, leading to intense competition among cities and metropolitan regions. Lahti’s success in this challenging competition is attributed to its strategic location and, most importantly, the bold decisions made in recent years. The significant level of investment in Lahti in recent years reflects the city’s strong capability to achieve its strategic goals. It is essential to continually innovate while preserving the existing assets, remarked Kyynäräinen.

– Lahti stands as one of the leading global climate cities, and this will serve as the foundation for the success of local businesses and residents in the future as well.

Kyynäräinen has deep family roots in Lahti.

– My grandfather was one of the builders of Lahti and was responsible, among other things, as a supervisor for maintaining the city’s central streets. It was a matter of pride for him to leave the city in excellent condition for future generations. I intend to uphold the same principle as my guiding light in all my endeavors. My grandparents, parents, and sister have all been Lahti residents, and it is my honor to be part of this legacy.

The application period for the position of Lahti’s mayor concluded on August 28, with a total of 19 applicants. Seven individuals were selected for interviews, and one applicant later withdrew their consent. The appointed candidate will undergo a six-month probationary period.