Sustainable Cities™

Porvoo: Energy-efficient Residential Area

The Municipality of Porvoo was nominated as a finalist for the Nordic Energy Municipality 2011 with the project Skaftkärr – an energy-efficient residential area. The Skaftkärr cooperation and experimentation project (2008–2012) was launched by the City of Porvoo, The Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra, the municipal energy company Porvoon Energia Oy Borgå Energi Ab and the regional business development company Posintra Oy to promote energy-efficient construction and to integrate it in the planning of the area.


The aim is to develop an energy-efficient residential area, to integrate the aspect of energy efficiency in all phases of spatial planning, to create new solutions and new ways of working, and to steer and monitor the use of energy. The findings of this pilot project are intended to be applied on a larger scale elsewhere in Finland.

The project's three main tasks are:

  • to improve the ability of the spatial planning process to account for energy effi ciency;
  • to create steering systems for the use of energy (the Living Lab subproject);
  • to develop future business activities for the municipal energy company.

The Skaftkärr project has already produced completely new information about how municipalities, through spatial planning, can influence the energy efficiency of their areas. The project has also presented new means and calculation models to be used for improving the decision-making process and energy awareness in spatial planning. In view of the research done in the project, calculation of emissions and analysis of the total energy should be included in the impact assessment of all spatial plans in Nordic countries.

In Skaftkärr, choices have been made to reduce energy consumption and emissions. Consumption of primary energy is cut by 38 % and the CO2 emissions by 30 % in comparison with old planning principles. Emissions could be further reduced if the planned solar district heating plant is built. Local actors, inhabitants and businesses are actively involved in the project. The planning and innovation of the Skaftkärr area is done in broad cooperation between the municipality, other authorities, energy producers, construction clients, equipment manufacturers and other enterprises, as well as future inhabitants.

"With the Skaftkärr project, Porvoo will be the top place in Finland for energy-efficient living. The project inspired the City of Porvoo to launch a versatile action programme that will take the city systematically towards carbon-free housing. Energy efficiency is a key priority in the city's new strategy. Good news for both residents and municipality is that smaller carbon footprints can give lower costs of living. One of the project's prime success factors is its scope of involvement and cooperation. The project has involved local actors, inhabitants and businesses from its very start. Authorities, energy producers, construction clients, equipment manufacturers, other enterprises and future residents will continue to cooperate in planning and innovating the area in the future, too." - Deputy Mayor Fredrick von Schoultz, City of Porvoo

>> More information about the project

>> More information about the Nordic Energy Municipality

>> More information about the Nordic Energy Municipality 2011 - for new and sustainable efforts in the energy area Award Ceremony - 31st of October, 2011 at The Danish Architecture Centre, Copenhagen, Denmark

Last updated Tuesday, January 21, 2014