City of Turku


Type 2: Pre-procurement collaboration

Sector of the company/organisation

Public Sector

Name of activity/project (or solution offered)

A Solutions Landscape for Turku, Finland – The Urban Infrastructure Initiative (UII)

Relevant urban sustainability topic

sustainability strategy (strategy development at city level, urban planning,…)

Start year


Brief project summary

As part of the Urban Infrastructure Initiative, six companies active in transport, logistics, energy, water and technology pooled their resources to identify practical, cross-cutting solutions for the City of Turku, Finland. Solutions included specific infrastructure developments as well as organisational approaches including municipal energy management.

Short activity description

The UII in Turku saw two main activities: a dialogue and a series of workshops held in Turku City Hall in March 2011. The initial dialogue identified key areas where business input could help to develop new solutions, enhance and accelerate existing action. They spun three broad themes: transport and logistics, energy supply and energy use. The subsequent workshops provided a platform to jointly identify focus topics relevant to the issues that had emerged from the initial dialogue. They brought together UII companies and city officials, combining know-how across departments and specialties. The engagement demonstrated the value of providing early business input to city thinking. It allowed city officials to consider a variety of ideas and to engage with businesses collectively in a broad context rather than in relation to specific tenders.

Achieved impact

Eight identified priority solutions: • Building control and management: Use electronic communication between equipment from different manufacturers so that building and energy managers can collect and report information across different systems. • Municipal energy management to improve understanding, planning and control of energy consumption in areas such as public lighting, public buildings and municipal facilities. • Biogas: Capture and burn methane from decomposing vegetation and garbage, animal and human manure in sewage treatment plants and landfill sites, producing compost as a by-product. • Material flow analysis: Study areas and activities to quantify inputs and outputs and understand the flows, identifying process and behavior changes to achieve environmental improvements. • Green logistics: Innovate with technology, supply chain features and collaborations to cut congestion and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. • Green procurement: Use the city’s purchasing power to choose goods and services with lower impacts on the environment. • Public private partnerships: Collaborate to enable the private sector to contribute physical infrastructure and resources to achieve lower emissions. • Traffic management systems to reduce bottlenecks and congestion and make the most of all transport modes.

What are the main lessons learned during implementation?

The UII engagement allowed Turku’s city officials to consider a variety of ideas and to engage with businesses collectively to consider practical solutions that will help achieve the city’s vision. The city appreciated the proposal of new solutions that were grounded in the needs of the city and based on the best available practices. The city learned not only about new technical possibilities, such as the municipal energy and traffic management systems, but also new conceptual approaches. Some of these insights might otherwise only have come from trial and error, which could have been costly. The presence of company experts from different sectors stimulated more fruitful discussions than single-sector engagement and produced a range of views and solutions for the city. Inputs from logistics and energy experts demonstrated the potential of capturing biogas from the city’s waste, some of which could be used in the city’s vehicles. In addition, it was the city’s view that the engagement helped to build their confidence in their sustainability strategies and programs. The dialogue confirmed the direction of Turku’s overall strategy and the key elements of the implementation plan, allowing the city to move forward with greater certainty.

More information on the project

Other details

Action relating to the eight implemented solutions could begin immediately, without the need for in-depth studies, lengthy consultation, or political or financial negotiation. The engagement also identified two longer-term solutions for Turku – development of a light rail system and the establishment of a smart electricity grid. These solutions would build on the immediate opportunities to create a sustainable transport and energy infrastructure, but would require further analysis and resourcing. Following the UII engagement, Turku continued to explore the potential for light rail systems identified as a longer-term solution in the UII engagement. The UII report A solutions landscape for Turku was delivered in February 2012.


Development Manager / Climate, Environment Policy and Sustainable Development of City Group