ICLEI European Secretariat

ICLEI European Secretariat


Member in the Spotlight


Vantaa is one of the fastest developing areas in Finland. At the end of 2015, Vantaa had around 215,000 inhabitants, making it the fourth biggest city in the country. The economy is driven by the private sector where the main industries are trade, transport & storage, and industry. 

Vantaa's vast green areas with their forests and rivers represent the diverse and rich nature of southern Finland, which is complemented by the man-made environment. Here, old and new residential areas overlap, creating a multi-faceted urban landscape. The Ring Rail Line, which connects residential areas with business areas, opened in July 2015 with five stations. It also provides a rail link to Helsinki Airport, which is situated in Vantaa.

The City of Vantaa has the objective of reaching carbon neutrality by 2050. The city is also committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2030 compared to the level recorded in 1990. Emissions per resident have been falling slightly since 2007. In 2014, emissions per resident amounted to 5.8 tons of equivalent carbon dioxide (CO2-e), which is 8.6 percent less than in the previous year and 5 percent less than in 1990. According to preliminary information, emissions continued falling in 2015.

Sustainability focus: Vantaa grows in a sustainable manner

Vantaa is building a sustainable city with the help of measures that increase environmental awareness, improve material and energy efficiency, mitigate climate change, and enhance the sustainable use of natural resources, among other benefits.

To reduce urban sprawl Vantaa is building up instead of outwards, with all main residential centres situated along rail lines. The city has additionally embraced climate change adaptation measures, such as storm-water management.

Biodiversity protection has a prominent role in Vantaa's urban areas. In the past years, the city has focused on maintaining the condition of small, water-based habitats to safeguard their ecological condition and recreational value in the future. The city has striven to maintain green-area connections and an unbroken green network. These green areas provide Vantaa's tens of thousands of species of plants and animals—including the endangered  flying squirrel—with sufficient living spaces within the urban structure.  

Fast facts

  • The Ring Rail Line, completed in 2015, has strengthened mass transit
  • The waste-to-energy plant has reduced Vantaa Energy’s use of fossil fuels by 30 percent
  • ESCO process underway in 14 city-owned properties
  • 91 percent of residents live within 300 metres of a public transport stop
  • 640 km of routes for cycling and walking


The values of our city are sustainable development, innovativeness, and social interaction. We are building sustainable Vantaa by drastically reducing emissions from transport. Therefore, we have heavily invested in mass transit and we are continuously developing our city's network of bike paths. Our residents can more often choose their transport mode smartly and in a manner that is sustainable for the environment. In addition to traffic solutions, we aim to reduce the city's environmental impacts with the help of sustainable land-use planning as well as building energy efficiently. We are also working to develop the environmental liability of our residents and businesses. Our goal is to be a carbon-neutral city by 2050."

Mr. Kari Nenonen,
Mayor of the City of Vantaa

ICLEI and Vantaa: The City of Vantaa has been an ICLEI member since June, 1996