The year 2022 brings lighting and sensor pilots to Malmi and Malminkartano 

Malminkartano will be serving as a testing environment for solar-powered street lights and sensors that collect data on the condition of pedestrian routes. Meanwhile in Malmi, residents will get to control the colours of outdoor lighting this autumn. These unique lighting and analytics pilots are part of the Street Smarts pilot programme.

Malminkartano, Silux Oyn valot, kuva: Vesa Laitinen
Photo: Vesa Laitinen

Malmi and Malminkartano will be serving as testbeds for smart lighting and street space analytics solutions in 2022. The aim of the three pilots is to improve the pleasantness and security of the urban environment. Part of the Helsinki Innovation Districts project, the Street Smarts pilot programme is all about gaining insight into new and innovative lighting solutions.

The Malmi pilot, to be carried out in Ala-Malmi park, will allow residents to change the colours of the park’s lighting. This type of solution that allows residents to control coloured outdoor lighting has never before been tested in Finland. The pilot is being carried out by technology company C2 SmartLight Oy, which is also responsible for the solution used to manage the City of Helsinki’s outdoor lighting. 

“We are very happy to be able to participate in this kind of piloting programme that allows our technology to be used by city residents for the first time. We look forward to seeing and learning what kind of interaction it brings to the park and its surrounding areas,” says CEO Jorma Tuuna-Väiskä from C2 SmartLight Oy.

The Malminkartano pilots focus on the real-time measurement of the condition of pedestrian routes and zero energy lighting, i.e. a lighting system that is not connected to the power grid. Powered by solar energy, the movable street lights will be set up along the route running through the fields of Malminkartano, which has not had lighting before. The zero energy lighting is provided by Silux Oy.

“In the future, we expect solar cell lighting to make it possible to provide safe lighting to areas where building a street light network is, for whatever reason, not possible or economically viable,” comments Christoffer Nyman from Silux Oy. 

Another piece of new technology is the dropstick sensors that will be used to monitor the condition of the pedestrian routes of Malminkartanonaukio square. Developed by Marjetas Academy Oy, some of the sensors will be embedded into the ground. Together with aboveground sensors, they will help determine when pedestrian routes in the station area need gritting or thawing, for example. The sensors can also provide residents with information on the current condition of the street. In the future, they can be connected to street lights for the purpose of warning people if the route is slippery. In fact, one of the aims of the pilot is to determine how this should be done. 

“Our expectations regarding the pilot are twofold: firstly, we expect to find new applications for simple temperature data, and secondly, we are hoping to expand people’s understanding of sensors, IoT technology and sensor life-cycle planning. Not to mention the recyclability of sensors. When procuring sensors for a non-homogeneous environment, going for the solution with the highest possible durability is not always the best choice. Optimising service life brings down the procurement costs, often significantly reducing the life-cycle cost of the sensor compared to options designed for regular maintenance,” says Janne Jokinen from Marjetas Oy. 

The solutions selected for the pilot programme produce new information that helps companies develop services and that will also be more widely utilised in the development of the city. The Street Smarts pilots will run during 2022. Two of them began in March. The pilot in Malmi will begin in autumn after which the lessons learned from all the pilots will be thoroughly analysed. The most effective solutions can then be replicated in other areas as well. 

The Helsinki Innovation Districts project brings innovation operations and smart city development to suburban regeneration areas in Malmi, Mellunkylä, Malminkartano-Kannelmäki and Pasila. The project is being carried out in cooperation between Forum Virium Helsinki and the City of Helsinki. Previous pilots carried out under the project include the testing of movable urban green oases in collaboration with Innogreen and Parkly.