When people hear of urban transformations and technological advanced cities they think of high-rise mega cities like Shanghai, Dubai, San Francisco, Hong Kong, or Silicon Valley, but the cities at the forefront of this growing urban revolution are often the unexpected.
Smart Kalasatama is a city being built on the outskirts of Helsinki, Finland, that is estimated to be completely built by 2035. The developers promise to offer a home for approximately 25,000 residents, and jobs for 10,000 by then. As of now, there are 3,000 people living in the area.
Moreover, in the first smart city of Finland, people are more important than tech, that is why its builders value the city residents’ most precious resource: time. They have realized that today in our busy lives what we desperately need is more free time, that is why they have a shared vision that will help all the citizens of this smart city win an extra hour of free time every day.
The designers of the city wish to improve both quality of life as well as time management and spare on daily wasted time on queuing up, commuting, or grocery shopping. They intend to do this by improving the flow of traffic and logistics, as well as assure first-rate local services and flexible facilities for remote working. Instead, people can spend extra time on activities they love, whether that is simply relaxing in the park, spending time with their children, taking dance classes, or studying.
Regarding traffic, the city engineers thought of removing garbage trucks and instead outfit the whole city with a vacuum waste system where people go to throw their trash to a port, and then it gets sucked to an underground disposal center. Moreover, another time-saving aspect is building public services like schools, hospitals, and transportation close to one another for better accessibility. Kerkko Vanhanen, the program director for Smart Kalasatama says:
“Five more minutes walking in the park, five more minutes with the kids before I have to leave for work, five more minutes earlier at home when I don’t have to spend on logistics. Your life is easier because of living in the most functional city in the world.”