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Helsinki’s economy is strong and, globally, we are at a good level in many goals.

The city can contribute to a sustainable economy by various means, such as industrial policy, urban development and marketing, procurement and employment services. The perspective of sustainable economy is broad and is linked to a number of different SDGs. The main SDGs for a sustainable economy relate to poverty, work and livelihoods, consumption, industry and innovation. Under the theme of sustainable economy, we also discuss the themes of sustainable housing, construction and traffic.

In particular, Helsinki’s challenges relate to sustainable consumption, employment and matching the workforce as well as the increasing income differences and indebtedness of households. The transition to a circular and low-carbon economy requires significant efforts and, in order to succeed, sustainability needs to be further integrated into economic and operational planning.

Livelihoods and employment

Helsinki’s challenges have to do with relative poverty caused by high living standards and costs, perceived income adequacy and increasing poverty of families with children. Helsinki is better placed than most other municipalities and cities in Finland to cope with future challenges, even though demographic changes are beginning to hamper growth in Helsinki, too.

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Industry and innovation

The most important condition for the vitality of Helsinki is a well-functioning city. The bedrock of competitiveness is formed by high-quality services, cleanliness, accessibility, safety, liveliness, equality and other things that increase the quality of life of citizens. Every division and individual employee of the City of Helsinki influences the city’s vitality with their daily work.

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Housing and communities

Living neighbourhoods offer the opportunity for a good and active life, based on safe and pleasant living and urban space. Good planning and smooth movement ensure a well-functioning daily life. An inspiring, high-quality and diverse cultural life is a key part of the city’s vitality and comfort and essential for well-being.

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Sustainable infrastructure

Sustainable infrastructure is the foundation of the city. Helsinki should still invest especially in environmental health, climate-friendly and adaptive planning, promoting clean technologies and nature-based solutions.

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Responsible procurement and circular economy

Responsible procurement reduces negative environmental impacts and promotes positive impacts. The city will also be able to support the creation of responsible markets by leading the way in the development and implementation of new solutions that are energy- and material-efficient and promote the circular economy and the preservation of biodiversity.

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Sustainable tourism, events and urban marketing

Sustainability has been put at the forefront of the development of tourism, events and urban marketing in Helsinki. Responsibility is emphasised in the development of tourism and in the Roadmap for Events. In 2020–2021, Helsinki is also co-ordinating the Carbon-neutral Tourism project, whose the long-term goal is to contribute to reducing CO2 emissions and increasing energy efficiency in the tourism sector.

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Indicators of economic sustainability

Here you’ll find graphic illustrations on how economic sustainability is advancing in Helsinki. You’ll find indicators by theme such as livelihoods and employment or sustainable infrastructure. The indicators are updated regularly as new data is collected.