Espoo – building a sustainable future
Cities both in Finland and internationally have a key role on sustainability for the future. The changes in everything related to sustainability are so huge that the cities are the first ones which have to act.
Globally the main challenge is to find ways to tackle the climate change and to make cities enablers and regional innovation ecosystems. This is a priority also in Espoo.
Espoo’s population is growing by nearly 5000 new residents every year. Keeping the citizens and the environment onboard in this growth is very important – although Espoo is growing fast, it can still grow sustainably. Espoo has twice been ranked as the most ecologically, economically, socially and culturally sustainable city in Europe. The city’s aim is to retain the title!
As Espoo has a quite large surface area, the networked city structure helps at keeping the whole city vital but also close to nature. It also ensures that services are offered all around Espoo, so the quality of life will be excellent also in the future.
Espoo has been invited to act as one of the pioneering cities implementing the United Nation’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in cooperation with Aalto University and companies. Espoo was the first city in the world to sign the agreement.
City as a Service
The city’s strategy, the Espoo Story, directs all of the city’s operations toward common goals. The vision is to be a city where residents can truly have an influence. That’s why also the Espoo Story has been prepared for a long time in close cooperation between Espoo residents, staff and officials. Especially the opinions of Espoo residents have been listened with a keen ear. The residents’ views were surveyed and the city received more than 20,000 individual comments in total.
Espoo wants to be a pioneer in municipal service development. Services are developed based on a culture of experimentation and co-creation. The City as a Service model will be used to respond to increasing and diversifying service needs in a resident and customer-oriented way, cost effectively and with high quality. This new way to organise services will utilise existing facilities and other resources in a networked manner, enabled by digitalisation.
Espoo is a city of expertise and experts, a city with international top-level schools. Goal is to have the best learning results in Finland. Espoo will provide children and young people with the skills needed in modern society and in building a good life and sustainable future.
The City of Espoo and Aalto University are developing a joint model in which upper secondary school students can take university courses. The students also use the university’s special premises and services. In this School as a Service model school is seen not as a building, but as a diverse service and platform that supports learning.
Intelligent Community of the Year
In June 2018, Espoo won the Intelligent Community of the Year award. The most obvious reason for the victory is Espoo’s service development built on digitalisation, including digital pilots, opening up data and the use of artificial intelligence – although the results may not yet be visible in the everyday life of ordinary Espoo residents. The award Espoo received is an important sign that the city is on the right road – a forerunner in the development of public services. Espoo’s strategy is to develop services and the vitality and competitiveness of Finland as a whole by adopting a culture of experimentation in line with the Make with Espoo co-creation model. The city is a platform on which the city, residents, communities and businesses can come together to find new ways of doing things.
Make with Espoo!