Networking event 1: Cities Forum

Time: 21 January 2014
Place: Helsinki, Finland, Helsinki City hall

Photo: Tina NyforsThe Cities Forum, the first of two big CITYWATER networking events, was organized 21 January 2014 as part of the official opening of the Gulf of Finland Year 2014. About 70 participants from Finland, Russia, Estonia, Latvia and Sweden participated in the Forum entitled “Benefits of water protection – a range of concrete measures for local actors”. The Forum brought up a range examples of concrete water protection measures done by local actors.

Action at the local level is crucial

Photo: Lotta Henriksson

Mr Jussi Pajunen

In the opening words, the mayor of Helsinki, Mr. Jussi Pajunen, said that a clean environment contributes to all dimensions of sustainability; economic, social and ecological. Mr Pajunen also mentioned the Port of Helsinki and their decision to accept waste water from cruise ships free of charge as a good example of concrete action.

The importance of action at the local level was emphasized by Mr Pekka Kansanen, Director General, City of Helsinki Environment Centre. Mr Kansanen referred to the The Gulf of Finland Year and said it is a joint initiative of 3 countries, but reminded the audience of that cities and municipalities is where much of the concrete action takes place.

In relation to concrete action at the local level, the monetary benefits of water protection are crucial to bring up, since most of the time only the costs are presented, without comparing them with the benefits in the economic calculations. There are methods to equate the benefits to the costs, which was the topic of Professor Kari Hyytiäinen who is a professor in the Economics of Baltic Sea Protection at the University of Helsinki.

Storm waters, food and waste water

Furthermore, the Forum brought up concrete water protection measures in relation to storm waters, waste water reception in ports, food and waste water treatment plants. The theme storm waters and whether they are a threat or possibility as well as where to find investment money was discussed by Mr. Mika Rekola, University of Helsinki and Mr Lari Pitkä-Kangas, City of Malmö.

Photo: Tina Nyfors

Ms Sirpa Kurppa

Food and the impact it has on the Baltic Sea was the topic of Ms. Sirpa Kurppa, MTT Agrifood Research Finland and Mr. Petteri Huuska, City of Helsinki Environment Centre.

Waste water treatment plants and clean tech was discussed by Ms. Saijariina Toivikko, Finnish Water Utilities Association (FIWA) and Mr Tommi Fred, Helsinki Region Environmental Services Authority.

Waste water reception in ports and preparedness for the special area status of the Baltic Sea was were dealt with by Ms. Anita Mäkinen, Finnish Transport Safety Agency and Mr. Kimmo Mäki, Port of Helsinki.

Photo: Lotta Henriksson

Ms Marjukka Porvari, Ms Anita Mäkinen and Mr Kimmo Mäki.

The seminar was concluded by a cities think-thank where the chair Ms Päivi Kippo-Edlund and the moderators Ms Lotta Nummelin and Ms Marjukka Porvari summed up the discussions.

After the Cities Forum, the official opening ceremony of the Gulf of Finland Year 2014 was held.

The Cities Forum was organized by CITYWATER and the Baltic Sea Challenge network and it could also be followed online. The presentations can be downloaded in the sidebar to the right. For many of the presentations, it is also possible to listen to the talk given by the speaker, just press the play button.



Read more:

Programme, download
Report, download

To listen to the recorded presentations: download the file and press play

Opening session:

Jussi Pajunen, Mayor of Helsinki:
Opening words

Pekka Kansanen, City of Helsinki Environment Centre:
Facing the problem: What kind of measures can cities do?

Kari Hyytiäinen, University of Helsinki
Putting a monetary value on healthy waters – a cost-benefit perspective

Parallel sessions, showcasing water protection:

Parallel session:
Threat or possibility – where to find investment money?

Mika Rekola,University of Helsinki:
The economic valuation of ecosystem services, case storm waters

Lari Pitkä-Kangas, City of Malmö
Storm water management, ecosystem services and Green technology – the case of Malmö

Parallel session:

Preparedness for the special area status of the Baltic Sea

Anita Mäkinen, Finnish Transport Safety Agency:
Available port reception facilities and needs for improvement

Kimmo Mäki, Port of Helsinki:
How to economically introduce a no-special fee praxis

Parallel session:
Eat vegetarian – save the Baltic Sea?

Sirpa Kurppa, MTT Agrifood Research Finland:
FOODWEB – Baltic environment, food and health: from habits to awareness

Petteri Huuska, City of Helsinki Environment Centre:
The role of municipalities – how to improve the public food courses?

Parallel session:
Clean tech – costs or savings?

Saijariina Toivikko, Finnish Water Utilities Association (FIWA):
How can municipal waste water treatment be improved in a cost-efficient way?

Tommi Fred, Helsinki Region Environmental Services Authority:
Successful solutions in waste water treatment in the Helsinki region

Concluding session: Cities think-thank