Rather than hosting it in Barcelona, the Smart City Expo this year will take place as a virtual event for everyone to join. It will be hosting the annual World Smart City Awards, in which STARDUST’s Lighthouse city of Tampere has been selected as one of the finalists under the City Award Category.
The World Smart City Awards is a highly respected international competition which showcases progressive projects, ideas and strategies that will make cities on the globe more sustainable at a holistic level. Forty-six countries have submitted proposals this year for the competition’s seven different categories. The City Award is among one of them. Six cities were recognised as its finalists for their exceptionally extensive global strategies which are based on the projects, initiatives, and policies implemented for their citizens. The city of Tampere is one of the two European cities and the only Nordic city to be selected for this Award. It was known for its holistic and collaborative efforts to building a roadmap towards carbon neutrality.
As mentioned by Maarit Vehviläinen, our STARDUST representative in Tampere, the city seeks to be carbon neutral by 2030, 5 years ahead of Finland’s official target. This highly ambitious goal will require Tampere to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent compared to the levels recorded in the 1990s. The remaining 20 percent of the carbon emissions are supposed to be compensated by increasing carbon sinks i.e. forests and green areas.
Under the STARDUST project, the city of Tampere has been working on a number of activities that reduce emissions. These were done by introducing energy-efficient methods and technology in housings and districts, and in the process, integrating ICT in people’s lives as these will monitor their energy consumption beyond their households. Most of these activities have been shared via a full-immersion replication workshop which they organised early this year during the Tampere Smart City Week. Moreover, they have prepared a workshop on the same week on Carbon Neutral Building and Energy. The city has also launched other initiatives outside centred on the climate neutrality challenges such as the Climate Hero campaign.
Carbon neutrality is indeed thought highly as a goal by the city of Tampere, and the STARDUST project has allowed them to meet this objective. Other than Tampere, the City Award finalists include Belo Horizonte (Brazil), Lisbon (Portugal), St Petersburg (Russia), Shanghai (China) and Yokohama (Japan). The winners will be announced in a live online gala on 18 November.