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Kuva: Sakari Manninen

Published July 3, 2015

SmartClean Vantaa - an agile transformer of local lifestyles

Climate and resource efficiency goals have long been on Vantaa's agenda.
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Author's profile page: Salla Koivusalo

Salla Koivusalo is Senior Advisor responsible for Sustainable Procurement at the City of Vantaa.

Climate and resource efficiency goals have long been on Vantaa’s agenda. Alongside the proposed new Public Procurement Act, the bioeconomy and innovation policies of the former and present governments will provide our city with major opportunities. These will enable us to make a major impact on the local economy – to promote business opportunities and increase employment – while improving the state of the environment and creating services that better meet the needs of townspeople.

We need to grasp this opportunity and, to make things happen, our city needs to stay abreast of changes taking place outside our own organisation. To implement the Smart & Clean Vantaa and Capital Region project, we will need to transform our own practices and leadership, exploit digitalisation and promote participation.

Vantaa has embarked on a transformation. The Ring Rail Line will change lifestyles throughout Vantaa and alter the geography of the capital region. For the first time, the sustainable development concept One Planet Living will be piloted on a regional development scale at the Housing Fair in Kivistö. Driverless buses and zero energy day care centres will also be piloted there for the first time.

Vantaa is also a past master at efficient administration. Digitalisation of its activities and administrative systems has made Vantaa a forerunner among municipalities in agile decision-making. Online occupational healthcare and the transformation of schools into learning environments through digitalisation have already become reality.

However, this is not enough for Vantaa, since we want the entire city to become Smart & Clean. Major challenges lie ahead in stepping up energy efficiency and emission reductions in our current building stock. Unrelenting expertise will be needed to ensure that the piloting phase succeeds; Vantaa has Finland’s best resources in areas such as the procurement of energy efficiency. On the other hand, we also need the help of residents in designing and delivering more suitable smart and resource-efficient services.

One of Vantaa’s strengths is its business friendliness. We aim to reinforce this by bringing information on investment plans and purchasing schedules to the attention of companies at the earliest possible stage.

Smart & Clean purchases will bring cities’ purchasing units face to face with new challenges and opportunities. We need new types of open and facilitated dialogue with firms and research organisations, allowing us cities to make innovative cleantech purchases based on the latest commercial and pre-commercial information and expertise.

Vantaa also aims to open up development platforms and piloting sites to spur innovation. Our airport and Aviapolis are showcases for the entire country – for Vantaa too this makes them the best place to present a city that has transformed its lifestyle.

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