Named World Design Capital of 2012, Helsinki rocks the design world – and the Finnish capital also scores high on the sustainable development scale as well. The city is setting a great green example for the rest of the world with its innovative energy systems, its efficient public transportation networks, and its preservation of the area’s beautiful archipelago. Read on to learn more Helsinki’s eco initiatives!

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The city boasts a great rail network that appeals to morning commuters and encourages the use of public transportion as opposed to gas-guzzling cars. Within the city center, both the metro and streetcar networks are also expanding – andbike sharing schemes are on the up as well: local efforts are driving the amount of public bicycle journeys up by two-thirds.

Energy buffs out there will be happy to hear that the city produces its own electricity, district heating and district cooling in a single co generation plant. This system is five times more efficient than building-specific cooling systems. The city is also known for pioneering innovations such as “green cloud computing” in the world’s most eco-efficient data centers, which help reduce carbon dioxide emissions and costs.

Along with the city of Turku, Helsinki has also committed to supporting the Baltic Sea Challenge in order to help save the environmentally threatened waters that surround the archipelago.

+ City of Helsinki

Images courtesy of the City of Helskini Seppo Laakso, WSP Design Studio, Helsinki City Planning, and Pekka Lankinen