Helsinki’s vision is to be the most functional smart city in the world. Helsinki advances smart city development by introducing new technologies, operation models and initiatives to the city community. Smart and digital solutions are usually climate-friendly and support sustainable urban development.
As an innovative trendsetter, Helsinki looks boldly into the future. By advancing smart city development, Helsinki promotes functional, innovative and electronic services that ease people’s everyday lives. Key elements in the development are open processes, open data and data systems, and transparent City operating practices.
Helsinki is internationally recognized as a platform for the City organization, enterprises, the scientific community and citizens to develop jointly the city of the future. Helsinki is especially known for human-centred and participatory smart city activities. Piloting, experiments and co-creation produce smart solutions that make life easier – they produce the most functional city in the world.
Helsinki was one of the first capital cities to start publishing its data as open data
Data is the most valuable resource of the future. Helsinki’s particular strengths are open data and IoT. Helsinki was among the first capital cities in the world to start publishing its data as open data. Today, Helsinki is the world’s second most progressive city in publishing open data right after New York City.
Open data has become a standard practice for Helsinki in the last ten years. All City decisions and related documents are available as open data. More and more City interfaces are open interfaces in order that developers outside City operations can benefit from them to produce new apps that ease people’s lives and create new business.
The smart city concept includes smart and bidirectional electrical grids, demand response, renewable energy, smart mobility, and smart building and home automation systems with open communication interfaces, not to forget energy efficiency and environmental values.
Smart innovations benefit the entire city
A smart city aims at an ecosystem of services and service production that benefits the entire city community – citizens, the City organization, enterprises and developers. Innovations benefit the entire city: citizens benefit from new digital services, developers from new tools and interfaces, and enterprises from new business opportunities.
A smart city offers citizens diverse services, such as real-time and site-specific data on traffic, the environment and services. A smart city provides citizens with enough information to make informed choices in their everyday lives, including environmentally sustainable choices. The goal is smooth everyday life, aided by technology as needed but imperceptibly.
Helsinki’s smart city concept is developed by Forum Virium Helsinki, and the concept is being played out especially in the Kalasatama pilot district.
Kalasatama, a former harbour of the Port of Helsinki, is under re-development and construction into a new kind of smart city for 20,000 people. Kalasatama is a model district for Helsinki’s climate goals. Important themes are sustainable development, energy and utilization of waste.
Kalasatama is developed flexibly and with experiments through cooperation by residents, enterprises, the City organization and other actors. The goal is to create such a resource-efficient city district that it saves the residents one hour per day. New urban services, innovations and business are created at the same time, supported by ICT and open data.
The road towards sustainable urban lifestyles is paved with eco-efficient district cooling, a smart remote-controlled transformer station, a fault tolerant system closed loop, a powerful electricity storage facility and demand response capabilities at properties.
- Kalasatama smart grid: HIMA home automation system
HIMA, delivered by the energy company Helen Ltd, is a home automation system that allows households to monitor their energy and water consumption in real time and to control their electrical appliances remotely with the HIMA app on mobile devices.
- Kalasatama’s smart waste containers
Sensors placed in waste containers monitor waste levels and send alerts to waste collectors when containers are filling up.
- Automatic waste collection through pipelines: Kalasatama IMU
Waste collection in Kalasatama is handled by the pipeline-based Kalasatama IMU high-tech waste collection system. When waste travels automatically from waste collection points at properties through underground pipes to a central collection station, there are no longer waste trucks circulating at properties. Residents place their sorted waste – mixed waste, biowaste, paper, cardboard and plastic packaging – to designated bins, from which each fraction is whisked away at 70 km/h.
- Smart Kalasatama agile piloting programme
Kalasatama has since 2014 been developed into Helsinki’s smartest district, and new methods have been created to implement smart solutions. A programme of agile piloting was created to answer the questions, how to accelerate smart city development, and how to recruit enterprises and residents in the development?
Smart and Clean
A smart city is energy-smart and environmentally friendly. Helsinki works with enterprises, research institutes and citizens to develop such smart solutions for climate change mitigation that allow the people of Helsinki to lead good and carbon-neutral lives.
New types of mobility, housing and energy production improve everybody’s quality of life and help to mitigate climate change. The Helsinki Metropolitan Area and the City of Lahti serve as test beds for solutions developed in the Smart & Clean programme. The best solutions generate successful business in Finland and are exported to the world
The programme aims to create the world’s smartest and cleanest city.
- The world’s most appealing emission-free mobility
The transport system of the Helsinki region is smart, flexible and efficient. Public transport is a more appealing choice for us than driving. Finnish enterprises are pioneers of appealing transport services.
- The world’s most resource-smart citizen
The food waste of citizens and enterprises is minimized. Buildings and homes are smart and energy-efficient. We use such transport modes that are both environmentally friendly and the most sensible to us. This is made possible by new, globally unique consumer cleantech solutions developed in the metropolitan area.
- The world’s smartest city energy
The energy system of the Helsinki Metropolitan Area is efficient and emission-free. It engages citizens and guides us to make environmentally beneficial choices. Smart solutions support people and enterprises to save energy. Solutions developed in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area are utilized worldwide.
- A world-leading city in the circular economy
The circular economy, energy efficiency and cooperation between enterprises and citizens to save raw materials are everyday realities in the city. Sensible use of resources boosts the efficiency and productivity of municipalities and enterprises. The innovations are utilized in cities worldwide, where they improve people’s lives.
- Pioneer of climate-positive construction
The residential areas of the Helsinki Metropolitan Area are good for the environment. They produce more energy than they consume. Construction and renovation activities help to increase wellbeing. Solutions are produced to the scale of a residential area, a city district or a city. Services and concepts developed in the cities are exported with success.