The vision of the City of Tampere by 2020 is to be a big city of smooth living which is responsibly leading development. This responsibility encompasses a promise to develop the growing city in a sustainable way. With customer-oriented services, making environmentally responsible choices and know-how Tampere wants to become a pioneering city which offers its inhabitants the opportunity for an environmentally friendly life-style. The City of Tampere is committed to a number of ambitious climate and environmental goals and it has decided that the principles of sustainable development should be taken into account across the board by undersigning the Aalborg commitments. The Tampere region has a regional climate strategy which includes actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and, according to the EU mayors’ climate commitment, the city is also committed to a 20% reduction of CO2 emissions by 2020.
The City of Tampere is also actively implementing energy saving measures and it has vouched to reduce energy consumption by 9 percent by 2016. The ECO2 project was established to support projects that facilitate reaching the City’s climate and energy-saving goals. ECO2 supports projects that promote low-carbon and carbon neutral infrastructure in the areas of urban development, traffic and energy production.
The promotion of sustainable development
The promotion of sustainable development has been brought to the everyday running of the City affairs by means of communications, guidelines and staff training. The City bears its responsibility by making ecologically and socially sustainable and energy efficient purchases. Examples of such purchases are electricity produced from renewable energy resources and used in the City facilities, low-energy construction in the City area, natural, vegetable-based and seasonal food served by the City catering facilities and the requirement that all the service and materials providers the City employs fulfill environmental criteria.
Tampere emphasises the inhabitants’ opportunities for participation as a part of the sustainable development work the City undertakes. The inhabitants can give their views in the Valma preparation forum on the issues that have been posted there for comments. They can also take part in the inhabitants’ hearings organised by the City Council and the Mayor and in the Alvari workshops that are organised in the different residential areas. Thus the inhabitants are heard and they can influence decision-making already at the preparatory stages.
The inhabitants’ sustainable life-styles are supported with the help of environmental awareness training and different campaigns and events. One example of this was the Ilmankos climate project the aim of which was to promote the inhabitants’ feelings of community and participation and to encourage them to make climate-friendly choices. The City of Tampere also wants to bear global responsibility and to have a positive effect on the lives of people living in developing countries, for example. Apart from the active climate work, one indication of this is the Fairtrade Town status Tampere was afforded in 2008. In order to get this status, the City is committed to serving fair trade coffee and tea in all its own events and to promote the fair trade ideology and use of fair trade products in its area.
Cooperation with Mwanza
Tampere has also had long-term cooperation with its Tanzanian twin town Mwanza. The aim of the cooperation is to promote sustainable development, the inhabitants’ participation in the city administration, good administration, cultural exchange and the capacity building and technological know-how of city employees.
The promotion of sustainable development and environmental issues is everybody’s business and the work must be done in a wide network of cooperation so that the commitments and goals can bear actual fruit. One such showcase is the Metropolis 2013 conference in which the City of Tampere as the responsible organiser has wanted to show an example by putting the event together according to sustainable development principles. The conference organisers have issued a statement about this: ”The organisers of the 2013 International Metropolis Conference are committed to design, organise and implement the conference in a way that minimises negative environmental impacts and leaves a positive legacy for the host community.”
Oragnisation of the conference
The organisation of the conference will thus be evaluated at all stages from the point of view of sustainable development. Sustainable choices will be made as regards the conference materials, transportation, lodging and catering. The conference venue, the Tampere Hall, is also a front runner of organising sustainable events. All these concrete steps will be described on the conference home page as we are getting nearer the conference.