Sustainable development

In Helsinki, services work well and nature is near – for most citizens Helsinki is the best place to live, work and live a life that is their own. For many, tough, everyday life looks different. In order to make Helsinki an even happier and more equal and city to live in, it is important to look at the sustainability of urban development from several perspectives – people, environment and economics.

Why is sustainable development important and why is it monitored?

Sustainable development is a continuous and controlled social change in cities and municipalities, that is happening globally, regionally and locally. The aim is to secure opportunities for a good life for present and future generations. Development cannot be sustainable without limited and rational use of natural resources at the same time.

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Sustainable development is part of Helsinki’s core activities

In many respects, sustainable development is part of the city’s core activities, and its connection to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals is not always even thought about. Helsinki has a wealth of expertise, enthusiasm and ability to put the SDGs into practice, as indicated by many of the stories in this report about the city’s various activities.

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Pioneer of local reporting

In 2015, the UN member countries agreed upon a set of goals and an agenda for sustainable development. The Agenda 2030 aims for sustainable development that affords equal consideration to the environment, economy and people.

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Helsinki’s reports to the UN

The City of Helsinki’s first Voluntary Local Review (VLR) of sustainable development was handed over to the UN in 2019. It described the Helsinki City Strategy 2017–2021 and its implementation in the SDG framework. The second report was published in 2021.

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