Top Banner

European capital city set to launch pioneering ‘smart city’ solutions

Officials in the Finnish capital city of Helsinki have confirmed that they will introduce pioneering 'smart city' solutions in an effort to reduce its energy usage by 10-20%. Helsinki is one of three European Lighthouse Cities, and it has finalized its plans for a three-year implementation project which has been specifically designed to transform energy performance in targeted urban areas.

The energy reduction projects aims to achieve its targets by introducing commercial-scale smart solutions for buildings, mobility and urban infrastructure. The program is entitled mySMARTLife and will last from 2016-2021, while two other European Lighthouse cities Hamburg and Nantes will embark on similar initiatives in the forthcoming few months.

Head of Helsinki's mySMARTLife project, Mikko Martikka said that each city involved in the program independently establishes its own initiatives in its bid to reduce energy usage. Martikka said, "Every city involved in the mySMARTLife project develops its own program to achieve the projected cuts," stressing that urban solutions are key to climate action as cities produce 70 per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions.

Helinski is recognized as one of the most progressive cities in Europe, and has recently announced its plans to launch an autonomous bus line for regular service and also plans to offer data produced by new technologies as 'open data'. It has been further disclosed that Martikka's workplace, the HQ of the City of Helsinki environment services at the Viikki Environment House, is the main site for developing smart energy solutions for office buildings.

It has been revealed that the Environment House uses a Siemens-provided system to store enough solar energy to power one single-family home for 18 hours. Whilst, in addition to this it has also been claimed that technology can be used to charge electric vehicles as well as powering the building.

Meanwhile, the new Kalasatama area under construction on former harbour and industrial land, designated as a smart city development platform, is the site for pilot projects developing solutions for new construction. Energy efficiency of Kalasatama residential buildings is improved with remote-controlled home automation systems provided by ABB. A local smart grid will also support an electric car network and novel electric car charging concepts.