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Helsinki Shows European Leadership in Smart City Implementation

By Ken Briodagh
November 28, 2018

Based on a series of recent international award wins, Helsinki, Finland is tracking as a leading global city for digital transport services and the best in Europe when it comes to smart city tourism.

Smart cities are compared globally in different kinds of rankings, in which Helsinki has managed to reach top spots in 2018. The city has recently won eight Smart City awards, supporting its leading position.

Best in smart tourism. Helsinki and Lyon claimed the first place in the European Capital of Smart Tourism Competition, which evaluated the cities in terms of accessibility, sustainable development of tourism, utilisation of digitalisation in tourist services, cultural heritage and innovation in the tourism offerings.


Best digital mobility services. Helsinki won the first place as the world's best city for services categorised as Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS). Digital services like Whim reduce private motoring and offer a flexible means of transport to the city residents. Helsinki is strongly promoting these goals, which is why it was ranked number one in Juniper Research's study.

Best place for foreign investments. In Financial Times' comparison Helsinki-Uusimaa was the best place for foreign investments among medium-sized areas in Europe. Helsinki attracted special attention with the pilot project and test platform opportunities provided by the smart neighbourhood of Kalasatama.

Second best city for startups. Helsinki was ranked as the second best city for startups in Valuer's study. The evaluation highlighted Helsinki's smart city development, the business opportunities created by it and the co-operation network.

The fifth best in smart city government. Helsinki was ranked fifth in the global Smart City Governments Top 50 study. The report gives praise to the model area of climate and smart city development in Kalasatama and to the community, thanks to which a third of the residents in the area participate in the development of the area.

The best smart neighborhood: Kalasatama. The smart neighbourhood of Kalasatama in Helsinki won the first prize in the building automation category of the international KNX Award contest.

The most locally connected startup ecosystem in the world. Startup Genome awarded Helsinki as the most locally connected ecosystem in April. The likes of Silicon Valley and London can be found further down the ranking. Helsinki's new strengths were, among others, AI and robotics.

Number one in social cohesion of smart cities. In IESE Business School's Cities in Motion Index Helsinki kept its top spot in the section measuring social cohesion.

“Helsinki's vision is to be the most functional city in the world. The success in many comparisons shows that we are going in the right direction. The utilization of digitalization is a significant success factor for Helsinki. It brings better services to the city residents, supports the climate goals and creates new business opportunities for the companies,” says Jan Vapaavuori, Mayor of Helsinki.

Helsinki's smart city success is based on the city's co-operation with the companies, the science community and the residents.


The IoT Evolution Expo, and collocated events, IoT Evolution Health, LPWAN Expo, The Smart City Event, and IIoT Conference, will take place Jan. 29 to Feb 1 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Visit IoTEvolutionExpo.com to register now.

Edited by Ken Briodagh

Editorial Director

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