Story of Lahti

The Lahti Region’s diverse natural environments have been harnessed as real-world experimental areas, where companies, research units and individuals are able to conduct scientific environmental studies.

Planning functional urban environments

A grid-based town plan, drafted just a hundred years ago, can be considered the region’s first urban planning document. The early city structure with its wide streets and green areas is still visible.
Sustainable urban development in Lahti involves reliable monitoring, long-term planning and a variety of land-use models. Multi-level environmental work is carried out based on the needs of residents, organisations and companies.

Lahti’s land-use planning model to create a shared vision for urban and brownfield areas is innovative and unique, even at national level. The Master Plan, on the other hand, is a comprehensive land use plan for the entirety of the city of Lahti and is implemented as a continuous process. It predicts green growth and assesses the ecological urban infrastructure.

Research facilities are dedicated to engineering the city of the future

21 years and 21 Environment Weeks

Every year Lahti holds an Environment Week full of activities. For 21 years, residents of Lahti have gathered voluntarily for a common goal – to protect the vulnerable balance between natural and constructed environments.  



 Water & Soil

Lahti is known internationally for its expertise in water and soil treatment. Protecting water bodies and groundwater areas is a common goal. Local water reserves are highly valued and water conservation is the region’s common task. A regional groundwater conservation programme has been drawn up to protect and further improve the quality of groundwater.

Since starting in the mid 1970s, the restoration of Lake Vesijärvi has become a world-famous fresh water restoration project. The significant improvement of the lake is the result of restoration work carried out in co-operation with several organisations. Solid expertise in all things water was the springboard for the creation of one of the most important urban environment research hubs in the Nordic countries.

Plenty of businesses in the water restoration industry are located in the area, and the region serves as an optimal test bed for new water-related products and services. Read more on work conducted that has led to growing urban hydrology.

Lahti represents one of the most important urban environment research hubs in the Nordic countries

Smart Water

Groundwater is used as a source of drinking water and by local brewers and distilling businesses in their highly refined products. It is also utilised in cooling premises and as a cold energy resource in growing urban districts.

The latest environmental projects in 2018 ables storm water management with cost-effective hybrid solutions and higher adaptive capacity in urban water management. As a result of the second one, the city of Lahti will update the existing groundwater model and integrate it with climate and weather data.

The city of Lahti is also piloting energy generation from wastewater treatment. Local sewage sludge is processed sustainably and energy efficiently, and is used in biofuel development and as a garden fertiliser.

Did you know that also air-quality monitoring is underway in several locations right now around the city?


The environment of tomorrow? We believe that…

  • Urban planning will be based more on sustainable use of natural resources and ecosystem services.
  • Digital and open data based solutions will play a key role in all environmental protection and planning in the future.
  • Fresh water restoration methods aimed at cutting the internal load of the lake will serve as a leading global example. The focus will also be in cutting external load, concentrating on agricultural cultivation practices and building artificial wetlands where needed.


Read Stories and Solutions on the theme of Environment

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