Project introduction ---

Circular Green Blocks brought sustainable solutions to blocks and housing companies

Artikkelikuva: Project introduction

The Circular Green Blocks project introduced new sharing and circular economy solutions to the city blocks and housing companies in the Helsinki region.

The Circular Green Blocks project brought together businesses, housing companies and residents to develop sustainable circular and sharing economy solutions focusing on areas such as mobility, the use of shared spaces, the development of yard areas, urban cultivation and circularity-themed events. These solutions were tested in seven selected pilot blocks in the Helsinki region. 


The objective of the Circular Green Blocks project was to promote the circular and sharing economy in city blocks and housing companies and to contribute to the development of a smart and functional city. During the project, participating businesses received help in developing business activities that promote the circular and sharing economy. Housing companies, on the other hand, learned to recognise what kind of circular economy solutions they could implement in their own properties or neighbourhoods. 

Another objective was to promote the utilisation of 3D geospatial data and increase businesses’ knowledge and understanding of its potential uses in areas such as the development and planning of city block yards. The project involved utilising 360-degree photography, digital environmental data and 3D modelling to promote circular economy solutions and planning at city block level. The potential use-cases of modelling were illustrated to potential service providers as well as to housing companies.

In two years, the project provided information on the implementation of housing companies’ services that utilise digitalisation at city block level. The pilots provided understanding on what kind of opportunities housing companies have to promote the circular and sharing economy and what the implementation of new solutions requires. At the same time, businesses gained a better understanding of the implementation of solutions with multiple housing companies.

In addition to businesses and housing companies, cooperation was carried out with property management and maintenance companies, circular economy experts and city administration. 

Duration, partners and funding

Duration: The project ran from 1 September 2021 to 30 September 2023.

Partners: Helsinki Region Environmental Services Authority (HSY), Forum Virium Helsinki, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences and Aalto University. The project was coordinated by HSY.

Funding: The project was funded by the European Regional Development Fund. The funding was part of the EU-REACT programme, meaning that the project is being funded as part of the European Union’s COVID-19 recovery efforts. The authority responsible for supervising the funding was the Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council. The project also received funding from the City of Helsinki.

Budget: The project had a total budget of 1,173,241 euros, of which Forum Virium Helsinki’s share was 296,600 euros.

The role of Forum Virium Helsinki

Forum Virium Helsinki was responsible for selecting the pilot blocks in Helsinki. The selected blocks and housing companies acted as Living Labs for the circular and sharing economy themed pilots. Through an Open Call, Forum Virium Helsinki was seeking digital sharing economy solutions to be tested in the blocks. The results and models of the project were incorporated into the Helsinki Innovation Districts project to support the development of urban renewal areas.

Benefits for Helsinki

The project provided the City with information on circular and sharing economy solutions and understanding of how to take them into account in area development. The pilots carried out with housing companies in the pilot blocks in Helsinki also supported development efforts in urban renewal areas. The experience gained and lessons learned in the project will be utilised in the measures of City of Helsinki’s circular and sharing economy roadmap and circular economy cluster program.

Image: Sasa Tkalcan / Helsinki Partners