A new report published by the JLL Cities Research Center, the urban research-focused segment of the financial and professional services firm specializing in commercial real estate services and investment management, entitled ‘Benchmarking the Future World of Cities’ assessed the world’s most advanced cities across five leading indices of livability. As a result of this assessment the center published a list of the world’s ten most livable cities, highlighting the unique qualities and advanced developments within the cities that made them stand out as models for future development.

The list is headed by an expected group of major Northern and Central European cities and rounded out with an array of Australian, New Zealand, and Canadian cities. Curiously absent from the list are many of the world’s major metropolises, New York, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Paris, or Tokyo, which are renowned for their economic might, but less so for their advanced approaches to sustainability, innovation and startup support, or the quality of life they provide. Focused mainly in Europe and the west, these cities also share in common their size, small- or mid-sized, as well as well-established infrastructure platforms, good education systems, and extensive global networks.

The report affords particular attention to Helsinki for its strong support innovation and SME support network, bringing state support services to companies and creating an environment which fosters the growth of its wealth of local talent. Another area of praise is the city’s exemplary efforts in waste and resource management and the ambitious activities devoted to densification and the creation of a sharing economy, making the city one of the world’s leading examples of rising green cities. Finally, the report highlighted efforts the city is making in rethinking governance models, noting the city’s open data initiative Helsinki Region Infoshare program which creates a unified database for the vast reserves of data created by the city throughout its processes and opens this up to support the development of new, innovative solutions to the challenges facing the city and its residents.

With this report, Helsinki joins Espoo, recently name the EU’s most sustainable city in a study published by Telos, as one of Europe’s leading cities in the development of sustainable urban models for the future, making Finland a prominent country among the world’s innovative, green nations.

Read the entire study at JLL’s website. 

Read more about the City of Helsinki’s open data initiative.

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Reframing City Districts (ReCiDi)

A research project conducted by the Universities of Turku and Tampere which aims to form a new conceptual framework which will help shape the collective identity and common vision necessary to realize the future low-carbon and sustainability targets.

Systemic Architectures for Sustainable Urban Innovation (SASUI)

An action learning and research project conducted by Aalto University and the University of Tampere which aimed to form a better understanding of the architectural requirements for successful innovation projects.