City of Turku: Climate resilient urban planning in Turku

Reducing GHG emissions and improving adaptation of urban areas by means of urban planning is the target of Canemure action C.12 of the city of Turku. Canemure works both on processes and methods of urban planning as well as promotion of best practices and pilots realised on urban greening, energy efficient solutions in public building and sustainable mobility. Actions on energy and mobility will be located in the new, growing city district of Skanssi.

Urban greening and climate impact assessment in the processes of urban planning has been stressed during the first years of the project. In the second half we will concentrate on energy efficiency and life-cycle sustainability in public building as well as sustainable mobility, both in Skanssi.


Applying tools of climate resilient urban planning

Regulating the amount and quality of vegetation and permeable surfaces in urban, dense building is important especially as to challenges of adaptation. Green factors have been used in central and northern Europe to direct building on plot and block levels. Also the Blue-Green Factor Tool of Turku had been developed earlier by iWater project for piloting use. Yet it needed to be updated and regulated as obligatory to use at given target levels in all local plans. The planners also needed guidance in working on their first cases. Canemure coordinated the preparation of the municipal decisions on regulation in local plans and building permits. We updated the tool and the info materials and we offered training and user support.

Canemure Turku also piloted testing the newer areal green factor tool, which does analyse ecosystem services holistically on public street and green areas complementing the traditional green factor. The areal green factor was tested on Kaupunginpuutarha local plan and the process itself proved very interesting if also somewhat laborious. Analysing the area resulted amongst others in six thematic illuminative maps on the perspectives of biodiversity, noise, stormwater management, microclimate, pollination and recreation in the area. Also, some conclusions could be made so that the plan saved more of the existing valuable big trees and the pollinators were taken into account in the urban design. As to urban green we also updated the state assessment of carbon storages in urban woods in the city area by defining and coordinating the purchased service. The results of the analysis proved to be remarkably lower than expected. Thus the background report became a central argument in tightening the CO2 reduction targets from 80 to 90% compared to 1990 by 2029 in the city’s climate plan updated spring 2022.

Climate impact assessment and anticipation of resilience in local and master plans has been processed as well. Challenge being, that the impacts must be analysed according to the legislation yet the methods, the how, is still rather free and diverse both in Finland and EU. As to the master plan we applied a qualitative approach and as to local plans we started by testing different tools yet ended up in recommending a combinative approach of both quantitative methods for CO2 impacts but qualitative especially as to the aspects of adaptation and resilience. Our team has defined inner instructions for Turku planners to assess climate impacts along the different stages of the planning process. The market of tools and manuals is developing fast and we co-operate in several co-creative projects developing better and more accurate ones – also with the Finnish Meteorological Institute’s Canemure sub-action C.4.

Energy efficiency of public buildings and sustainable mobility to come

In the second half of the project we will shift the focus from urban greening and tools of planning towards more concrete and specific pilots of energy efficiency and sustainable mobility in Skanssi. Energy efficiency and life-cycle sustainability will be studied in depth as to the new comprehensive school of Karhunaukio (next to Skanssi) to be designed from 2022 on. The ambitious goals of energy efficiency and low carbon building were stated in the needs assessment approved by the city council June 2022. They will be concretised with the help of the Finnish RTS Environment certification system and co-developed in the design team with an energy consultant as purchased service Canemure stands for.

Sustainable mobility will be campaigned in Skanssi, too. Communicating climate resilient mobility with the citizens will be focused on in 2023. We will co-operate with the citizens’ center Monitori, the Skanssi mall and the public transportation company FÖLI to reach the clients and inhabitants in an accessible, easy and multiform way. Campaign materials will be produced, events organised and project personnel will be present at the mall. To concretise the message, we will also test innovative mobility services (Maas) to transport bigger items without the need to own a car by e-cars for shared use for instance. The aim is to reduce the share of private cars in the modal split.

Time frame

  • November 2019–October 2024


More information

  • Project Coordinator Oona Uusitalo, City of Turku, tel. +358 40 188 3716,
  • Mobility service manager Risto Peltonen, tel. +358 40 742 2617,


Published 2020-01-03 at 8:36, updated 2023-03-30 at 9:35

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