Eco-friendly urban planning and innovative city solutions are the themes of the Climate College arranged by the City of Helsinki on 4 September. Climate College is the city’s main event on the Helsinki Design Week this autumn.
This year, the theme of Helsinki Design Week, arranged from 3 to 13 September, is Commitment Matters. Through the Climate College, the city wants to show its commitment to sustainable urban development and maintain a dialogue concerning the responsibility of the cities in the solving of global challenges.
“The current year has in a dramatic way reminded us of the responsibility of cities and the individual in face of the global challenges. Like the coronavirus pandemic, climate change is a global challenge, in the solving of which the actions and commitment of the cities play a key role. Climate College is an indication of Helsinki’s commitment to sustainable urban development. Through the practical examples, we want to encourage cities, but also companies, researchers and the voluntary sector, to act to curb climate change”, says Helsinki Mayor Jan Vapaavuori, who opens the Climate College.
Climate College is hosted by Helsinki Chief Design Officer Hanna Harris.
“By means of architecture and design, we are creating a more functional city and a better everyday life. Helsinki has used design boldly for years in the development of the city, its services and the built environment. Urban planning and the things connected to it, such as traffic, air quality or energy consumption, play a key role in solving the climate challenges as well. I am excited that Helsinki is bringing this important view into the future of our cities to Helsinki Design Week”, rejoices Harris.
Climate College is a sequel to the Climate School arranged at the 2019 Helsinki Design Week.
“The continuance of the climate theme tells of the city’s and Helsinki Design Week’s commitment to finding solutions that cannot be found in a single year”, emphasises Helsinki Design Week’s Programme Director Anni Korkman.
Eco-friendly solutions from Helsinki and the world
The Climate College is part of the Helsinki Design Week’s virtual content. The first main speaker of the hybrid seminar, Yanling Duan is a versatile design advocate, entrepreneur and innovator from Helsinki’s sister-city Beijing. The second main speaker of Climate College is science editor Pasi Toiviainen.
“Even though we cannot really meet face-to-face due to the travel restrictions, it is important that we can keep up with the international co-operation and active dialogue between the cities. That is why I am happy that we get to compare notes at the Climate College, for example, with our colleagues from Helsinki’s sister-city Beijing”, says Vapaavuori.
The co-operation with Beijing continues next year as well, when Helsinki is the Guest City at Beijing Design Week.
In the speeches at the Climate College, the sustainable future of cities is dissected from the perspectives of urban planning, traffic and companies. Best practices and eco-friendly solutions to the challenges of cities are presented by, among others, green infrastructure solutions project B.Green, the Pasila 5G project, the Smart&Clean foundation and the Helsinki Energy Challenge.