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Location Finland, Europe
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Keywords Countries
Authors Phil Green
Published 2014
License CC BY-SA 4.0
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Finland (Finnish: Suomi [ˈsuo̯mi] (listen); Swedish: Finland [ˈfɪ̌nland] (listen)), officially the Republic of Finland (Finnish: Suomen tasavalta; Swedish: Republiken Finland (listen to all)), is a Nordic country in Northern Europe. It shares land borders with Sweden to the west, Russia to the east, Norway to the north, and is defined by the Gulf of Bothnia to the west, and the Gulf of Finland of the Baltic Sea across Estonia to the south. Finland covers an area of 338,455 square kilometres (130,678 sq mi), with a population of 5.5 million. Helsinki is the country's capital and largest city, but together with the neighboring cities of Espoo, Kauniainen, and Vantaa, it forms a larger metropolitan area. Finnish, the native language of the Finns, is among the few Finnic languages in the world. The climate varies relative to latitude, from the southern humid continental climate to the northern boreal climate. The land cover is primarily a boreal forest biome, with more than 180,000 recorded lakes.

Finland was inhabited around 9000 BC after the Last Glacial Period. The Stone Age introduced several different ceramic styles and cultures. The Bronze Age and Iron Age were characterised by extensive contacts with other cultures in Fennoscandia and the Baltic region. From the late 13th century, Finland gradually became an integral part of Sweden as a consequence of the Northern Crusades. In 1809, as a result of the Finnish War, Finland was annexed by Russia as the autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland, during which Finnish art flourished and the idea of independence began to take hold. In 1906, Finland became the first European state to grant universal suffrage, and the first in the world to give all adult citizens the right to run for public office. Nicholas II, the last Tsar of Russia, tried to russify Finland and terminate its political autonomy, but after the 1917 Russian Revolution, Finland declared independence from Russia. In 1918, the fledgling state was divided by the Finnish Civil War. During World War II, Finland fought the Soviet Union in the Winter War and the Continuation War, and Nazi Germany in the Lapland War. After the wars, Finland lost parts of its territory, including the culturally and historically significant town of Vyborg, but maintained its independence.

Finland largely remained an agrarian country until the 1950s. After World War II, the country rapidly industrialised and developed an advanced economy, while building an extensive welfare state based on the Nordic model, resulting in widespread prosperity and a high per capita income. Finland joined the United Nations in 1955 and adopted an official policy of neutrality. Finland joined the OECD in 1969, the NATO Partnership for Peace in 1994, the European Union in 1995, the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council in 1997, and the Eurozone at its inception in 1999. Finland is a top performer in numerous metrics of national performance, including education, economic competitiveness, civil liberties, quality of life and human development. In 2015, Finland was ranked first in the World Human Capital and the Press Freedom Index and as the most stable country in the world during 2011–2016 in the Fragile States Index, and second in the Global Gender Gap Report. It also ranked first on the World Happiness Report report for 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021.

Finland community action[edit | edit source]

Sustainability initiatives[edit | edit source]

Climate action[edit | edit source]

wikipedia:Climate change in Finland

Community energy[edit | edit source]

Finland's Renewable Energy

Wikipedia: Renewable energy in Finland, Finland National Renewable Energy Action Plan, Solar energy in Finland

Community involvement[edit | edit source]

Yhteismaa (Common Ground), a Finnish non-profit dedicated to participatory city culture and placemaking

Cycling activism[edit | edit source]

Critical Mass bicycle rides in Finland

Ethical consumerism[edit | edit source]

Buy Nothing Day

Food activism[edit | edit source]

Restaurant Day[edit | edit source]

