Espoo’s history goes back over 500 years. However, the rapid growth of the city has taken place over the past 50 years and growth continues to be strong. Espoo is Finland’s fastest growing city relatively, and by 2050, it is estimated that the population will have increased to 400,000 people.
- The story of the growth of the whole of Espoo started with the construction of Tapiola in the 1950s, when housing was built specifically for the needs of families with children, says Jukka Mäkelä, Mayor of the City of Espoo, describing the relationship between the city and education.
- Since those times, Espoo has been characterised by growth and there have always been a lot of children and families with children here. It has also meant that learning and competence have been important in the value systems of the children’s parents.
The aim is to have Europe’s best ecosystem for innovation
In the future too, Espoo will rely on the success of the city being built on solid competences, high technology and innovation. Espoo’s aim is to make the city into Europe’s best innovation ecosystem and the goal is to win the title of the EU’s Innovation capital. Espoo’s innovation ecosystem brings together high levels of education and research, different sizes of companies from start-ups to international quoted companies as well as the city and its inhabitants.
- The starting point for the whole of our Innovation capital project is to bring these organisations together to the table, says Mr Mäkelä, the mayor of the city.
- Both the universities of applied sciences and the universities have a major role to play in this equation.
Read the whole article in the latest issue of Forerunner Magazine here.