Turku City Strategy: Turku in the 2030s

It is a strategy that guides our everyday work and drives us towards our vision. When all our solutions implement our common goal, we will succeed.

Mayor Minna Arve



In 2030, we will be a strong international city of culture, with easy and timely access to services. The City and its employees exist for the benefit of city residents. The people of Turku know that they are cared for and that they are valued.   

Our city is dynamic and has appeal from the perspective of both new residents and businesses. The know-how of the Turku residents and businesses also offer solutions for the international market. We operate in a resident and customer oriented manner and build sustainable partnerships.

In Turku, a meaningful life and a sustainable lifestyle go hand in hand.  In all we do, we observe the principles of sustainable development. By 2029, Turku will have achieved carbon neutrality and will continue its climate work as a leading climate and nature city. 

Internationality is part of our identity and the life of Turku residents. Being active, especially in the Baltic Sea region and in Europe, helps to understand future developments. A vantage point provides a good opportunity to have an impact on things.

The Turku City Strategy, decided in 2022, describes on the following pages what the city will be like in the 2030s.

Turku in the 2030s

The City of Turku will celebrate its 800th anniversary in 2029. Forerunners like us need to be bold. Although we are deeply rooted in our history, our eyes are focused on the future. In the next decade, Turku will be a climate-positive city and one of the centres of commerce, industry, science and culture in Finland and Northern Europe. The goals of sustainable development will guide all our activities.

New ideas and trends have arrived in Finland through via Turku since the 13th century. A long history and forerunner spirit have shaped Turku into a bilingual, international city of education and culture, which is visible in modern times as diverse expertise and a range of events. In the capital of the world's most beautiful archipelago, history, science and technology that create a sustainable future meet in a unique way.

Our beautiful and eventful city is interesting to its residents and attractive to tourists. New professionals graduate from our universities and educational institutions every year. Turku makes the world's finest cruise ships, develops medicines and creates new content for the experience industry. Turku is being boldly reformed, taking into account the interests of its residents, its companies and the environment. Our goals are a good quality of life and the happiness and success of all Turku residents. Succeeding is our common joy. We want Turku to be increasingly better.

Our multicultural city is of a convenient size, cosy and safe. Everything is close by in Turku. Everybody living in Turku is considered an authentic Turku resident. Visitors are told that being a Turku resident is one's best time in life. 

The City Strategy describes the most important goals of our city and the related choices for building the future. Our vision is:

Turku invites everyone to participate in experiences, work, a forerunner's approach and sustainable growth - to live the best time in their lives.

Sustainable future

In all we do, we observe the principles of sustainable development. Turku is reinventing itself and growing, creating well-being for its current and future residents while at the same time respecting nature.

In the 2030s, we will have achieved the UN's city-level goals for sustainable development. Climate-positive Turku is known for being a forerunner and a developer of sustainable solutions. In its decision-making and implementation, the city takes into account the impacts of decisions on the environment, people and the economy. Our decisions have a direct impact on the organisation of education, care, clean water, energy, waste management and transport, for example. We regularly monitor our progress.

Smoothly running everyday life

City residents and tourists can find services that interest them easily and in a timely manner. Turku residents feel that they are important. Various services guide city residents towards their goals - for example, finding a new study place or a job. Nobody is left alone, everyday life is smooth and easy.

The services are available digitally, can be tailored to individual needs and made available proactively. Proactive services may include suggestions for early childhood education and care places after the birth of the child or services for the elderly when they start needing them.

The services exist for the benefit of city residents, so we organise and develop them together with the residents. To meet the needs of Turku residents, we collect information on the use, functioning and feedback received of the services, in which case customer and service data support our work.

Residents having a life of well-being

We listen to and meet current and future city residents, offering them genuine ways to participate and influence the services and decision-making. Methods of inclusion are continuously being developed and include, for example, the resident budget, citizen juries and the assessment of the impacts on children. The health and social services county and the third sector are our important partners.

