The Helsinki neighbourhood leading the way to zero-carbon cities

Kalasatama, a former cargo port in Finland’s capital, is acting as a test bed for new ideas that could help the city reach a goal of zero carbon emissions by 2040

A neighbourhood in the shadow of a coal power station on the outskirts of Helsinki, Finland, might seem an unlikely place to envangelise about its environmental credentials.
But here in the former cargo port of Kalasatama, a 31-year mega project is under way to build a model green urban district that should eventually be home to 30,000 people.
About 9000 have already moved in. “It’s getting better and better by the day,” says Hetta Huittinen-Naskali, who has lived in Kalasatama for four years. “What I like is that there are always people moving around.”
For her, that means walking, the city’s popular bike-hire scheme, the metro and, in her husband’s case, a car too.
The neighbourhood is billed by city authorities as a test bed for new ideas that might be rolled out to the rest of the capital: last year saw a driverless bus pilot project and robots delivering food to older residents.
Perhaps most importantly, the area is grappling with ways to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels to meet Helsinki’s goal of absolutely zero carbon emissions by 2040.

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