A Finnish environmental NGO working in urban environments - example of Dodo (2014)
A Finnish environmental NGO
working in urban environments –
example of Dodo
August 18, 2014
Helsinki Summer School
Ecology and management of urban green space
Why an urban NGO?
• Majority of people live in cities; 50-50 situation was reached
– Finland 30 % in 1950 70 % in 2030
• Cities are getting bigger; in 1975 3 megacities of 10 million or
more inhabitants, by 2025 there will be 27 (21 in the
• Urban people are increasingly detached from the natural
environment and the sources of food, energy, raw
materials,…or are they?
• Cities are not ecological bubbles!
"Well-designed and well-governed cities can
combine high living standards with much
lower greenhouse gas emissions.”
David Dodman, International Institute for Environment and
Sustainable Development Goals post-2015:
Goal 11. Make cities and human settlements
inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
- enhance inclusive and sustainable urbanization and
capacities for participatory, integrated and sustainable human
settlement planning and management;
- reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of
cities, including by paying special attention to air quality,
municipal and other waste management;
- provide universal access to safe, inclusive and accessible,
green and public spaces; etc.
Dodo – A Progressive Finnish
• Established 1995
• Promotes global environmental
thinking and citizen-based action
• Wide perspective to environmental
• Urban point of view: individuality &
• Open sharing of ideas and willingness
to test any possible solutions – with a
permission to fail
• Avoiding expert talk; everyone’s
entitled to understand and contribute
to the discourse
• strongly voluntary-based
In Dodo we ask:
• What is happy & sustainable life made of?
• Who decides our way of living?
• How can we find local solutions to global
• Can I do it??
Ideas rising into action
– ‘Nitrogen Valley’
“Cities have the
for everybody, only
because, and only
when, they are
― Jane Jacobs, The Death and
Life of Great American Cities
who ride bikes.”
2) Food: Urban farming
• A great success since 2009: you CAN grow your own food in a city!
And that DOES make a difference!
What makes Dodo a great place to act?
• Learning by doing
• Global approach; sharing solutions and ideas
• Positivity; environmental activism is fun!
• Courage to try out even the boldest ideas
The NEXT level?
• Bottom-up ‘green economy’ & ‘clean-tech’
• Off-grid: small-scale energy production
• Off-pipe: stop to resource waste, closing the