We create a good everyday life and opportunities for a meaningful and happy life. It means comfortable, accessible and safe residential areas, services that support people's varying life situations, and opportunities for recreation, work and self-development. Turku's different residential areas are attractive, and inequality between various neighbourhoods has significantly decreased. Civic skills, competence development and diverse leisure opportunities offer joy to everyone.

We ensure that Turku residents have the resources and opportunities to choose healthy lifestyles and promote the well-being of their community. We are building a sense of community through encounters, working together and growing together.

We increase well-being by working along with city residents. By tackling in good time loneliness, the adequacy of mental resources, social exclusion and other phenomena that undermine the quality of life, we will achieve major human and economic benefits. Turku is for all Turku residents.

Dynamic and growing city

Turku's success is based on cooperation. Through education, research and business activities, we create successful industrial and commerce activities, employment and well-being. Our unemployment rate is lower than the average in the country's large cities, and the economy is managed with caution and in an orderly manner. Our goal is that Turku and the Turku region will grow at least at the same pace as other large urban regions.

Turku also wants to be a sought-after partner for other municipalities in the region. Turku and the Turku region thrive together. 

Efficient and well planned land use enables diverse housing, job creation and the establishment of businesses. The distinctiveness of the neighbourhoods has been preserved, while the social differences between them have also narrowed. The sea is important to the city and we will strengthen the maritime atmosphere in the living and leisure time of city residents. Active approach and faith in the future are the trademark of Turku residents.

Our technology expertise is at the forefront of Europe and its best achievements are known worldwide. The Turku region is the country's most business-friendly operating environment and an interesting investment destination which attracts growth companies. International professionals want to move to Turku and are well received.

We promote employment and entrepreneurship in, for example, procurement, infrastructure, curricula and transport solutions.

Our business and employment services support, guide and coach people at all stages of their careers. We serve employees and employers with demonstrating high quality and individuality. We offer international professionals services which are accessible smoothly and easily, and are available even before they move here. Turku jobseekers’ spark for continuous learning and their willingness to maintain their capability for work make them an attractive group of skilled persons.

We are known for good and smooth decision-making and high-quality management. The city's administration is efficient and accountable for business results. Turku is known for being a good and attractive employer.

Turku, a nature city

In 2030, Turku will be one of the world's leading climate and nature cities. We are well underway towards a situation where we live in balance with Earth's carrying capacity and where no refuse or waste is generated.

The city has achieved carbon neutrality, with our actions increasingly having a cooling effect on the atmosphere. Turku punches above its weight when it comes to combating climate change. Residents, companies and communities in the region are strongly involved in the creation and implementation of climate solutions both locally and internationally. At the same time, however, the city is prepared for changes caused by global warming and extreme weather phenomena.

Biodiversity, rich urban and local natural environment as well as carbon sinks in the area have increased even though the population has increased. The well-being of the local natural environment improves the quality of life of residents and offsets the effects of intensified weather phenomena. The Archipelago Sea is in a better shape, although it still requires protection. As the capital of the archipelago, we have a special responsibility for preserving its unique nature.

Circular economy creates prosperity and new jobs in the Turku region and strengthens the region's economy, which operates with respect for nature. Ecological values guide zoning, construction and mobility solutions. A sustainable lifestyle and a meaningful life go hand in hand in Turku.

High-quality education

We offer high-quality, attractive education and a training paths from early childhood education and care to higher education. We want Turku schoolchildren to be the happiest schoolchildren in the world. Safe early childhood education and care, high-quality basic education, strong general upper secondary school education, vocational education and training that meets the needs of working life, and top class and versatile higher education attract families with children and young people to Turku, enabling the growth, learning and competence development of all Turku residents and of those moving to Turku.

In all our activities, we implement Osaamisen visio 2040 (“Vision of Competence 2040”), according to which, in 2040, Turku will be an attractive and diverse global pioneer as a learning and competence environment. We offer all Turku residents an excellent framework for the renewal of multidisciplinary their competences and their sustainable utilisation.

