Over the course of the three-year cooperation, the City of Turku and Siemens have found many new sustainable urban development solutions for medium-sized cities. Such a long-term cooperation has been unique, both in Finland and internationally.

In joint reports new paradigms for urban development have been applied, and the opportunities and impact of newer technology on Turku’s development has been assessed. These have included the sustainable development study for the Skanssi and Linnakaupunki residential areas, and an impact assessment for the light rail network planned for Turku.

- We have received a great deal of information about how other cities have succeeded in their urban planning. Furthermore, Siemens has provided information about its urban technology for areas such as transport, buildings, and electricity distribution. This has helped in Turku’s town planning, which is a valuable contribution, states Mayor of Turku Aleksi Randell.

- We have gained useful new information about how medium-sized cities operate, and Turku has been an insightful partner with the courage to engage in an extraordinary cooperation. I would recommend this kind of bravery to others too, as it has benefited all parties, reflects Siemens’ CEO Janne Öhman.

Cooperation has created a tool bank for all to use

Turku’s ambitious aim is to reduce the city’s net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2040. The city aims to achieve this by developing public transport, energy production, and building stock according to the principles of sustainable development.

Siemens has helped Turku in its attempts by contributing its expertise about the newest technical innovations and solutions – for example in the areas of electric buses, smart electricity networks, and automation of building technology – to the cooperation. These solutions are helping in reducing the carbon dioxide emissions, reducing energy consumption, and building new smart residential areas.

- The core idea behind the cooperation between the City of Turku and Siemens has been improving the quality of life of the people of Turku. All the solutions created during the cooperation are, in their own way, creating a better and more sustainable city, says Öhman.

The partners have created a toolkit that other cities and companies can use to support similar cooperation. This toolkit is the first where the focus has been specifically on cooperation between the public and private sectors.

- I strongly believe that the lessons from our cooperation can be of use to other cities too. I would like to – with Siemens – share these lessons and information with others, says Randell.

The cooperation between the City of Turku and Siemens began in 2011, thanks to the Urban Infrastructure programme of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, WBCSD. Turku acted as a pilot city in this programme, and as a result of this Turku and Siemens began to plan cooperation to promote the sustainable development of medium-sized cities, and signed a three-year strategic partnership agreement in 2012.

The partners have published a report to conclude their three years of cooperation.

Read The Final Report:

  • Enabling Change - A Guide to Sustainable Development in Mid-sized Baltic Cities