Cross-sectoral urban development plan

Location: Tampere, Finland

Population: 370,084 [metropolitan area]

Climate: Humid continental

Duration: 2010-2020

Sector: Cross-cutting

Funding sources: Public

City Networks: ICLEI

Savings: GHG emissions reduced by 21% in 4 years.

Solutions: Construction of passive and zero-energy houses and of energy efficiency class A residential buildings.

Multiple benefits: Creation of jobs and energy costs reduced.

ECO2 Tampere is an internationally recognised project that has won and several sustainable development competitions [source]. It is the most extensive cross-sectoral urban development plan in Finland that addresses energy efficiency, mobility, sustainable built environment and transportation.

Objective – To identify eco-solutions to face the increasing energy consumption and GHG emissions caused by increasing population, jobs and services in the city of Tampere.

Solutions – Passive and zero-energy houses were built, with the 50% subsidy on land leases [source]. Since 2012, all the new buildings are required to be energy efficiency class A. Buildings in old residential areas went through renovation programmes. Sustainable Building Centre (guidance centre) was established. Electric cars acquired and improvements of the cycling and walking conditions made (new cycling track). Building the light rail tramline is planned. Planning to produce 80% of the city’s heat and electricity with renewable fuels by 2040. [source].

Funding – A total budget of USD 16.56 mln*. The ECO2 project is funded primarily from the city budget. In its start‐up phase (2010–2012) it was supported by Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund. Additional funding was obtained from the Tekes – Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation, European programmes and other partnerships [source].

Innovation – ECO2 Tampere is the most extensive project of this kind in Finland [source], where energy and climate issues are tackled in a cross-sectoral way. It entails a great extent of different projects as result of a coordination and support of the various city departments, external research and business partners [source].

Success factors – The project is directly linked to the overall Tampere City strategy for 2025 in particular with its objectives for 2017 and 2025. Hence, high level of the politicians and city managers are committed to the smart city eco-vision [source]. In the strategy, the financing priority is given to initiatives that contribute to the city’s sustainable development. ECO2 is an extensive cross-sectoral project and its success highly depended on various participants from various sectors contributing to it – real estate developers, research institutes, citizens, local/regional/national/EU governments, utility companies and many more. Great coordination and support of the various city’s departments, external research and business partners resulted in big extent of different ambitious projects, where each sector involved had a role and specific tasks in implementing eco-efficiency. Wide range of skills among ECO2 team staff members also contributed to the successful development of the project [source].

Significant outcomes:

  • GHG emissions reduced by 21% from 2010 to 2014;
  • Use of renewable energy increased from 8 to 25% over five years period;
  • More than 400 new jobs created a result of renewable energy production in the city;
  • USD 119 Mln* saved as result of renewable energy production in the city.

Synergies with local policies:

  • Tampere’s City Strategy 2025 sets targets of: 40% COemission reduction by 2025 (1990 baseline), 17% COemission reduction by 2014-2017 (1990 baseline), 1.5% energy consumption reduction per year in the city’s properties and 2, 9 and 28% increase in use of public transport, walking and cycling respectively by 2016 (2012 baseline). Financing priority is given to initiatives that contribute to the city’s sustainable development;
  • The City of Tampere Environmental policy of 2020 sets targets of 20% GHG emission reduction by 2020 (1990 baseline). Carbon neutral by 2050;
  • Tampereen Sähkölaitos Oy’s (Tampere Power Utility Ltd) strategy sets targets to produce 30% of energy from the renewable sources by 2020, 20% CO2 emission reduction by 2020 (2005 baseline) and 50% CO2 emission reduction by 2030 (2005 baseline);
  • Covenant of Mayors signatory with the target of 30% CO2 emission reduction by 2020 (1990 baseline) [source].

Political alignment:


  • Helsinki Region, Turku and Oulu have been implementing initiatives from ECO2;
  • The proportion of renewable energy in heat and electricity production has also increased significantly and these changes in the energy markets have made it unprofitable to produce electricity only from natural gas in combined heat and power plants.

*The conversion rate used is EUR 1 = USD 1.2

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