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Sustainable development

In Helsinki, services work well and nature is near – for most citizens Helsinki is the best place to live, work and live a life that is their own. For many, tough, everyday life looks different. In order to make Helsinki an even happier and more equal and city to live in, it is important to look at the sustainability of urban development from several perspectives – people, environment and economics.

What is sustainable development?

Sustainable development means a constant and controlled process of societal change taking place globally, regionally and locally in cities and municipalities, the objective being to secure good living conditions for the current and future generations. Development cannot be sustainable if the finiteness and sensible use of natural resources are not taken into consideration in the process.

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Sustainable Helsinki

Despite challenging conditions, Helsinki has been able to implement sustainable development objectives in its strategy. However, there is still plenty left to do. Read Mayor Juhana Vartiainen’s foreword for the 2023 Voluntary Local Review here.

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Third Voluntary Local Review

The City of Helsinki is committed to promoting and assessing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in its City Strategy 2021–2025: A Place of Growth. Helsinki has carried out Voluntary Local Reviews (VLRs) in 2019 and 2021. In 2023, the Voluntary Local Review is part of the mid-term review of the City Strategy.

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Pioneer of local reporting

In 2015, the UN member countries agreed upon a set of goals and an agenda for sustainable development. The Agenda 2030 aims for sustainable development that affords equal consideration to the environment, economy and people.

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Helsinki’s reports to the UN

The City of Helsinki’s first Voluntary Local Review (VLR) of sustainable development was handed over to the UN in 2019. It described the Helsinki City Strategy 2017–2021 and its implementation in the SDG framework. The second report was published in 2021.

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