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Helsinki Metropolitan one year on the road to being best test bed in the world for smart and clean solutions

Air quality system and biofuels show example to the world.


Eetu Helminen

Smart & Clean Foundation


Helsinki metropolitan region is being made to the best test bed for smart and clean solutions in the world in a unique way. Cities, businesses, state and research organisations cooperate to change how people and cities behave while creating new business. Helsinki region busses changing to using only biofuels and a new type of air quality monitoring system are the first concrete examples of the changes.

“We have now worked on the project exactly a year. The first changes can be seen on various levels. Cities and companies discuss more intensely, the ambition level to solve the resource crises and mitigate climate change has grown and change readiness has increased,” Helsinki Metropolitan Smart & Clean Foundation’s Executive Director Tiina Kähö explains.

Smart & Clean community has achieved several significant results during its first operational year. The world’s first comprehensive city-wide air quality system will be built in Helsinki Region in Finland. It supplements the current measurement stations. The more comprehensive data can be used to further develop air quality improving measures.  The data will be open and available to everyone and can be used to inform the citizens on about local air quality and its development.

The partners in the initiative nurtured in the Helsinki Metropolitan Smart & Clean project are the sensor technology providers Vaisala and Pegasor; HSY, who is responsible for the air quality monitoring the Helsinki region; Finnish Meteorological Institute who is the initiative lead as well as responsible for the predictive model and Finland’s air quality official; Helsinki university, who will validate the system.

Bio100 initiative moves the region closer to achieving its target of world’s most attractive zero-emission mobility. Helsinki Regional Transport HSL, Helsinki’s construction service Stara, UPM, Neste, Teboil, St1, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Labour, Petroleum & Biofuels Association and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland aim together to as broad use of biofuels as possible. Helsinki region busses and the vast majority of the Helsinki city’s construction machines and trucks will use only waste based biofuels by 2020.

“Having all the significant players involved in the Bio100 initiative enables the rapid move to biofuels,” Kähö says.

All the available resources need to be harnessed and new solutions innovated to answer the challenges of climate change and resource scarcity. The aim of the Smart & Clean project is that the Helsinki Metropolitan region and the city of Lahti are the best test beds for smart and clean solutions in 2021.

Helsinki Metropolitan Smart & Clean Foundation challenges the status quo and gathers initiatives that cross city borders as well as fight climate change and promote circular economy. By uniting all the parties that matter, such significant life quality improving changes are made that other cities and businesses want to start using them. The solutions proven in Helsinki region work as references for the companies and create new business.

More information

Eetu Helminen, Communications, Smart & Clean Foundation,, +358 40 537 6578

The Helsinki Metropolitan Smart & Clean Foundation is a five-year (2016-2021) step change project started by Sitra. The foundation’s task is to drive the change in the Helsinki capital region and the City of Lahti for the area to be the world’s best test bed for smart and clean solutions. Smart & Clean partners are the cities: Helsinki, Vantaa, Espoo, Lahti and Kauniainen, as well as the Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council; businesses: Fortum, St1, Neste, Caverion, Lassila & Tikanoja, YIT, Helen, KONE, Gasum, Vaisala, Siemens, Ramirent; universities and research organisations Aalto University, Helsinki University, Lappeenranta Technical University and VTT Technical Research Center of Finland nationwide influencers Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, the Ministry of Transport and Communications, the Ministry of the Environment and Tekes – the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation.

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