Espoo, Finland – The 2018 Intelligent Community of the Year

On June 6, Espoo, Finland was honored as the 2018 Intelligent Community of the Year in London, England. Espoo is the first Nordic city named as Intelligent Community of the Year since Stockholm in 2009, and the first European Intelligent Community of the Year since Eindhoven, Netherlands in 2011. You can read the full announcement on ICF’s website. Espoo was honored at the Intelligent Community Awards dinner on the final night of the ICF Global Summit in London. The city succeeds Melbourne, Victoria, Australia as Intelligent Community of the Year.

During the Summit, Melbourne Councilor Jackie Watts addressed the crowd on Melbourne’s year as the reigning Intelligent Community and was on hand to present the award to Espoo.

About Espoo:

In the far northern nations of the world, people tend to cluster southward. Espoo, Finland’s second largest city, lies on the border of its biggest city and national capital, Helsinki. Both stand on Finland’s southern coast, directly across the Gulf of Finland from Tallinn, a frequent Top7 Intelligent Community and the capital of Estonia. In 1950, Espoo was a regional municipality of 22,000, which drew its name from the Swedish words for the aspen tree and for river. Today, Espoo is still a place on a river bordered by aspen, and about 8 percent of its population still speaks Swedish as its first language. Sixty-five years later, however, it is an industrial city of 270,000. It retains its dispersed, regional nature, however, being made of up of seven population hubs arrayed along the border with Helsinki, where many of its citizens work.

Next Generation Challenges:

In 2010, Finland’s Parliament made history by declaring that access to 1 Mbps broadband is a legal right. Today, Finland ranks second in the world for mobile broadband adoption, according to the OECD. It is also one of the leading countries in Europe for ultra-broadband adoption, with more than 50% of households having access to a fixed connection of 100 Mbps. In such an advanced broadband economy, it is natural that the Intelligent Community of Espoo would take a next-generation approach to improving broadband access and adoption. With the explosive growth of mobile data, driven largely by video, the city sees a serious risk of capacity bottlenecks threatening city digital services and throttling the future online experience of residents. Its answer is LuxTurrim 5G, a three-year pilot project that engages Espoo companies and research institutions in evaluating smart light poles as transmitters for 5G, the emerging mobile standard that promises hundreds of megabits per second of service. The light poles will include miniaturized 5G antennas and base stations, sensors for smart city systems and digitally controlled LED lighting. Launched in the spring of 2017, the project aims to create a proof-of-concept for the technology integration and then to start building an export business for the city’s partner companies. Read more about Espoo:

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