"Horizons – towards a zero-emission maritime city journey" seminar at the Helsinki City Hall. (Photo: Jonne Räsänen)

Towards a zero-emission maritime city journey

Beyond Helsinki’s stunning oceanic horizon lies a myriad of islands just waiting to be explored. An idea has been forming. A vision of a smart, energy efficient, waterborne and carbon-neutral passenger transportation system. A system that Ulla Tapaninen, Head of Unit, Enterprise Services at City of Helsinki, hopes will better connect the mainland with the islands, allowing for residents and visitors alike to better utilize and enjoy the true beauty that the region has to offer.

Helsinki recently became a member of the SEA20, an international network of the world's foremost Smart and Ecologically-Ambitious marine cities, dedicated to the radical transformation of the marine and energy industries into one supremely efficient, ecologically sound, digitally connected and collaborative ecosystem. This network is enabled by Wärtsilä, and for this reason the city partnered with the Smart Tech company to co-host an event on 17th April 2019 exploring the pathway toward a prospective new future; “Horizons – towards a zero-emission maritime city journey”.

The primary goal was to bring together key stakeholders in this city’s ecosystem under one roof to discuss the idea of introducing a waterborne and carbon-neutral passenger transportation system here in Helsinki and to ideate the possible strategies as to how, collectively, we can bring this idea to life. A rich mix of representatives shared not only their views on the biggest opportunities to be yielded from maritime but brought to the table their expertise, tools and technologies that will help bring the idea to life.

Public transportation, when compared with private means, will be more commonly used for commuting in the future, with more focus on rails, wheels and even water. As urban populations continue to swell, we’re seeing a gradual shift away from personally owned modes of transportation towards mobility solutions that are consumed on demand and as a service.  The maritime transportation industry is gearing up to keep pace with the changing needs of cities.

To lay the right foundations, big questions need to be tackled first. How do we guarantee protection of the archipelago’s biodiversity? How can the city produce the energy required to meet needs in a sustainable and environmentally-friendly way? Connecting smart vessels to smart ports is one thing, but the city also needs to create the right infrastructure to support a clean energy supply chain.

Together with the event participants, the city was able to explore the potential steps and key building blocks needed to pave the way towards a carbon-neutral water transportation ecosystem.

More information

Horizons
A series of events tailored to enable dialogue and collaboration across the political, scientific, business, and industry worlds.
Inspired by Wärtsilä to bridge the gap between the present day and a desirable, sustainable future, these sessions deliver an experience and promise attendees the opportunity to come together to co-create tangible solutions, which will transform our industries and help us secure a future we can all be proud of.

SEA20

Guidelines set for development of Helsinki’s maritime offerings and appeal

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