Oulu is the capital of northern Finland. The Oulu Region has about 250,000 inhabitants and it is the fastest growing region in Finland.
Oulu combines northern hospitality, nature and culture with modern technology. Oulu values education, research and innovation and the city welcomes everyone to contribute to these dynamics.
In Oulu, the urban city and the wilderness coexist. The modern seaside city culture is combined with a lively countryside and beautiful nature. There is the ocean, the river views and city lakes. Residents practically have nature on their doorstep.
With the changing of the seasons, Oulu’s view and activities change too: a summer sailing trip becomes an ice road in the winter. Autumn is when nature is most fresh and giving, while in spring tens of thousands of migratory birds fly over the Liminganlahti bay. Even Finland’s southernmost fell, with skiing and travel centres, is situated only a 90-minute drive from Oulu.
Oulu is the fastest growing city region in arctic Europe, and among Europe’s youngest, as the average age is just 38 years. One in three people have an academic degree and they are the happiest in the North when it comes to quality of life.
Oulu can count on its solid foundation to become a smart city. It is an education and trade city with 50 years of know-how in radio technology. It has a multidisciplinary university doing extensive research and product development, and, for centuries already, the city has made its mark in international trade by exporting tar, paper, and technology solutions. Products coming out of Oulu have made locals’ day-to-day lives smoother and gifted the world with smart solutions.
On a daily basis, 2.6 billion people use mobile technologies developed in Oulu. Today, the city is at the forefront in 5G network development – and fast going towards 6G.
Oulu’s future is a carbon-neutral and resource-friendly urban environment where well-being and ageing, as well as know-how and culture, are acknowledged. Using people-first digital solutions offers many opportunities, for example, for supporting the elderly in living at home.
Oulu is the leading hub in northern Scandinavia for business, education, and culture, recognised especially for innovations in information technology. Visitors can find cutting edge education and technical expertise to raise business’ know-how to a new level.
High-quality art and culture are present and active in Oulu, its surrounding areas and northern Finland. As a bidder for European Capital of Culture 2026, Oulu wants to emphasise the significant role of culture as a factor in improving the quality of life and in re-connecting people.