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Low carbon economy is developed in Oulu as part of an international project, Making-City

Over the next five years Oulu participates in a large international EU project under the Horizon 2020 programme’s Smart Cities and Communities (SCC) theme which promotes the low carbon objectives of the cities. The project involves 34 partners from all over Europe. The main coordinator is the Cartif Research Centre in Spain and the pilot cities are Oulu in Finland and Groningen in the Netherlands. In addition to this, six successor cities participate in the project: Bassano del Grappa (Italy), Leon (Spain), Kadikoy (Turkey), Poprad (Slovenia), Vidin (Bulgaria) and Lublin (Poland) with their partners.

The project consortium of Oulu consists of the Urban and Environmental Services of the City of Oulu, Oulun Energia Ltd, Oulun Sivakka Ltd, YIT Rakennus Ltd, Arinan kiinteistöt Ltd, Jetitek Ltd, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd and the University of Oulu. The total cost of the Oulu project consortium is EUR 5.2 million over the years 2019-2023. The partners of the Oulu project consortium have received 70-100% of EU funding from the Horizon 2020 programme for the eligible costs of their subprojects.

In Oulu and Groningen, the pilot cities of the Making-City project, pilot sites based on innovative energy solutions are designed, carried out and tested. These pilot sites are called PED (Positive Energy District) areas. In addition, the six successor cities participating in the project are committed to designing one positive energy housing area during the project on the basis of the experiences gained from the pilot projects of Oulu and Groningen.

The pilot site of Oulu is situated in the Kaukovainio centre in which a building complex based on innovative energy solutions is designed and built in cooperation with the project consortium. The pilot site produces energy and utilizes waste heat in such a way that the entity becomes almost energy self-sufficient on the annual level. The distribution of waste heat between the individual properties of the housing area is carried out through a low temperature heating network and a control system guiding it. Recovered water from the existing district heating network is also used for heating the properties. When the project site is completed, its energy consumption will be measured and monitored for two years.

Along with the Kaukovainio centre pilot, business models for new innovative and energy self-sufficient solutions are designed and tested. Social development of the area is promoted by reducing its regional carbon footprint and by involving the local inhabitants and various stakeholders in the development of the PED concept and the promotion of scalability. In relation to carbon footprints, for example, the carbon footprint of energy produced by local solar energy is 32 g/kWh whereas it is 122 g/kWh for energy produced by the main electricity grid.

The objective of the pilots carried out in Oulu and Groningen is to demonstrate the validity of the PED concept as a pioneer for efficient and sustainable use of energy the impact of which extends far beyond existing plans. Along the pilot sites, in order to support the PED concept, tools and non-technical measures are carried out in order to promote the low carbon objectives of the cities in the long term and accelerate their transition into low carbon economy. 

The project implements the City of Oulu’s Urban Strategy 2026 and the environmental programme, promotes their aims for enhancing energy and material efficiency as well as contributes to achieving the goal set for a carbon neutral city.


More information about the project:

City of Oulu
city geodesist Kaija Puhakka,, 044 703 2301
development manager Sari Matinheikki,, 044 703 2014


Oulun Energia Ltd
development engineer Reijo Pantsar,, 040 8402351


Oulu Sivakka Ltd
construction manager Kari Puotiniemi,, 044 7108171


YIT Rakennus Ltd

regional director Marko Palonen,, 050 583 9472

Arinan kiinteistöt Ltd
property manager Seppo Jakola,, 050 3375890
project engineer Tuukka Päkkilä,, 050 4631434


Jetitek Ltd
projects and sales, Jari Karhu,, 040 7127508
development manager Jussi Parviainen,, 040 7127554


VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd
specialist researcher Klaus Känsälä,, 040 5460131
researcher Tuomas Paaso,, 044 2824060


University of Oulu
postdoctoral researcher Sari Hirvonen-Kantola,, 0294 484980
professor of energy and environmental technology, Eva Pongracz,, 0294 487417