City of Helsinki Issues €1M Challenge Seeking Solutions for the Future of Urban Heating

The City of Helsinki has issued a global €1 million ( ~$1,119,000 US) challenge competition seeking global innovators with proposed solutions for the future of urban heating. The challenge comes about due to Finland’s commitment to becoming carbon-neutral by 2035. As of 2029, coal will be banned from energy production and the City of Helsinki has declared that it will not rely on biomass-fired heating.

The city is committed to openly sharing the solutions gathered from the challenge, and has already received support for the initiative from cities such as Toronto, Amsterdam, Vancouver and Leeds – as well as organizations such as the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council and C40 City Solutions Platform.

“Solving the urban heating challenge is crucial to reach global climate goals. Cities have a key role to play in the transition to a low-carbon economy, and Helsinki is now taking an initiative to lead the way,” said the mayor of Helsinki, Jan Vapaavuori. “We invite innovators from all around the world to use our city as a test bed to develop not just fossil-free, but truly sustainable, solutions. Together, we will create the future of heating to fight global warming.”

Proposed solutions will be evaluated based on climate impact, impact on natural resources, cost, implementation schedule, implementation feasibility, reliability and security of supply, and capacity.

“Climate change is a global crisis that will not be solved by quick fixes. With over half of the city’s heat coming from coal, we hope that our shift to sustainable energy can help inspire other cities and act as a real-life case that a transition is possible. Taking this next step might lead to a revolutionary breakthrough in our pursuit for a more sustainable city life, added Vapaavuori”

Read more about Helsinki Energy Challenge at the website: