Information navigation in the city
Information navigation in the city study is part of the EU-funded Fireball project, in which cities and other organisations around Europe seek out their own and shared paths towards smarter operating practices.
“In terms of city operations, the breakthrough of ICT has probably led to the greatest change in our way to work ever. However, until now ICT has been mostly perceived as a convenient tool just to carry out the duties as before. What I mean is that ICT has been glued on the existing structure, without reflecting on how it should be changed as a result of the new available technology. Only now are we entering a phase where computers and applications are really changing the ways we work. This is what I understand defines a Smart City – a whole new approach and level of ambition in combining information, communication and technology.” says Helsinki Mayor Mr Jussi Pajunen in his foreword.
He continues that the norm of the Nordic society model has always been openness. Limitations on disclosure have been an exception and have required an explicit legal basis.
In this report we show what a ‘smart city’ means in Helsinki. The report is based on interviews carried out in the municipal organisation and city community as well as a charting of the city’s information system descriptions. In addition, we present nine case studies of smartness in Helsinki. As the conclusion, we offer five lessons learned from Helsinki.
Digital data offer a new vantage point on the city as a whole. There is a wealth of data on cities: statistics, publications, simulation models, video recordings, images, maps, geographic information, 3D models. Data can be used to examine the past, visualise the present and anticipate the future.
Many European cities also have to grapple with challenges such as aging populations and a scarcity of financial resources. Together with unforeseen future challenges, these require cities to renew themselves constantly and develop their expertise further. There is a worldwide demand for good solutions.
At its best, citizen participation produces a more functional city and a smarter administration. It increases both the trust between people and the social capital of the city community. When people are involved in planning, testing and realisation of shared services, they will view the services as their own.
Kim Viljanen, Antti Poikola, Pekka Koponen, the City of Helsinki, Forum Virium Helsinki and the Fireball project: Information navigation in the city (pdf)