We are a prestigious and traditional university city. All our higher education institutions operate internationally. They bring professionals from all over the world to Turku.

We actively support the national and international appeal of the universities in the region. Thanks to the cooperation between the city, universities and companies, students will find work and stay in the Turku region. Top class research and development opportunities are available to companies, as a result of which RDI investments and companies' competitiveness will significantly increase in Southwest Finland.

Active city of culture

We are city of culture, sports, events and tourism, known as being equal to the Nordic capitals in this respect. A cultural pledge drawn up together with the city residents guides the way to the future.

Museum of History and Future, the Turku Music Centre, the House of Arts, the entire Cultural Riverside and the Experience Centre offer cultural and artistic experiences that are appealing and inspiring even from an international perspective. Modern sports and physical activity hubs encourage participation, experiencing and being together. Services accessible at a low threshold, big top-level productions, exhibitions and events have been spread out throughout the city.

We plan our leisure services together with residents. Sports facilities in residential areas, such as school surroundings, nearby forests, outdoor gyms and fitness stairs, support an active lifestyle and encourage people of all ages to work out together. A city dweller who works out feels well.

Turku's position as an engine of international tourism and as a transport hub is strong. Cultural life, the art community, sports clubs and recreational organisations are an important resource for the city. Professionals of art and culture want to work and live in Turku.

Regional community centres serve as meeting places and places of recreation for people of different ages. Every child and young person has safe adults close to him/herself and something meaningful to do. Active leisure provides content for life and is an essential part of a good life. Social exclusion will decrease.

International Turku

We pursue our own goals through direct international work. These goals include increasing awareness of Turku and strengthening its image, being active in climate work, organising major events, and looking after our interests in matters important to us, such as sustainable urban development, transport, culture and education.

Internationality is not a separate matter for us; rather, it permeates all our activities and is part of our identity. The most important international regions for Turku are the Nordic countries, the Baltic Sea region and Europe. In the Baltic Sea region, we are at the forefront of participation in regional networks and cooperation forums. At European level, we have a strong image as a medium-sized Northern European city of culture, known, among other things, for its ambitious climate work. Turku's international transport connections on land, at sea and in the air are excellent.

An international mindset helps us better understand future developments. We understand the global scope of activities and actively seize the new opportunities that it offers. We work with our partners, such as higher education institutions and business life. A vantage point provides a good opportunity to have an impact on developments.

Strategic objectives

Goal > Metrics

Sustainable future

  • At the city level, we will have achieved the goals set for sustainable development in Agenda 2030.    
    > VLR metrics for the local level assessment of sustainable development in the City of Turku.

Smoothly running  everyday life

  • Customers will feel that the services are the most accessible in Finland and available at the right time. 
    > Regular surveys of city residents on their levels of satisfaction with the services: Would you recommend - the NPS metrics
  • The services will be modern, smart and, for the most part, digitally available.   
    > Number of digital services in relation to the total number of services, and user experience.
  • We will identify customer needs and offer services that proactively meet them, making the residents' everyday lives as smooth as possible.
    > Number of anticipated services in relation to the number of services.

Residents with a life of well-being

  • We will invest in preventive work that supports well-being, working in close cooperation with the remedial services of the health and social services county.
    > The city’s activities for the benefit of its residents (the TEA indicator)
    > Hyte coefficient
    > Proportion of those who feel lonely (Finsote and School Health Survey)
    > Number of socially excluded young people (the City)
    > Happiness metrics
  • We will create good everyday life, pleasant, accessible and safe residential areas and services that support people's varying life situations.
    > Metrics describing regional differences
    > Proportion of people satisfied with the living conditions of their residential area (Finsote)
    > Proportion of people satisfied with their quality of life (Finsote, School Health Survey)
    > Resources spent on positive special treatment relative to the city’s overall budget