In big cities, people of many different cultures live in close proximity. However, there often aren't enough chances for them to intermingle and experience the diverse traditions within their city. In an effort to bring people together and foster cross cultural interaction, local organizers in Helsinki, Finland, created "Ravintolapäivä," or Restaurant Day. Initiated in 2011, it began as a food carnival where anyone with a passion for food was encouraged to run a "restaurant" in their private home or in public spaces for a single day. Even though the pop-up restaurants charge money for the meals, the emphasis is not on profit, but rather on community teamwork and cultural exchange. During the event, Helsinki is transformed by hundreds of these informal restaurants serving a wide range of cuisines in this city-wide street festival. The event is put on through distributed organization — individual volunteer restaurateurs are responsible for finding a location, managing the menu and invitations, and setting the meal prices. Now, Restaurant Day has become a global movement, with over 27,000 pop-up restaurants having served over 3 million community members across 75 countries. —Khushboo Balwani [1]

Other links

Cottages and Allotments, City of Helsinki

Open spaces[edit | edit source]

Green Hearts, Park Walks in Helsinki

Sustainable transport activism[edit | edit source]

Train schedules: VR.fi EN

Bus timetables and routes in Helsinki region: HSL.fi EN

Towards sustainable economies[edit | edit source]

The federal government of Finland is currently (Oct 2017) conducting an experiment of the effects of a basic income on unemployed citizens, which began in January 2017 and will conclude in December 2018. [2]

Basic Income Experiment 2017–2018

wikipedia:Cleantech Finland

Resources[edit | edit source]

Apps for sustainability[edit | edit source]

Täsä, city of Turku. Mobile app, which helps capture citizens' ideas regarding urban development sites.

Citizens data initiative[edit | edit source]

Urban Facts, open data at the City of Helsinki.

Community resources[edit | edit source]

Sompasauna, wood burning self-service public sauna in Helsinki built and maintained by a group of volunteers.

Maps[edit | edit source]

Helsinki Region Transport - Vehicles, bus and tram (English)

Google Maps Location

Research[edit | edit source]

wikipedia:Finnish Environment Institute

News and comment[edit | edit source]


Nordic countries endure heatwave as Lapland records hottest day since 1914, Jul 6 [3]


The full impact of Finland’s UBI experiment is in - improving wellbeing, cognitive confidence, and a sense of personal control, May 5 [4]

My country’s ambitious plan to be carbon-neutral in 15 years [5]


Finnish Prime Minister Marin calls for a 4-day-week and 6-hour-day for her country, Dec 19 [6]

Lahti becomes the European Green Capital in 2021, Jun 24 [7]

Finland's result on its UBI experiment: people don't shirk work. And it increases trust, health & wellbeing, Feb 8 [8]

The city with no homeless on its streets, Jan 31 [9]


Finland: Where second-hand comes first, Nov 8 [10]

Helsinki unveils plan to reach carbon neutrality by 2035, Mar 21 [11]

Safe, happy and free: does Finland have all the answers? Feb 12 [12]


A basic income for everyone? Yes, Finland shows it really can work, Aditya Chakrabortty, Nov 1 [13]

How one city plans to steer residents away from driving, Sep 26 [14]


Free Cash in Finland. Must Be Jobless. Dec 17 [15]

Helsinki Treats New Bike-Share as Another Form of Public Transit, May 27 [16]


Finland is considering giving every citizen a basic income, December 5 [17]

The Sharing Economy is Booming in Helsinki: Here's Why, October 22 [18]

Dinner Under the Helsinki Sky Turns Busy Street into Community Table, September 14 [19]

Helsinki Volunteers Reinvent the Public Sauna, September 4 [20]

Why Helsinki – a mix of Detroit and Geneva – is one of the most exciting cities in the world, Aug 10 [21]

Finnish parliament approves new climate bill that commits to 80% emissions reductions by 2050, March 6. [22]

Mobility survey reveals three-quarters of Helsinki journeys are sustainable, January 7 [23]


Finland Sets New Goal For Cutting Greenhouse Gas Emissions, June 11 [24]


"Finland is about to start using crowdsourcing to create new laws", September 20 [25]

Events[edit | edit source]

Regular events

Restaurant Day 2015, Visit Helsinki, approximately once every three months


External links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]