Where history and presence lead into a smart future

Helsinki, the capital of Finland, has a population of over 626,300 inhabitants and greater Helsinki does even count up to 1.4 million. Helsinki is Finland´s major political, educational, financial, cultural and research centre as well as one of northern Europe´s major cities.

Helsinki is continuously at the top of comparisons and evaluations of the European and global smart cities. The smart city development is determined by the strong role of the city where the staff actively works directly with the citizens and other stakeholders. In areas where the city owns the land, this offers a good opportunity to directly influence the integration of smart home solutions in new buildings. Secondly, the city owns a utility company which is in charge of the electricity as well as district heating and cooling grids and is also main provider of electricity for these grids. These facts allow the city council to make independent decisions on the energy development of the city. Finally, as a complement to this, the city has strongly invested in open, digital technologies for smart city developments. Click here to learn more.

mySMARTLife activities in Helsinki

Helsinki´s demonstration area Vanhankaupunginlahti (old Town Bay) is representing the history, present and future of smart energy systems in Finland. While the oldest hydroelectric plant in Finland is still producing electricity on the site, the world´s most eco-efficient coal-based electricity and heat co-generation plants and further modern power plants are situated right next to it. A major step forward was the recent decision by the City of Helsinki to phase out the current coal power plant by 2024. mySMARTLife is involved in promoting the transition towards decentralised production and increasing the share of renewable energy sources.

In this high performance area, four zones of intervention for the 47 mySMARTLife actions can be identified:

  • Zone 1 ("Merihaka & Vilhonvuori" retrofitting area) is the residential retrofitting zone where large retrofitting actions are taking place, including smart metering and control for heat demand response. This service will also be connected to the urban platform  through IoT allowing a performance evaluation and  thermal imaging e.g. to pinpoint heat loss and management and optimisation of the district heating and cooling.
  • Activities in Zone 2 ("Kalasatama" new construction area) are focusing on the construction of a high-performance residential zone with smart home solutions, smart meters in all flats, the integration of renewable energy sources for example to the e-mobility charging network and utilising waste heat from individual sources.
  • Zone 3 (Viikki environment house) comprises a high performance office building where the contribution of renewable energy sources will be maximised through a better control and power management.
  • Zone 4 (old town bay area) covers the entire district and even city level. Several interventions, mainly mobility actions, will be implemented.


Maria Uusitalo
mySMARTLife Helsinki Lighthouse Lead
City of Helsinki, Urban Environment Division, Climate Unit

Phone: +358 40 623 7081