Dynamic and growing city

  • Turku and the Turku region will grow at least at the same pace as other large urban regions.
  • People of working age moving to Turku will strengthen the competitiveness of the City and the companies located in it.    
    > Population growth
    > Migration metrics (broken down by age group)
    > Number of floor square meters in the zoned area
    > A single study is selected, then turned into metrics measuring the attraction that the City exerts on its residents
  • Turku will attract growth companies and investments by offering a skilled workforce, good locations for establishing a business, well-functioning cutting-edge sectors and networks as well as high-quality logistic connections. Turku will be a business-friendly city.
    > Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK) vitality index
    > Business barometer
    > Company turnover and personnel forecast data
    > Entrepreneurial climate in the regional forecast
    > Number of floor square meters of business premises in the zoned area
  • Our unemployment rate will be lower than the average for large cities in the country.
  • Our employment services will support, guide and coach people at all stages of their careers. Continuous learning and maintaining people’s capacity for work will make Turku jobseekers an attractive group of employees.
    > Employment and unemployment metrics
    > Employment of young people and immigrants
    > Te2024 change metrics , functionality of services from the perspective of job seekers and employers
  • International House Turku will offer smooth one-stop integration and relocation services. Services will be available physically and online before people relocating have arrived in Turku.
    > International House Turku service metrics
  • Staff will feel better at work than today, and the necessary measures will be taken to curb the workload of the staff.
    > Would you recommend your employer?
    > Metrics for good management

Turku, a nature city

  • In 2030, Turku will be one of the world's leading climate and nature cities.
    > Balance of nature (annually) and ecological footprint (every three years or per council term)
  • The city will have achieved carbon neutrality, with our actions having a cooling effect on the atmosphere. 
    > Turku's greenhouse gas emissions and carbon balance (calculated and reported annually)
  • Circular economy will create prosperity and new jobs in the Turku region, strengthening the region's economy
    > Number of circular economy actors and companies as well as turnover and jobs (circular economy barometer, annually or every two years)

High-quality education

  • We will offer a high-quality education and training path from early childhood education and care to higher education.
    > Quality surveys in early childhood education and care and at the various levels of education (target value 4.5)
    > Happiness of schoolchildren
    > Standard of education (cf Vision of Competence)
  • High-quality general upper secondary education and vocational education and training will enable students to find a place in higher education and working life.  
    > Number of upper secondary education graduates (reported annually)

Active city of culture

  • We will be a city of culture, sports, events and tourism, known as being equal to the Nordic capitals in this respect.
    > Image survey
    > Number of visitors/visits to cultural institutions
    > Hotel nights
    > Major events and congresses
  • A city dweller who works out and is active will feel well.
    > Perceived health and well-being will increase

International Turku

  • International activities will also be part of the daily work of Turku City - development, learning and cooperation - not a separate function.
    > A programme spanning a council period including its annual action plans, the implementation of which will be monitored on an annual basis.
    > Number of international external financing injections and international projects
  • At European level, we will have a strong image as a medium-sized Northern European city of culture.
    > A qualitative annual assessment of the city's success in operating in international networks in the areas of interest referred to in our strategy.

Values of the City

The city and its services exist for the benefit of the city residents. We promise that in 2030 Turku residents will be the most satisfied people in Finland's large cities. In order to achieve this goal, we commit to values that guide our operations every day. The values show us what is right and what wrong, what is desirable and what is important.

Resident and customer orientation

We value our residents and customers. We offer high-quality and easily accessible services, showing a good attitude and respect for everyone. We develop city services professionally together with our residents, customers and partners.

Responsibility and equality

We operate in accordance with the principles of sustainable development, bearing our responsibility for a pleasant and safe residential environment and future Turku residents. We take decisions based on the best available information. Our decision-making is consistent and transparent. We promote communality and equality.

Renewal and cooperation

We actively renew our operations and value expertise. We want to be bold, creative forerunners. The key word is cooperation based on respect, openness and trust. We want to succeed and thrive together.

Read more about Turku City Strategy: turku.fi/en/strategy.