Lahti named one of five forward-thinking cities in Europe

Lahti named one of five forward-thinking cities in Europe

The internationally renowned magazine National Geographic featured Lahti as the only Nordic city in its article about innovative, green-minded cities. The magazine highlighted Lahti’s carbon neutrality goal, personal transport-related carbon trading scheme for residents, circular economy solutions, and water conservation efforts.

Carbon-neutral city 2025

The ambitious goal of Lahti, the European Green Capital 2021, is to achieve carbon neutrality by 2025 – as the first major city in Finland. This goal can only be reached through significant emission reductions. Lahti has already cut down its greenhouse gas emissions by 70% compared to the level of 1990. One of the concrete measures was to abandon coal in energy production in spring 2019.

Circular economy business ecosystem

A pioneer in circular economy, Lahti currently recycles more than 97% of household waste: one third is used to make recycled materials and the other two thirds are used to produce energy. The business ecosystem of the Kujala waste management centre is a unique example of circular economy in the area. In 2017, Päijät-Häme introduced the first regional roadmap for circular economy in Finland.

Residents participate in reducing emissions

Lahti is the first city in the world to launch a personal transport-related carbon trading scheme for residents, as part of the CitiCAP project. Personal carbon trading is conducted by means of a mobile application based on automatic identification of the mode of transport. This scheme encourages residents to participate in reducing emissions and challenges them to consider their own transport choices. This year, the application will be available to a larger group of Lahti residents.

Internationally renowned cleaning project

Cleaning up a badly polluted lake created a foundation for environmental expertise and research in Lahti. The decisive step in the cleaning of Lake Vesijärvi was the biomanipulation project which ran from 1987 to 1994 and attracted international interest. The Vesijärvi cleaning model has been applied to more than 1,000 water bodies in Finland. Lahti is situated in an important groundwater area on the Salpausselkä terminal moraine, which is why extensive work is carried out to protect the groundwater in Lahti.

Solutions for the future are created in cities

National Geographic stresses that European cities are on the forefront of innovative, green-minded initiatives for the future. In addition to Lahti, the other forward-thinking cities named were this year’s European Green Capital, Lisbon, as well as Lyon, Edinburgh, and Budapest. The article was published in the European Cities issue in April 2020, which was distributed with National Geographic Traveller UK.

National Geographic is a science-oriented magazine, founded in 1888 and published in 40 different languages. The magazine is published by the nonprofit National Geographic Society, according to which the magazine has 40 million readers.

Further information:

National Geographic article: Go green: five forward-thinking cities across Europe

City of Lahti
Mayor Pekka Timonen, +358 50 337 4386

LAHTI – European Green Capital 2021 project
Manager Milla Bruneau, tel. +358 400 408 951