How Cities Can Use Biochar in Urban Green Spaces to Achieve Carbon Neutrality

Senior lecturer Mikko Jalas is available to comment on how cities can use biochar in urban green spaces to help reach carbon neutrality.

Jalas has co-led efforts on Carbon Lane, a project to build and monitor an urban carbon sink in the Finnish capital of Helsinki. The pilot is among the first globally to test the use of biochar in a public park in use, as well as the chart the material's development with the city and commercial partners.

'Many cities are struggling to find ways to reach their carbon targets. With our pilot we now have a model for creating carbon sinks in urban environments with biochar – a product that you get by burning biowaste, like grass, demolished wood, and even sewage sludge, in a certain way. In the case of Helsinki, our estimates show that widely introducing biochar to the city's parks would store about the same amount of carbon as a major shift from cement-based to wood-based construction across the city. This is a simple and practical way for cities to store carbon in the soil that is, in any case, in the parks and green spaces around us,' says Jalas.

The City of Helsinki aims to be carbon neutral by 2035.

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