Committing and sharing lessons learned from individual projects are crucial to developing sustainable areas. How can we create an open atmosphere for information sharing while maintaining legitimate business data protection?
In our project, we primarily focus on mobility and energy issues. We have also started to examine green infrastructure from a ‘no net loss’ and nature-positive perspective. All three focus areas form their own system of services within the urban area as a whole. These systems’ starting points, actors, technologies, and legalities are substantially different from one another. In addition, their relationship to business is different.
For example, in order to move from a centralized value chain of a few actors to a decentralized energy community of several regional actors, the key to success is the ability and will of the actors, the legitimacy of the action, and the organization of the community to serve the purpose. A further prerequisite for success is finding a financial basis for the whole project and its sub-projects. Commercial models and funding are needed to make good ideas feasible.
When creating the future of the region through co-creation, it is necessary to consider the following:
- Outlining issues and objectives that are to be addressed;
- Forming a consortium capable of ideation and implementation, and identifying the means of commitment;
- Compiling the necessary starting points and information;
- Problem-solving that is both creative and able to concretize;
- A process and organization that ensure the feasibility of ideas.
Timely system-level solutions and ways to create value
Sustainability can be achieved through both steering and co-creation, but co-creation is not yet a widely used method—although the cities mentioned above have taken steps towards co-creation in Finland. Strengthened corporate responsibility, regulation, and lending conditions that favour sustainable solutions from financial institutions are helping to steer regional development actors towards sustainable activities and end products.
The conditions for sustainability are created by improving the flow of information between different actors at the city level and system actors at the ecosystem, regional, and project levels. Sustainability is implemented by co-creation alongside the traditional process, optimizing the timing. In Espoo, an example of this is the functional planning pilot in the Kera area.
How can jointly formed objectives and sustainable and smart solutions be integrated into regional development while creating benefits at different levels? Society is changing at a historic pace, and society must be able to renew itself in its context, in the built environment. We must find a new way to create and preserve real estate and regional value over time.