Smart Kalasatama (Helsinki - Finland)

Case Study

Smart Kalasatama (Helsinki - Finland)

Helsinki is one of the cities that is part of the 6City Strategy of Finland (along with the five other largest Finnish cities: Espoo, Vantaa, Tampere, Turku, and Oulu), which focuses on achieving a sustainable urban development based on each city's needs and strengths, finding ways to collaborate in more concrete terms. The strategy is part of the implementation of Finland’s Structural Fund Programme for Sustainable Growth and Jobs 2014–2020. The model district for smart urban development in Helsinki is Smart Kalasatama.

Serving as an urban laboratory and Smart City experimental innovation platform where innovative new services can be piloted and tested, the Kalasatama district is a former harbour under construction located close to the old city centre. About 175 hectares are being re-developed comprising a total of 1.3 million square metres of homes, offices, and service areas. The process began in 2011 and will continue until 2035, when it is expected to receive around 25,000 residents and 10,000 workers.

A wide range of clean-tech solutions for a carbon-neutral future of energy consumption is being developed and implemented all over the district for the benefit of its citizens.

Smart Kalasatama’s intelligent and sustainable solutions aim to gain one more hour a day for its residents: this is the district’s Smart City Vision. To achieve it, a new agile experimentation approach is being used by start-ups to co-develop innovative smart solutions and prototypes with the district’s residents. Projects related to smart waste management, smart mini-grids, and Mobility as a Service (MaaS) were already experimented, and the current themes in the programme for agile piloting are well-being and active everyday life.


Mustonen, Veera (2015) Creating a Smart City Vision in a Living Lab – Case Study of Smart Kalasatama Vision-building Process (ENoLL Research Day Conference Proceedings 2015 p. 156). URL:

Case study city(ies)
Case study country(ies)
Agencie(s) involved in the case

Improved e-Governance and citizen services;

Improved Energy management;

Improved Urban Lighting;

Improved Intelligent Transport Systems;

Improved Health for Citizens.


Description of the specific objectives:

- “One more hour a day”: Saving citizens one hour a day by providing smart digital services (Smart Kalasatama Vision statement);

- Co-create Smart Urban Living solutions and services with the citizens, developing a smart city model to be scaled-up and replicated by other cities.


Forum Virium Helsinki (subsidiary of the City of Helsinki specialised in the development of digital services); co-operation with more than 200 city stakeholders (residents, companies, researchers, and government officials).


Because the smart grid network of connected buildings allows the collection of a large amount of energy data regarding every household, there has to be an efficient data security system for privacy reasons. This is also the case with other kind of technologies in use.

Solutions deployed

Smart energy grid; real-time smart metering; electric vehicles network; new storage solutions for electricity; solar power plant and local resident-generated solar power; district heating and cooling grid; energy efficient building automation; smart waste management; smart mini-grids; Mobility as a Service (MaaS); green solutions; smart parking; reducing carbon footprint using a real-time calculator within households; open KNX interface; Internet of Things and MyData (personalised services and customised solutions); Kalasatama Flexi Space (platform that provides information regarding available spaces for rent for different uses:


Smart Kalasatama has a series of ongoing activities:

- Testing smart services in real life with the district’s residents;

- Starting innovative projects and developing businesses by fostering co-creation and co-operation processes between large and small companies, entrepreneurs, research institutions, public sector, and citizens;

- Running an agile piloting programme for start-ups with various themes and topics to be worked on. For instance, some of the current agile pilots are: Foller – reducing food waste innovatively; The Nifty Neighbour – locally best crowdsourcing ideas brought to life; Tuup – combining mobility services in one mobile application; Smart trash bins; Auntie – digital services for well-being and happier life; Witrafi – a digital app for a parking space sharing-economy service.

Results and Impacts

- Smart Kalasatama has become a preferred destination for international innovation tourists visiting Helsinki. In the last two years, the Kalasatama smart district has been visited by 1,500 experts in the field of smart cities;

- Over 800 of the 3,000 residents of Kalasatama have participated in the development of the district’s innovative smart solutions;

- Over 120 companies have already participated in Smart Kalasatama activities;

- The Kalasatama Flexi Space service has over 4,000 registered users and over 30,000 bookings have been made through it until now (data from November 2017);

- The Smart Kalasatama agile piloting programme 2016–2017 comprised 20 pilots;

- Witrafi enabled a traffic reduction of 30% in the city and a 10% decrease of CO2 emissions.

Attachment Size
Smart Kalasatama leaflet.pdf 7.12 MB