Codeveloping a more sustainable city

Opinion 16.04.2020

To solve complex climate challenges, you we need cooperation and ecosystems. Smart solutions are developed with a large group of partners in the Kera district on the city-rail line. Urbanisation is a megatrend – this is visible in Espoo, where the population growth is around 4 600 new inhabitants a year. Most of world’s resources are used in cities, so they have a great responsibility to develop solutions for sustainability challenges.

The Kera district in Espoo city is being developed to be an international example of circular economy area based on a digital platform. The Kera area will undergo major changes in the 2020s. The City of Espoo is planning to turn Kera into a city centre that will rely on the existing railway traffic. Central Kera will rise between the Nokia campus and the Kutoja area. The area will have 14 000 inhabitants and 10 000 jobs. The area around the railway station will be transformed for a logistics area to urban walking and cycling supporting centre. It will have, in addition to commercial cervices, jobs, day-care centres, schools as well as sport and recreational facilities. How can we get this done?

It is possible to achieve new innovations and are really significant solutions with moving from traditional co-working models to ”creating together”. This is why the city development has been opened to businesses, landowners and other development partners. Openness and multilateral agreements can achieve solutions that fill the voids between the current business sectors. City’s role is to be an innovations platform or an ecosystem around which the solutions of tomorrow are built.

Our goal is to create a new cocreation model to develop attractive city centres in Kera. The city, businesses, research institutes and other partners as well as citizens develop a smarter and more sustainable city together. The cooperation benefits everyone – for the citizens it means, for example a more sustainable way of life with reasonable costs, businesses have opportunities for developing new solutions and test business models and city will gain more sustainable growth.

Energy is one of the themes sustainable solutions are developed to with an ecosystem cooperation. The aim is to achieve a circular areal solution that drives carbon neutrality and energy positivity. A solution, where varied circular energy solutions serve the inhabitants, buildings and other stakeholders. The Kera energy ecosystem develops and implements renewable energy solutions combining innovative energy production, distribution, management, and excess energy utilisation technologies to a functioning solution.

”We will reach our aim of Kera being energy positive and a pioneer, if our stakeholders are commited to a commonly set goal and actively participate to the development of the whole area inestead of building silos. This can only be achieved through the Kera energy ecosystem”, Kera Development Project Project Director Pekka Vikkula says.

 

Smart & Clean Kera project partners are: City of Espoo, Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra, A-Insinöörit Oy, Espoon Asunnot, Fortum Oyj, LähiTapiola, Neste Oyj, Nokia Oyj, Ramirent Oy ja SOK. www.espoo.fi/kera, #uusiKera

Helsinki Metropolitan Smart & Clean Foundation has taken part in building the ecosystem and participates in the project’s steering group. Additionally, a model of energy positive area ecosystem for Kera has been created with Smart & Clean Foundation’s backing.