Espoo among the top seven in the international Intelligent Community Awards

  • economy
  • environment
  • knowledge society

Espoo is the only European city among the seven finalists of the international Intelligent Community Awards 2018. The winner will be announced at the ICF Global Summit in London on 4–6 June. The 2017 winner was Melbourne. The previous European winner was Eindhoven in 2011.

The theme of the 2018 Intelligent Community Awards is humanizing data. This refers to the use of data for people-oriented service development. Espoo’s strength in the competition is its client-oriented way of sustainably developing a smart city. In other words, its willingness to involve its residents.

In its competition application, Espoo highlighted the Espoo Story, Espoo Innovation Garden which is an open network formed by residents, companies, and communities, and the Make with Espoo co-creation model. Practical examples included the School as a Service model, Iso Omena Service Centre and the development programme Sustainable Espoo.

People, communities, and businesses are Espoo’s greatest strengths

“Communality and cooperation are increasingly important,” says Mayor Jukka Mäkelä. “Finland’s strength lies in excellent cooperation between educational institutions, businesses, cities and city residents.”

When compared internationally, Espoo Innovation Garden is a highly competitive platform. Espoo is the home of Aalto University, universities of applied sciences, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and other research institutions, and companies such as Nokia, Kone, Tieto, Neste, and Fortum. Espoo is also the birthplace of hundreds of startups every year: for example, Supercell and Rovio have their roots in Espoo Innovation Garden.

“This competition is about finding the city whose service development is the most intelligent, people-oriented and built on data and digitalisation,” Mäkelä says. “The final stage of the contest draws a lot of attention to the co-creation efforts between the City of Espoo, companies and research communities. I believe this will enable us to expand our networks and find new partners from whom we can learn even more,” Mäkelä says.

Evaluator’s report plays a key role

The Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) is an organisation in search of the world’s most intelligent urban communities. Its evaluator John G. Jung visited Espoo in early April. His written evaluation report will play a key role in the selection of the winner.

The other finalist cities are located in Canada, Australia, and Taiwan. Oulu is the only other Finnish city to have placed among the seven finalists in 2012 and 2013.


For further information, please contact:

Mayor Jukka Mäkelä, tel. +358 (0)46 877 3953,

Services Development Director Päivi Sutinen, tel. +358 (0)46 8772 871,

EU Affairs Coordinator Jasmin Repo, tel. +358 (0)43 826 6886,


This press release was first published on the city of Espoo official website.