Citizens' city

Agile Piloting in Kalasatama district creates urban services with users

The new Kalasatama District of Helsinki is a place to experiment smart urban living and services. It is growing into the smart city district of Helsinki , co-created with citizens, companies, city officials and other stakeholders.


Kalasatama serves as a vibrant test bed for Smart services to be scaled up elsewhere.

Smart Kalasatama’s Programme for Agile Piloting enables start-ups, SME’s or other smart service developers to test early service prototypes in real life conditions with real users. The programme provides a real life testbed for start-ups and other smart service developers and co-creation models for  entrepreneurs and citizens. During a period of two years in 2015-2017, Kalasatama Living Lab procures 20 innovative and agile service experiments. The programme selects and procures small pilots for 1000–8000 euros. Solutions are developed and tested in Kalasatama Living Lab with the residents.

The first pilots are running during spring 2016 and the next round of pilots will be kicked off in the autumn. Smart Kalasatama Living Lab team facilitates the experimentation phase of the pilots as well as user recruitment.

The first four agile pilots in the Kalasatama District started in the spring of 2016. They focus on smart mobility services, effective waste management, reducing food waste and co-creating local services. The first pilots were chosen amongst 52 offers.

Examples of agile pilots in 2016

Foller: Reducing food waste innovatively

Foller reduces food waste with automated real-time pricing and communication. Foller’s application reminds residents about products in their refrigerators that are reaching their expiry date. Foller encourages different ways to use expiring food and thus has an effect on the food consumption of the whole family.

– We are testing the usability and functionalities of the Foller service. We examine how much money could be saved by more efficient use of food in households, and if the service actually has the ability to reduce the amount of waste – not only at home, but in the whole area of Kalasatama, says Tomi Kankainen, the founder of Foller.

The results of the pilot will be directly used to develop the business further. In the spring 2016, the service is tested with households in Kalasatama.

Read more about the pilot here.

The Nifty Neighbour: Locally best crowdsourcing ideas brought to life

The Nifty Neighbour is a social media for neighbourhoods, reaching already 2500 users around Finland, especially in Helsinki. With a pilot in the Programme for Agile Piloting, the Nifty Neighbour learns more about how it can help residents of Kalasatama to generate and test ideas locally and bring those ideas into life by using crowdfunding.

A new website for supporting local initiatives called Mesenaatti.me will be closely linked with the Nifty Neighbour. The Mesenaatti.me’s aim is to help execute the crowdsourcing ideas. Ideas locally generated in Kalasatama can be crowdfunded on the Mesenaatti.me service’s page dedicated to the Kalasatama neighbourhood. This combination is unique and the aim is to provide local services that respond to the actual needs and desires of the residents.

– It’s interesting to see if people are actually ready to collaboratively innovate, execute and fund bottom-up services and activities in their own neighbourhood. This is the first time that crowdfunding is tested as the main tool of developing the local economy, says Tanja Jänicke from Yhteismaa. Yhteismaa is an NGO which runs the Nifty Neighbour project.

Read more about the pilot here.

Tuup: Combining mobility services in one mobile application

Tuup brings different mobility services into one application: parking, public transportation, taxis, rental cars and bicycles. In the Kalasatama neighbourhood, Tuup is testing how to impact mobility choices and increase the use of shared vehicles. The pilot enhances especially the use of rental and shared cars and cargo transport services. Residents in Kalasatama are taking part in the experiment. They all will have access to Tuup smart mobile application, which they use to plan and pay their everyday transportation.

Read more about the pilot here.

Smart trash bins

The housing companies of Kalasatama are seeking new insight of the use of smart trash bins and their data. The pilot explores how the collected data could be used when making the neighbourhood more enjoyable. It is also testing a feedback system allowing residents with smartphones to give instant feedback about the condition of trash bins and outdoor furniture.

In 2016-2017 the programme ran 16 small pilots. The pilots were experimenting innovative services with the citizens. Smart Kalasatama living lab was in charge of procuring and facilitating the pilots. Read more here.

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For further information, please contact:

Kaisa Spilling

Development Manager

+ 358 40 7448831