A computer-generated overview image of a neighbourhood under re-development.
 The City of Helsinki has been recognised for its effort to use a digital twin city to specify the roles of various operators. Image: City of Helsinki

Helsinki wins at “Oscars” of urban construction

The City of Helsinki has been awarded in the category for digital cities at the Year in Infrastructure 2020, a conference recognising the best achievements in urban construction and infrastructure globally with what are sometimes called the industry’s Oscars.

Aleksi Teivainen


The Finnish capital triumphed in the category with Digital City Synergy, a project it launched to clarify the roles of various municipal operators and the benefits of co-operation in digital-city development.

A digital city is fundamentally a digital reproduction of a city, which can be used as part of development projects to examine the city and anticipate issues before actual implementation.

A woman on a balcony in Kalasatama.

Kalasatama, a seaside district located some two kilometres north-east from downtown Helsinki, has been one of the focal points of piloting digital twin technologies in the Finnish capital. Image: Laura Oja

“Digital urban development and the utilisation of modern analytical methods enable the city to simulate the end results of decision alternatives in a variety of ways before any decisions are even made,” the city explained in a press release.

Helsinki said the benefits of the project are illustrated in its report on the digital recreation of Kalasatama, a seaside district located some two kilometres north-east from the city centre. The district is one of the city’s test beds for digital twin applications, offering highly detailed 3D models to all operators and partners as open data.

The Kalasatama Digital Twins project earned the city two awards at TechFest in London in 2019.

The city viewed that the more recent recognition puts it one step closer to becoming the global leader in digitalisation and demonstrates that its efforts to take advantage of new technologies in development and service production have been recognised by professionals around the world.

Almost 400 cities and projects competed for prizes in the various categories of the Year in Infrastructure 2020.

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