The Smart Kalasatama project, which began in 2013, drew to a close in June 2021, with the best lessons learned now being carried forward to the Helsinki Innovation Districts project, focusing on the district of Pasila and the urban renewal areas of Mellunkylä, Malmi, and Malminkartano-Kannelmäki.
Through the Smart Kalasatama project, the district was transformed into a model area for smart urban development , promoting a smooth-flowing everyday life and solutions that support climate objectives. Several innovation projects and 25 agile pilots were implemented in the area. Smaller experiments grew to wider focus areas, , such as a sharing economy for spaces, green infrastructure, and a reduction of foods carbon footprint, that are supporting Helsinki’s climate goals and taken forward in new projects..
“The Smart Kalasatama project brought together City officials, companies, residents, and researchers. In the heart of Kalasatama’s smart approach has been a smooth-flowing everyday life. For this reason, it was essential that the cooperation between parties was close and new solutions tested in genuine urban environments,” explains Programme Director of the Smart Kalasatama project Kerkko Vanhanen from the City of Helsinki’s innovation company Forum Virium Helsinki.
The english version of the Smart Kalasatama publication will be published in the fall 2021.
The ‘one hour more a day’ vision put Kalasatama on the world map and attracted media attention
As part of the Smart Kalasatama project, a shared vision between those developing the area and its early residents was created in collaboration: One hour more a day. The vision drew global interest throughout the years. Kalasatama has hosted thousands of visiting urban professionals and developers, all looking to learn lessons from Helsinki’s experiences, with the international media also making Kalasatama known around the globe. Most recently, the New York Times lauded Kalasatama in a dedicated article. In 2020, the Smart City Index elevated Helsinki to the position of second best smart city in the world. This recognition supports the City’s objective of serving as a test platform attracting companies to try out new urban solutions in Helsinki.
Smart city development expands from Kalasatama across Helsinki
The Smart Kalasatama project showed how a city can be developed through experimentation and agile piloting.
“The agile piloting model in Kalasatama has been a great success. It has allowed companies to test their own smart city ideas in the right environment. Kalasatama’s Innovators Club has been a fantastic cooperation forum, bringing together construction operators, developers, educational institutions and residents,” explains Kalasatama’s area construction Project Director Hannu Asikainen of the City of Helsinki.
The best learnings and solutions observed in the Smart Kalasatama project will be carried forward to Pasila and the urban renewal areas: Mellunkylä, Malmi, and Malminkartano-Kannelmäki, as part of the Helsinki Innovation Districts project. There is also a need for new and innovative solutions in older city districts, which offer significant potential in terms of achieving climate impacts and increasing the functionality and enjoyability of areas.
You can find out more about the results of the project in the publication Fiksu Kalasatama – Kokeilujen kaupunginosa (‘Smart Kalasatama – a piloting district’) (in Finnish) The english version of the publication will be published in the fall 2021.