Mayor Vartiainen.

Mayor Vartiainen speaks at the Financial Times’ urban development event

On 26–27 April, the Financial Times organises the Future Cities Americas 2022 event in New York. Yesterday, one of the speakers was Mayor Juhana Vartiainen. The event is organised in a hybrid format, and Mayor Vartiainen attended the event remotely.

The event brings together public administration representatives, financial and corporate leaders, innovators, researchers and urban experts to formulate a shared vision for sustainable, fair and safe cities of the future. In the programme, the Financial Times wants to highlight innovative cities not only from the United States, and Helsinki was selected to serve as an example as one of Europe’s leading innovation and smart cities.

Over the past two years, the coronavirus pandemic has posed special challenges to urban development. More than half of the world’s population lives in cities, and according to UN reports, this number is expected to rise to 60% by 2030. Rapid urbanisation combined with alarming climate reports and problems with the social equality of residents have led decision-makers to rethink what future cities will look like. Things to consider include how cities will manage energy production and communications in the future, how buildings and traffic will be made more sustainable and functional, and how cities will be made clean, safe and equal places to live and work for all residents.

At the event, Mayor Vartiainen discussed with Richard Milne, Nordic and Baltic Correspondent of the Financial Times, Helsinki’s coronavirus measures, attracting foreign workers to Finland, factors behind Helsinki’s innovation success and the changed security situation in the Baltic Sea region, among other things. Mayor Vartiainen emphasised Helsinki’s strengths as a safe and appropriately sized city that pursues socially, economically and environmentally sustainable growth and, at the same time, actively competes for expertise, investments and tourists, for example, with Stockholm and Copenhagen. Mayor Vartiainen also informed the international audience about the Finnish preparedness innovation – the voluntary national defence training.

The two-day event is subject to an admission fee. You can follow the social media content of the event with hashtag:

#FTFutureCities