VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland is a state-owned and controlled non-profit limited liability company. As an impartial non-profit Research and Technology Organisation (RTO), VTT carries out research and innovation activities for the needs of industry and knowledge-based society. VTT has vast experience working as a partner in and as a coordinator of a diverse range of EU projects. In 2015 alone, VTT was involved in 355 EU funded research projects. VTT’s activities in the Smart Cities domain are characterised by genuine trans-disciplinary and cross-sectoral approaches with strong expertise in areas including sustainable urban development, clean technologies, bio-economy, ICT, transport and energy.
VTT is an active member of EERA, European Energy Research Alliance. In addition, VTT has a representative within EIP-SCC in the high-level group and in the Sherpa group. VTT is currently developing a roadmap for Smart Cities within CIB and contributing to the UN New Urban Agenda. Nationally, VTT has been a representative on the climate change panel, which advises the Finnish Parliament on sustainable cities, energy, and transport systems. In addition, VTT supports Finnish legislation in urban planning, energy certificates, bio-fuels, and the definition of building codes, among other areas.
UNaLab project partner Laura Wendling wrote an article for the Finnish Civil Engineering association’s magazine Rakennustekniikka, under the topic Managing Urban Water in a Changing Climate. The article focuses on the problem of urban stormwater runoff, that is expected to increase in the future due to increasingly intense and frequent heavy precipitation events as a result of climate change.
The UNaLab team members Peter Roebeling, Teresa Fidelis, Anna Ståhlbröst and Laura Wendling are guest editing a special issue of the Open Access journal Resources on the topic “Nature-based Solutions for Urban Global Climate Change Adaptation”. They now invite papers that address one or more of the pre-selected issues. The deadline for submissions is 30 September 2019.
Year 2019 marked the advancement and near finalisation of NBS planning and construction in the UNaLab front-runner cities. During the latter half of 2019, the cities have been working with the project’s technical partners to identify a suite of relevant key performance indicators (KPIs) that will provide essential information about the performance and impact of the NBS being implemented.
The City Performance Monitor is the UNaLab ICT tool that supports NBS performance and impact assessment, and enables the involvement of all the stakeholders in co-monitoring and data-driven decision-making.
The results of the UNaLab survey on urban green spaces showed that the majority of urban residents surveyed prefer to use green and blue spaces and may change their walking or cycling route to spend time in green and blue spaces when they are not in a rush.
The City of Tampere has recently finished the first construction phase of the novel green wall that is located on an old wastewater treatment plant in the Viinikanlahti district. The green wall is the first of its kind to be constructed this far up north, and the city will study its performance in the harsh Finnish climate to enable the replication of this nature-based solution on other public and private buildings in the city.