Once a coal mining district, today it is a sustainable industrial area: the Finnish city of Lahti is this year’s green European capital. Want to be climate neutral by 2025. Could it work? Is there just too much to show?
Yes, yes, the old days. They are also well known in Finland. “Nokia cell phones were made there,” says Esa Tepponen, pointing to a nearby factory. “Today, production in China has been running for a long time.” One might imagine another sad consequence of globalization. But in this case, the good old days were followed by a better time: one of the newest power plants in Europe is operating in Lahti, Finland. “The fact that the building was empty has been very beneficial for us,” says Esa Tepponen, Artistic Director. Today the metal is sorted there to be recycled later.
Tepponen is a man who loves to interfere. He worked in the African jungle, in China, in Canada – most of the time it was about building coal piles that provide fast energy but damage the climate. When he had the opportunity to create an eco-friendly display project in his homeland, he did not have to think twice.
Green capital – a tourist and political site factor
“Until recently, we were still burning coal here,” says Tibonin, looking at a decommissioned power plant unit. Laughs. “Today it is a museum. We supply the entire city with energy from burning organic waste and plastic.” Using a special process, the waste is first shredded and heated, which eventually burns the gas. “This doubles our efficiency compared to other systems,” says Tepponen. The city has already saved about 600,000 tons of carbon dioxide in this way since 2011.
Such projects make Lahti a role model. The city of 120,000 people is located about 100 kilometers north of Helsinki. The city can call itself the “European Green Capital 2021”; The …
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