Helsinki wins the ”European Capital of Smart Tourism 2019” award – but what makes the capital smart?
1. Accessible and compact
The infrastructure makes it so easy to move around the city. Moving around by city bikes or on foot is recommended, but Helsinki also has one of the most functional public transportation systems in the world. Travelers only need one ticket for the bus, tram, metro, commuter, and train.
Helsinki is one of the top cities in the world when it comes to life quality, because among other things it is the third best city in the world in terms of technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship, and people living in Helsinki have the highest satisfaction with the place where they live.
3. Design and art scene
Helsinki was designated the World Design Capital in 2012, and design is very important to Helsinki for simple reasons: it strengthens the strategic development, makes the city better and more functional.
4. Food culture
Visitors come to admire Helsinki’s active food culture. Modern street food is gaining strength, complementing the increasingly ambitious creations of top chefs in Helsinki restaurants. The emergence of Helsinki as a center of food culture is largely due to the grassroots effort that stems from the resident initiative.
5. Urban nature
Helsinki is one of the greenest metropolises in the world: and over one-third of the city consists of parks and other green areas. Helsinki is also one of the cleanest capital cities in the world. The noise, pollution, and congestion that are often associated with capital cities are absent in Helsinki. You can also sense the proximity of the water everywhere, as it surrounds the city on three sides.
6. Sauna culture
Sauna is an important part of the new urban culture in Helsinki. The popular saunas are located on the seashore, making them an easy stop for you who wishes to get to know what the Finnish sauna culture is all about.
7. Testbed for innovation
Since 2009 Helsinki has provided public city data for anyone to use freely. A systematic opening of city infrastructure, services, and data, along with the development of tools has been the core of Helsinki’s innovation ecosystem thinking ever since. This means, a systematic opening of roads, ports, public spaces, seafront, schools, public health care and whole city districts as testbeds.
8. Environmental sustainability
The City of Helsinki has a plan to be carbon neutral by the year 2035. A key aspect of this goal is a carbon-neutral mobility system, which Helsinki is moving towards by increasing the share of cycling, walking, electric vehicles and rail traffic making it one of the most environmental and sustainable cities in the world.