How does Finland implement sustainable urban development strategies?

23.05.2024 • Ecosystem work
InnoCities support and promote new ways of thinking and act as pioneers of change. Their work is driven by the desire to renew business and promote sustainable lifestyles.

The EU’s sustainable urban development in Finland is based on the ecosystem agreements that all university cities have signed with the government. In the agreements, the cities and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment have stated the goals of the cities that will accelerate the green transition, digitalisation and other new technologies, such as new well-being solutions.

InnoCities is a collective name for sustainable urban development in Finland. InnoCities support innovation and engage in the practical application of research and experiment. Project funding develops the cities’ strengths, builds the prerequisites for sustainable growth, and increases the area’s innovation capability.

The projects also support the construction of innovation ecosystems. Cooperation helps solve local problems that have a global dimension. The goal is to contribute to carbon neutrality.

“Research, piloting and innovation environments are developed in the projects. There are already 117 projects in progress. In addition to the cities’ own projects, funding is also allocated to cooperative projects that connect a minimum of three cities with shared goals.”, says Development Manager Riina Niemi from InnoCities coordination.

A good example of an Innocity project is a mobile EdTech testbed that allows companies to test and co-develop their innovations with end-users.

EUR 140 million in funding

The funding for InnoCities mainly comes from the ERDF. The cities are also participating in the funding. The cities account for around a quarter of the funding. The total amount of public funding for the entire programme period totals approximately EUR 140 million.

The InnoCities’ coordination team in the Council of Tampere Region monitors the implementation and its impact, supports cooperation between the cities, funds the common projects of the cities, and communicates about the work of InnoCities.

“We have built a common model for the cities to manage and monitor impact. And we are currently working on telling impact stories about the results we have already achieved. We also maintain a dashboard of the progress of operations in the cities,” says Niemi.

InnoCities have now been active for more than two years. The work, which runs until 2027, is a long-term investment in strengthening the innovation capability and the prerequisites for growth of cities in Finland. The work continues!

Coming up 29-30th May 2024: Capacity Building event in Tampere, Finland 2024

Photo: Laura Vanzo, Visit Tampere

InnoCities use cooperation to create innovation and sustainability.