Turku joins POLIS Network as its first Finnish city

Welcome, Turku! Joining POLIS as its first Finnish member, we asked them to share some of their future goals and plans as part of our network.

Turku is the sixth largest city in Finland with an important and strategic location on the coast of the Baltic Sea in South-Western Finland. The population of Turku is over 190 000 and is considered the capital of one of the main growth areas of Finland.

Turku is also set to be the first member from Finland, providing the network insights also from this part of Europe.

What are Turku’s main goals when it comes to sustainable mobility?

Turku was selected as one of the EUs 100 mission cities which aim to become carbon neutral by 2030, Turku has bettered this goal by setting the aim of being carbon neutral by 2029, in time for the city's 800-year celebration. A big part of this challenge is the promotion of sustainable mobility.

How are you pursuing these goals?

Turku is involved in many measures to reduce the carbon footprint of mobility, one of which is to promote electromobility and development of the electric charging infrastructure, which is currently run as a part of the Horizon 2020 financed USER-CHI project. The city is also developing the versatility of mobility highlighting the diverse methods of mobility and active year-round modes of transport. Active mobility management is at the core of another Horizon project we are working on called Scale-Up.

What are the key actions contained in the SUMP and Strategic Planning for 2021-2027?

Turku has been involved in the development of regional SUMP, which was established in 2020.

Which highlights the improvement of the train connection to Helsinki, implementation of a Regional bus trunk line by 2025, the development of bike lanes and conditions for walking in the Turku region.

Turku is currently working on a city-specific SUMP as it has become evident that the regional level SUMP is not enough for reaching the ambitious mobility goals of the city.

How do your urban mobility goals fit within your wider climate action and decarbonisation goals?

Turku has a Sustainable Energy and Climate plan that incorporates the urban mobility goals of carbon neutrality by 2029 and the aim to increase the modal share of sustainable modes to 66% by 2030. The city of Turku also has a Circular Turku – A Roadmap Towards Resource Wisdom, in which Mobility plays a key role.

What is your vision for the future of the city?

By 2030 we envision a carbon positive city that is working as an example for other cities surrounding the Baltic Sea. Reducing the stress and pollution on the Baltic Sea is crucial for the survival of many species and the habitability of the area for us humans. For 800 years our city has been the home of people and we hope to continue being a place which future generations can call home.

Why did you decide to join POLIS?

POLIS is an extraordinary mobility-focused network which allows us to find like-minded partners to further the values of sustainable, green and future-orientated development. We think that more collaboration is needed for reaching the sustainability goals set on a global scale, and by being a member in POLIS we ensure the quality of this collaboration.

POLIS is the leading network of cities and regions, bringing together cities, regions, as well as research institutes and transport operators, to address common urban mobility challenges, while advocating for greater involvement of local and regional authorities in national and international mobility policy agendas.

At a time when international cooperation is critical for tackling the challenges we face creating more inclusive, more accessible sustainable urban mobility.

To find out more about membership, contact