In an extensive article, prestigious US newspaper The New York Times talks about the services that make everyday life easier, the smart city pilots and the climate friendly energy solutions of Helsinki’s Kalasatama. The newspaper presents Helsinki as a one of the top cities in the world in terms of sustainable development and quality of life.
Helsinki’s carbon-neutrality objectives and smart city development were highlighted in a recent article published by The New York Times on 14 October, which goes into great detail about Kalasatama, Helsinki’s model area for climate solutions and smart city development.
The article praises Helsinki’s approach to smart city development, in which the City’s data is made to serve residents and make everyday life smoother, and also includes interviews with residents, city developers and business representatives. Topics covered include Kalasatama’s robot cars, shared use spaces, transport robots, shared electric cars, rooftop saunas and the renewable energy solutions of residential buildings.
“It is great to see Helsinki’s efforts for sustainable development and digitalisation garnering praise in the world’s top publications. Helsinki’s aim is to develop scalable solutions to the world’s problems. The fact that articles are being written about Helsinki’s ambitious work is sure to attract some top-class experts and companies to Helsinki,” says Deputy Mayor of Helsinki Anni Sinnemäki.
Topical themes highlighted in the article include the City’s participatory budgeting and the Helsinki Energy Challenge, a competition with a €1 million main prize in which the City challenged innovators to come up with sustainable heat production solutions.
Convenient and diverse housing featured
The article emphasises the diversity of housing in Helsinki, from rental apartments to owner-occupied houses. The article also mentions Sumppi, a co-housing project in Kalasatama, in which residents were given the opportunity to design the residential building of their dreams with the help of the building’s developer and a consultant. The residents ended up introducing renewable energy and shared spaces to the building, among other things.
“Kalasatama includes examples of residents being able to influence the design of their home building during its planning phase. This has lead to the construction of more shared spaces, for example,” says Maija Bergström, project manager of the Smart Kalasatama project from the City of Helsinki’s innovation company Forum Virium Helsinki, who was interviewed for the article.
Smart everyday life and experiments for the future
The article also mentions Helsinki’s objective of becoming the most functional city in the world, talks about smooth everyday life and details the waste collection system used in Kalasatama and some other new neighbourhoods, with the help of which waste is sorted directly into containers, from where it is then transported to a waste collection station via underground tubes.
The New York Times article also covers the experiments being carried out Kalasatama for the purpose of learning about and gaining information on new urban solutions that are not yet available on the market.
Among the experiments mentioned in the article are the MySmartLife project’s autonomous robot bus that operated in the area last year and the ongoing experiment in which a robot transports meals from Shopping Centre REDI to residents’ homes in the Majakka high-rise building.
At the end of the article, award-winning film director Mika Kaurismäki praises Helsinki for becoming more international and open to new ideas. He also mentions enjoying how much less stress there is in the city and getting around by electric scooter.
Helsinki’s carbon neutrality objectives, associated indicators and smart city development have gained a great deal of visibility this year. In the autumn, Helsinki was ranked second out of 109 smart cities in the worldwide Smart City Index 2020. Kalasatama’s smart city development has been previously covered in the international media by CNN and The Independent, among others.
Photo by: Eetu Ahanen / Helsinki Marketing