Jyväskylä city centre, Source: City of Jyväskylä

6 Finnish cities form a network to enhance the vitality of city centres

6 Finnish cities form a network to enhance the vitality of city centres

The Jyväskylä-driven Sustainable Future of the City Centre network has received EUR 500,000 from the government

On 1 July, the City of Jyväskylä reported that it will receive half a million euros from the Finnish government for the establishment of a city centre development network. The Sustainable Future of the City Centre network seeks to develop the vitality of urban centres in terms of sustainability, mobility, and experimentalism.

6 cities will work together on urban development projects

In a press release, the City of Jyväskylä revealed that 5 other cities are a part of the network, namely Oulo, Kuopio, Lahti, Kouvola, and Lappeenranta. It is hoped that the cities will collaborate by sharing common resources and know-how to increase their attractiveness.

Moreover, the Sustainable Future of the City Centre network will focus on four key development areas:

  • Ecological and social innovations in trade and other consumer services
  • Innovations in parking, transport, and logistics systems
  • Innovations in experimentalism, sociability, and community
  • Opportunities for digitalisation of trade and services

Supporting innovation

Project Manager of the city centre development project Janne Viitamies explains: “The network is not just about sharing best practices; it is about working together to develop innovation between cities. Competence and funding are repeated when all cities promote innovations that benefit not only themselves but also other cities in the network.”

Taking this further, Viitamies shared that prior to the establishment of this network, Finnish cities have not collaborated on the development of city centres. This will now be remedied as they will work together to create modern centres that are seen as places that combine work, services, leisure, real estate development, and transport infrastructure.

The government will support this network with EUR 500,000 for the period 2021-2023. While only 6 cities are currently a part of the Sustainable Future of the City Centre network, it is hoped that more municipalities will join in the future.

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