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European Innovation Council

Winner: Vantaa (Finland)

The Rising Innovative City category - winner: Vantaa (Finland)


Vantaa is a true rising city. The city has grown in 50 years from a small rural town to the fourth largest city in Finland, and today it is the fastest growing city in the country. To keep the growth sustainable both socially and ecologically, Vantaa has had to be innovative and use its resources flexibly, together with all stakeholders and networks.

The city’s purpose is its people. Vantaa is full of social innovations from the people to the people. The city supports this co-creation and co-operation with the people and businesses. For example, the Committed Vantaa model includes ample opportunities to participate and make an impact. Vantaa’s Regional Program of Positive Action helps to improve underdeveloped districts with actions involving the residents and NGOs.

To help the growth of skills of its inhabitants and businesses, the Urban Innovative Action project GSIP Vantaa supports the growth of the local SMEs, especially the competences in intelligent automation and digital transformation, as well as the increase of the employees’ competence levels. Shared Table is an innovative way to co-create and reorganise food aid, delivering surplus food with a large network of food aid distributors who organise community lunches and activities for those in need.

Moreover, Vantaa is the most multicultural city in Finland. There are approximately 140 different languages spoken, and the city fosters many innovations involving the immigrant community.

Vantaa offers a platform for growth and innovation such the Aviapolis district that is Finland’s 2nd largest business area and an engine for the city’s growth. It is a unique and developing combination of living in a green area, the airport, workplaces, services, and recreation.

Together with the six largest cities in Finland, the ERDF and ESF funded 6Aika projects have innovated new intelligent solutions for sustainable urban development. DigiOne project is building an open ecosystem where all stakeholders working in the field of education can join together to build a national service platform for education.

In addition, Vantaa is aiming to become carbon neutral city by 2030. Therefore, Vantaa’s Roadmap to Resource Wisdom is an ambitious program for achieving this goal. The city energy company, Vantaa Energy Ltd, invests in finding carbon-neutral energy solutions and has stopped the use of coal in energy production already in 2022. It will also phase out fossil fuels by 2026 and progress towards carbon negativity by 2030.