Helsinki Innovation Districts

Helsinki Innovation Districts project develops solutions and services that make everyday life easier and promote a sustainable lifestyle. The development is done by experimenting, and the piloting programmes give companies a low-threshold opportunity to test new services and technologies in a real urban environment.

Previously, smart city development has been implemented in areas under development, but now the focus is on the older suburban areas, the development of which the City of Helsinki also plans to invest during the next years . The so-called suburban regeneration areas are Malmi, Malminkartano-Kannelmäki and Mellunkylä. In addition, new solutions are being tested in Keski-Pasila, a vivid mobility hub under development. Other so-called Helsinki Innovation Districts are the Smart City district Kalasatama and Mobility lab Jätkäsaari, where numerous pilots  and projects have been carried out.

Each district is different, and the character and needs of the areas affect the subjects and experiments of the development work. New solutions are introduced into the existing urban environment in the participating districts. The goal is to monitor current urban planning trends closely and anticipate the district’s needs. City dwellers, city experts, research institutes and companies participate in experimentation and joint development. In experimental activities, the goal is always to learn as much as possible together and gain an understanding of new operating models and solutions.

Discover the districts

The districts participating in the Helsinki Innovation Districts project serve as urban living labs for testing new solutions. Whereas previously agile pilots were conducted in Kalasatama and Jätkäsaari, former brownfield areas of Helsinki still under construction, now there are also old districts involved in the project. 

Three of the new areas, Malminkartano-Kannelmäki, Malmi and Mellunkylä, are so-called urban regeneration areas, located in suburban areas of Helsinki, which have good transportation connections by train or subway, but their infrastructure needs renewal. 

Fourth area, Pasila, is a densifying area that includes one of the busiest train stations in Finland. Eastern and western Pasila are connected with high density building in central Pasila. Each area has its own special characteristics that affect the pilots to be selected. The focus is on introducing new solutions to existing structures in the participating districts for the purpose of testing how old structures can be developed and retrofitted with new solutions.