During 2021, the City of Lappeenranta celebrated the European Green Leaf Award. The European Green Leaf is a competition organized by the European Commission for cities with remarkable efforts on environmental actions and with a population of 20 000 to 99 999 inhabitants. In Lappeenranta, the improved outdoor, recycling, urban gardening and electric bicycling possibilities of the award year remain available for citizens’ use.
All Green Leaf actions of Lappeenranta are presented in a final report which is published on the website of the European Commission. The award year’s activities are also displayed in a video.
During the European Green Leaf Award year, Lappeenranta gained international visibility and shared its sustainable solutions across the world. City of Lappeenranta’s Environmental Director Ilkka Räsänen says, that the ambitious climate work continues in the city even though the award year ended.
– The European Green Leaf win has strengthened Lappeenranta’s recognition as an international green city. As a result, Lappeenranta was selected as a European pioneer as part of the European Union’s Mission on Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities. The Mission supports the selected leader cities in becoming carbon neutral by 2030.
– City of Lappeenranta’s Mayor Kimmo Jarva has also been chosen to participate in the Covenant of Mayors initiative, which is the world’s largest movement for local climate and energy actions.
Lappeenranta built and renovated seven natural sites during the European Green Leaf Award year. By combining nature paths of different neighborhoods, the city built a unified nature trail, which now forms a 20 kilometers long route along the shores of lake Saimaa. To cross the lake Saimaa between two peninsulas on the route, the city offers three rowing boats which can be booked on a website.
The city also renovated a nature trail in the city’s Pappilanniemi nature conservation area and built a lean-to shelter along another nature trail. In addition, a health forest, swamp nature trail and Lapp hut were built during the European Green Leaf Award year for citizens.
In addition to the natural attractions, the European Green Leaf Award remains visible in Lappeenranta as community gardening. To continue last year’s successful experiences in childcare centers, children grow vegetables and plants in gardening boxes in the backyards of the childcare centers also this year.
Near the city center, local activists continue urban farming in a community garden called Plantis which was established during the European Green Leaf Award year. The community garden was awarded as 2021’s Scenery Action of the South Karelia region as a promoter of ecologically sustainable urban culture. Citizens can take part in the gardening, and there are also events in the garden.
The city of Lappeenranta installed intelligent rubbish bins in the city center. The bins compress the rubbish to take up less space. The rubbish bins use solar energy, and they also inform about their filling, which makes the planning of their emptying easier and prevents the bins from overfilling.
To promote and facilitate sustainable mobility and tourism, three charging stations for electric bicycles were also installed near the Lappeenranta center. Each charging station has a plug socket to attach the bicycler’s own charger cable. The charging stations are free to use and each of them has room for four electric bicycles.
Ilkka Räsänen, Environmental Director, City of Lappeenranta
Tel. +358 40 081 5284, ilkka.rasanen(at)lappeenranta.fi