Socially sustainable city district – what does it mean and how can it be created?

27.8.2021 6.12Updated: 1.9.2021 11.26

A socially sustainable city provides its residents with a safe and comfortable living environment and equal opportunities to participate in decision-making. While planning the Kera area, we will pay particular attention on the various aspects of the district’s sustainability. By involving the operators and communities of the area in its development from an early stage, we can substantially promote the creation of comfort and well-being. The heart of any city is made up of people, its residents and the surrounding community.

Sustainable development is a visible part of Espoo’s goals and commitments. As a part of the international leadership programme for pioneering cities, Espoo is committed to achieving the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDGs) by 2025. To achieve this goal, we will work together with various companies and other partners to create solutions that will serve as examples of the carbon-neutral urban lifestyle of the future. We are planning for Kera to become a city district that celebrates urban communality where daily life is smooth and inspiring. Kera, located between Leppävaara and the City of Kauniainen, is planned to house in total 14,000 residents and 10,000 jobs. Operators from all walks of life, from city residents and landowners to companies and organisations, have already participated in the development of Kera.

Local nature and art provide excellent recreational opportunities

Local nature has been shown to play a major part in the health and well-being of city residents. In Espoo, nature is close-by almost everywhere, or at least a short distance away. Up until recently, Kera has been an almost fully constructed and concrete-covered industrial area, but as a result of its development, it will be turned into a much greener and more diverse environment.

In addition to local nature, recreational opportunities, cultural and sports services and the possibility to engage in communal activities through, for example, public spaces, can increase the well-being of the residents of Kera. Aesthetics and art also add to the comfort of the residential area. Art will create meanings, stories and a sense of communality for the people in the area for decades to come. Communality is also emphasised in the services planned for the Kera area, which focus, among other things, on the sharing economy and joint-use.

The urban art at Kera creates meanings, stories and a sense of communality for the people in the area.

The temporary use of Keran Hallit has increased the functions and the comfort of the area – these will continue to be cherished in the future as the area changes

The former logistics halls located at Kera are currently in active temporary use as a sports, culture and urban food production facility. The Kera Collective, in particular, has been actively organising events and promoting a new kind of urban culture at Keran Hallit.  The activities at Keran Hallit have revitalised the area and brought comfort, new life and visitors to Kera. Kera offers a variety of experiences – you can try your hand at urban farming, play padel or admire urban art, among other things. This spring, Keran Hallit, which used to stand idle, hosted Concreate Urban Art Festival in cooperation with the City of Espoo. Even before the festival, the largest collection of murals in Finland had been created to decorate the façade of Keran Hallit during its temporary use.

Communal activities and experimentation opportunities further commit city residents to develop their residential area and innovate new urban events. Espoo is committed to developing Kera into a residential and working area with room for new ideas and experimental urban culture. Our goal while planning Kera is to focus on supporting communality, for example, through space solutions and also by involving city residents and those working in the area in the development process. Kera functions as a new kind of urban area, providing opportunities to experiment with new things, such as shared services, smart city solutions and a sustainable way of life.

Urban farming at Keran hallit.

Do you have an idea related to the development of Kera? Read more about the Kera area: and contact us for additional information.

Emmi Kauhanen

Development manager040 553 2892

The Smart & Clean Kera project promotes the City of Espoo’s goal of creating an area that is based on circular economy and intelligence. The project involves eight partner companies: A-Insinöörit Oy, Espoon Asunnot, Fortum Oyj, LähiTapiola, Neste Oyj, Nokia Oyj, Ramirent Oy and SOK. In addition, the project includes the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra and the Helsinki Metropolitan Smart & Clean Foundation.

Follow us on social media: #NewKera and #SustainableEspoo

  • Sustainability
  • Urban development