Pirkkala aims to set an example for climate resilient life

Research engineer Jyrki Tenhunen (Finnish Environment Institute) and Mayor Marko Jarva (Pirkkala municipality) © Venla Riekkinen

The municipality of Pirkkala was awarded a Hinku award in March. Pirkkala is investing in climate-resilient low-carbon mobility, for example by creating a sustainable mobility promotion plan. Pirkkala is also taking a climate perspective in the development of the municipality’s building plan.

Pirkkala has brought a low-carbon perspective to urban planning by locating almost 90 per cent of residential buildings built in 2018 inside the population centre area and within the reach of public transport. This percentage is the highest of the Tampere City Region’s municipalities. Climate smart urban planning allows residents to easily access low carbon mobility options thus reducing the need for privately owned vehicles.

“It’s been great to follow the development work towards climate competency in the Tampere City Region and see it pay off. Pirkkala is setting a great example,” says Kaisu Kuusela, manager of land use & housing at Tampere City Region.

Another means Pirkkala is using to achieve its aim of lower-carbon mobility than before is its sustainable mobility plan.

Sustainable development is one of the main principles in Pirkkala’s municipal strategy

Mayor of Pirkkala, Marko Jarva

“Urban planning is the most comprehensive way of reducing emissions in the long run and promoting a low-carbon way of life. At the same time we are also building a more comfortable and safe living environment”, says Pirkkala’s Mayor, Marko Jarva.

“Pirkkala’s work has proven that residents can be provided with access to a climate friendly life with consistent urban planning. The location of the new residential buildings supports the use of sustainable mobility solutions,” says Antti Rehunen, Senior Research Scientist at the Finnish Environment Institute (Syke). “In order for residents to be able to use sustainable mobility options – walking, cycling and public transport – in their everyday life, it’s important that the services and workplaces are within reach of the public transport network and that the walking and cycling infrastructure is developed further.”

Pirkkala joined the Towards Carbon Neutral Municipalities (Hinku) network by a decision of the council in February 2019. This supported the Tampere City Region’s decision to join the fight against climate change by lowering its emissions. The Hinku network’s main goal is to lower greenhouse gas emissions by 80% from 2007 levels by 2030. Remaining emissions should be bound to carbon sinks and compensated for.

The Pirkanmaa Region is one of the seven regions taking part in the EU Life IP CANEMURE (Towards Carbon Neutral Municipalities and Regions) project, coordinated by the Finnish Environment Institute, which promotes climate change mitigation. In Pirkanmaa, the Canemure project is jointly funded by the ELY Centre and the Council of Tampere Region, which is coordinating the project regionally. Furthermore, one of the Canemure sub-projects is concentrated on developing sustainable mobility solutions in the Tampere City Region.

Actors and projects

The leap archive of project Towards Carbon Neutral Municipalities (Hinku).

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