Next week, the Carbon-smart Urban Green Festival, which will be organized in Helsinki's central library Oodi, invites you to learn something new about the research, design, construction and maintenance of carbon-smart urban nature. The festival of this year will be held as a two-day event, including a seminar presenting research results and an event aimed at all city residents.
The festival opens on Friday, August 25 with a scientific seminar named Towards Green and Carbon-smart Cities, where the results of the CO-CARBON research project are presented and the role of urban green as part of urban climate work is discussed. The seminar is aimed especially at urban planning and green industry professionals, the scientific public and all those involved in the development and decision-making of climate-smart cities. You can find the registration for Friday's seminar day here.
Saturday August 26 there will be a program for all city residents, also in the vicinity of Oodi. The Finnish-language short researcher talks in Oodi are complemented for example by Where the Carbon Hides walks in Töölönlahti and Hiili vieköön! workshops for children. In the afternoon, we will hear how activism can lead towards a carbon-smart city. The theme will be led to international level, as the main speaker of Saturday MEP Sirpa Pietikäinen continues on the importance of urban green from blocks to the EU level. Both days also include panel discussions that bring together different actors.
The Carbon-smart Urban Green Festival is part of the CO-CARBON research project funded by the Strategic Research Council (SRC). It is organized every other year and the first festival took place in 2021. The goal of the project is to measure and model the carbon sequestration capacity of urban green. New solutions for carbon-smart urban green design, implementation and maintenance are developed also interactively together with residents, companies, cities and other actors. The project is implemented as a collaboration between University of Helsinki, Aalto University, Finnish Meteorological Institute, Häme University of Applied Sciences and University of Copenhagen. Among others, The Finnish Association of Landscape Industries is involved in planning and implementing the festival's program.
– Urban green areas play a significant role in mitigating climate change and adapting to its effects. According to our research, in Helsinki the green areas sequestrate approximately 7% of the emissions caused by the burning of fossil fuels, the half being sequestrated in built green environments. In addition, urban green supports the well-being of both people and the climate, says professor Leena Järvi from the University of Helsinki, director of the CO-CARBON project.
– Thus we must pay attention to what kinds of green areas we design and how they are built as well as maintained, continues professor Ranja Hautamäki, the vice leader of CO-CARBON project from Aalto University.