You may not have heard of the European Green Capital 2021, 60 miles north of Helsinki, but it’s been busy carving out an environmentally conscious new identity. Aiming to become Finland’s first carbon-neutral city by 2025 (with the whole country doing the same by 2035), Lahti’s green initiatives range from an app for residents to track their individual carbon footprint to heating systems powered by recycled fuel, as well as local, FSC-certified wood. In the summer, meanwhile, visitors can soak up the 24-hour sunlight on the harbour, which has been transformed from an industrial port to a thriving hub of restaurants and cafes. Just on the city’s doorstep is Päijänne National Park — ripe for exploring with its pristine waters, islands and birdlife.
The Austrian capital has long had public water fountains, but its 21st-century revamp sees 1,000 of them supplied with spring water that generates hydroelectric power en route from the mountains. Meanwhile, its newest eco-boutique hotel The Wood, constructed using only sustainable wood, opened in the trendy Mariahilf district in December 2020. There’s no greener way for travellers to get around than by Citybike Wien bikes, with half the metropolitan area of Austria’s capital made up of green spaces, threaded with 870 miles of cycle paths. There’s also a fleet of eco-friendly taxis for those in a hurry.
In summer 2020, the world’s largest urban rooftop farm was unveiled on a striking new exhibition hall in the