Finland is leading the way in Europe in smart city development thanks to The Six City Strategy for sustainable urban development carried out by the six largest cities in Finland: Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa, Tampere, Turku and Oulu.
The aim of the strategy is to use the country's largest urban regions as development environments for new innovations, with start-ups and companies assisting in this transformation of smart cities, honing in on sectors such as environment, mobility, economy, and living.
These cities cover 30% of the Finnish population and the whole urban community participates in developing and testing of innovative concepts. As Finland aims to be carbon neutral by 2050, these cities act as pilots in the transition.
The Strategy was launched in 2014 and plays an essential role in boosting Finland’s economy and competitiveness and implements the EU-level territorial development instrument ITI-Integrated Territorial Investment in Finland. 26 projects with a total budget of 45 million EUR have been executed ever since.
Companies can freely experiment their innovative solutions in these six cities. All data, experiences and standards are shared between stakeholders. In fact, Helsinki was chosen as the best open-data city in the world owing to the platform called Helsinki Region Infoshare.
It publishes all of its data on traffic, city planning and real estate, construction, culture, economy and taxation, education and training, environment and nature, health, housing, information technology, jobs and industries and law in formats that make it easy for software developers, researchers, journalists and others to analyse, combine or turn it into web-based or mobile applications.
The new operating models developed as part of the strategy are made available to all cities and municipalities, thus increasing the productivity of the public sector in the participating cities and across the entire country.