Lahti, European Green Capital, 2021

Lahti, European Green Capital, 2021

Lahti, with its population of 120,000 inhabitants and located in Southern Finland, is the smallest and northernmost European Green Capital ever. Lahti has worked on environmental issues for decades and is continuously developing as a city with a sustainable future, a pioneer of smart, sustainable solutions.

Lahti has evolved from a traditional industrial past to the modern green city of today. The foundations of its environmental work were already laid over 30 years ago when the city began restoring Lake Vesijärvi. It is particularly strong in the fields of air quality, waste, green growth and eco innovation, as well as governance, and Lahti was top rated in these indicator areas.

The city is currently working towards the ambitious target of becoming a carbon-neutral city by 2025, which is 25 years ahead of the EU target. It has already experienced an energy revolution and has abandoned coal. Also, Lahti is the first city in the world to test a personal carbon trading app for its citizens.

The city also developed a sustainability map as a tool to showcase local sustainable actions in an easy and interactive way.

The three main objectives as the European Green Capital were the following:

  1. Developing and producing significant environmental solutions, experiments, campaigns and an operating model to enable a smooth everyday life that contributes to the well-being of citizens
  2. Showcasing the best sustainability practices of Finnish cities
  3. Reinforcing the international visibility and importance of the European Green Capital.

Four themes of the year, also chosen by the city: carbon-neutral life, citizen participation, circular economy and nature and water.