13 July 2014

Finnish-ing off Cars

Maybe my love of ideas, interest in environmental issues, and dislike of cars come from my genes.

Finland has made much news lately for its environmental initiatives. Last month, it committed to a binding 80 percent reduction in carbon emissions. Now, Helsinki, its capital city, makes a move to eliminate the need for individual citizens to own cars. All those plans have left me even more proud of my Finnish heritage.

Helsinki's initiative shows what happens when people commit to the development of ideas. The city plans to capitalize on the country's innovative approach to technology as it makes its public transportation highly responsive to individual needs. According to this article from The Guardian, by 2025, Helsinki residents will have the ability to coordinate, plan, and pay for all their public transportation use with a single smart-phone app.

The vision Helsinki has for its transportation system challenges the need for private car ownership. By making the necessary changes in its infrastructure and embracing the potential of new technologies, the city will trump the convenience of the car, reducing the environmental impacts associated with transportation.

As a Finn, I'm excited about the thriving, environmentally friendly community Helsinki intends to build, but the great thing about ideas like this is that we don't need DNA to pass them on; all it takes is a blog entry and some forward thinking.

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