Sustainable solutions of Kera are model examples of new urban development

Published: 12.8.2021 12.31Updated: 13.8.2021 6.07
A man in the train station with his bike.
Mobility in future Kera will be based on functioning public transport and shared-use services.Photo: Olli Urpela

Kera in Espoo is being developed into a sustainable city district, where carbon dioxide emissions will be kept low.

Determination of emissions as a basis for designing a sustainable area

Thanks to a new kind of energy system, circular economy and sustainable modes of transport, computational emissions in the city district will be about 56% lower than the average for an area of corresponding size in Espoo. 

Espoo’s objective of being the most sustainable city in Europe and becoming carbon neutral by 2030 is being implemented in Kera. Located along the City Railway, Kera is one of Espoo’s largest city planning projects at the moment. An urban city centre with 14,000 residents, a clean and smart residential and working area, combining the solutions of circular economy with the utilisation of new digital opportunities, is being planned in Kera.

A study on the formation of Kera’s carbon dioxide emissions has now been completed, which estimates the area’s emissions over the next 50 years and the impact of current development activities on these. The study estimated the district’s carbon dioxide emissions in terms of building and infrastructure construction, energy use and traffic. The results show that, with conventional solutions, the majority – i.e. about half of the emissions of the whole area – would come from the use of energy. In addition, carbon dioxide emissions arise especially from the construction of buildings and infrastructure.  The study was carried out by Ramboll.

Clean energy solutions have the biggest impact on Kera’s carbon dioxide emissions

The study also identified measures to reduce emissions. Kera’s new sustainable
urban solutions have a significant impact on the area’s carbon dioxide emissions. The aim is to implement an area-specific carbon-neutral heating solution, which will be the most significant energy-related emission reduction measure. With the help of a smart energy solution, heating would be free from emissions. Further emission reductions can be achieved by utilising solar electricity. 

“Fortum and Espoo have jointly committed to carbon-neutral heat production in Espoo. In projects of this kind, energy solutions using local heat sources combined with a district heating network are an energy-efficient way to increase the area’s self-sufficiency, while recycling heat within the city,” says Pasi Kokko, Head of Customer, DHC Finland at Fortum.

In addition to energy, construction and mobility solutions have the potential to influence the amount of carbon dioxide emissions. In building construction, emissions can be reduced, for example, by material choices, such as by using low-carbon concrete and wood and by utilising recycled materials. According to Kera’s mobility forecasts, traffic emissions would be 27% lower in the area than elsewhere in Espoo on average. Sustainable mobility solutions of the area, such as functioning public transport and car-sharing services, reduce the need to own and use a car. 

“Kera has great potential for developing a customer-oriented, safe and sustainable mobility system. Mobility services based on platform economy and sharing can be common in Kera already in this decade,” says Tapani Alaviiri, Director at LähiTapiola, in charge of mobility and traffic safety.

The results of the study are being used as part of the Smart & Clean Kera project, where clean urban solutions are being developed together with a wide range of partners.

  • Urban development
  • Sustainability