Espoo is one of the European forerunners in innovation and sustainable smart city development. Home to the leading innovation and technology hub in the Nordic countries, world-class research institutes, SMEs and global company headquarters alike, Espoo is the hotspot of innovation in Finland.
Next door to Finland’s hottest startup hubs, you can find many of the most valuable Finnish companies. Espoo is also where Finland’s two most important innovation players are located — Aalto University and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. Slush, the leading start-up event in the world, and most of Finland’s unicorns were born here – as was the whole Finnish start-up miracle.
Espoo also leads the way in sustainability. The city aims to be the most sustainable city in Europe, to reach the UN Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals early, by 2025, and carbon neutrality by 2030. A large part of this is done with Fortum – the local energy company that will discontinue the use of coal in the city’s district heating by 2025.
As the second-largest and fastest-growing city in Finland with close to 300,000 inhabitants, Espoo is also far from traditional. Characterised by the lack of a single centre, Espoo has a network city structure with five urban centres, all equipped with great access to services and nature close by.
Espoo residents are the healthiest and among the happiest in Finland – and no wonder. The city’s living environment is family-friendly and green space is in abundance: 165 islands, 58 kilometres of seashore and 95 lakes make Espoo a wonderful place to live and visit during all four seasons.
Espoo is also home to the highest density of international talent and the highest education level of all Finnish cities. A staggering 52% of residents over 24 years old hold a university degree and English has an official status as a public service language.
And it’s the people who make the city. A thriving culture of empowering citizens and encouraging innovation is the key ingredient driving Espoo towards a sustainable future. Participation is deep-rooted in Espoo, rising from a profound commitment to leave no one behind and make everyone’s voices heard. Even the Espoo Story, the city strategy, is co-created with residents. Doing and creating together is at the heart of how the city operates.