Espoo wants to be the most sustainable city in Europe, now and in the future

Published: 25.10.2021 17.55Updated: 12.11.2021 6.05

The city’s main goals for this council term include balancing the city’s economy, recovering from the coronavirus pandemic, implementing the health and social services reform and working towards achieving carbon neutrality. The city also wants to improve the integration of immigrants.

The Espoo Story, i.e. the city’s strategy for 2021–2025, has been prepared diligently and in close cooperation between Espoo’s residents, staff and elected officials. The City Council approved the Espoo Story on 25 October 2021.

“We are pleased to have a new City Council and new Council members who will be writing a new chapter in the Espoo Story. Espoo’s story is one of growth, and it is our job to ensure that this growth is sustainable and of high quality. During this council term, we must find a path to post-pandemic growth, manage the health and social services reform, and provide services for Espoo residents in an economically sustainable way – these are all important challenges,” says Mayor Jukka Mäkelä.

Seven focus areas for the council term

The Espoo Story outlines two focus areas for the coming year: recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and the health and social services reform. As for the entire council term, Espoo will focus on the following goals:

1. Espoo is the top city for culture and education in Finland.

2. Espoo provides services together with the entire Espoo community.

3. Espoo is economically sustainable and offers competitive tax rates.

4. Espoo is an internationally appealing capital of entrepreneurship and innovation.

5. Espoo is an attractive city close to nature and a safe place to live.

6. Espoo will achieve carbon neutrality by 2030.

7. Espoo is Finland’s top city for integration.

“These seven goals will help us guide our activities towards our goal of being the most sustainable city in Europe in all areas of sustainability – economically, environmentally, socially and culturally,” says Mayor Mäkelä. “According to our vision, Espoo is a network city with five urban centres, as well as a responsible and humane pioneer city. It is important that all Espoo residents can truly make a difference.”

Espoo residents value local nature, safety and good basic services

Residents had a chance to contribute to the preparation of the Espoo Story by responding to two My Espoo surveys. The city received more than 10,000 written survey answers and 70,000 map entries, in which residents told about the places that are important to them and shared their development ideas. In addition, the city organised several events for resident and minority groups in relation to the preparation of the Espoo Story.

The key themes highlighted by residents included local nature, safety, the city’s basic services, well-being and resident participation. These aspects are also visible in the Espoo Story, starting from the values.

“We have also integrated some of the themes that are important to our residents into our cross-administrative development programmes. They serve as collaboration platforms that allow us to develop new solutions through experiments and pilot projects to benefit Espoo residents. Development programmes are also an excellent way of inviting Espoo residents to work together,” says Mayor Mäkelä.

During the current council term, the cross-administrative development programmes are Dynamic Espoo, Healthy Espoo, Sustainable Espoo, and Events Together in Espoo.

The Espoo Story(extrernal link)