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Cities in Finland, Germany and Sweden team up for sustainable change

The Espoo suburb of Keilaniemi is a fast-developing hub of innovation.

SARC Architects

Espoo, Mannheim and Umeå are together developing new approaches to sustainable change through the EU-funded project ALLIANCE.

The aptly named project brings together various local SME organisations and social economy partners to turn climate and environmental challenges into opportunities.

Espoo, Mannheim and Umeå together form a leadership group tasked with developing prototype Local Green Deals (LGDs). ALLIANCE represents the local response to the European Green Deal, which strives for zero net emissions of greenhouse gases across the continent by 2050, along with the decoupling of economic growth from resource use while leaving no person and no place behind.

Partners of the ALLIANCE project met in May 2022 on their quest to turn climate and environmental challenges into opportunities at the local level. Image: ICLEI Europe

The three cities will create a platform to exchange good practices, challenges and learnings that can be replicated in other cities and towns around Europe. These include innovative and collaborative models for the green transformation of business and SMEs, green infrastructure, local sustainable value chains, green and social procurement, innovative urban governance, and stakeholder engagement.

After mapping key stakeholder actions and holding workshops in each of the ALLIANCE cities to develop and implement the LGD-related approach, memoranda of understanding signed with their city stakeholders will represent the culmination of their collective efforts.

The project is scheduled to run until 2024.

By: James O’Sullivan