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Espoo wants to become Europe’s most sustainable city

Espoo wants to become Europe’s most sustainable city

The Finnish city has outlined seven objectives that will help it achieve this goal

On 25 October, the City Council in Espoo approved the municipality’s strategy for 2021-2025. Officially titled the "Espoo Story", the plan has been prepared by the city's staff, elected officials, and residents. More importantly, it has been designed to improve the economy, help achieve climate neutrality, and reform health and social services.

Seven key objectives

Not surprisingly, the Espoo Story strategy is extremely bold and ambitious. While the Finnish city has two clear goals for the coming year (recovering from the COVID crisis and improving healthcare services), it has outlined a total of seven objectives for the period 2021-2025. These are:

  1. Becoming the top city for culture and education in Finland;
  2. Providing services together with the entire Espoo community;
  3. Becoming economically sustainable and offering competitive tax rates;
  4. Becoming an internationally appealing capital of entrepreneurship and innovation;
  5. Becoming an attractive city close to nature and a safe place to live in;
  6. Achieving carbon neutrality by 2030;
  7. Becoming Finland’s top city for integration.

"These seven goals will help us guide our activities towards our goal of being the most sustainable city in Europe in all areas of sustainability – economically, environmentally, socially and culturally. […] According to our vision, Espoo is a network city with five urban centres, as well as a responsible and humane pioneer city. It is important that all Espoo residents can truly make a difference," Mayor of Espoo Jukka Mäkelä commented.

Listening to citizens

As previously mentioned, the strategy was not created solely by city staff and officials but also by residents. More specifically, citizens answered surveys and shared their ideas for the future development of the city. Most suggestions reportedly concerned local nature, safety, and wellbeing, among others. Commenting on the participation of residents, Mayor Mäkelä revealed that many of their ideas were integrated into the Espoo Story.

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