Helsinki gears up for World Design Capital stint

The city of Helsinki has pledged to make ‘city planning and service design’ interventions following its announcement as World Design Capital 2012, and is inviting help from the international design community. 

Helsinki mayor Jussi Pajunen says, ‘We will invite citizens, enterprises and organisations in Helsinki, as well as visiting design professionals and enthusiasts, to participate in the preparations and events of the design year 2012. The work begins now.’

Regional mayor of Espoo, Marketta Kokkonen says that the accolade will help the city to build competitiveness in ‘arts, science and economy’.

Kokkonen announced that Aalto University will be launched as a multidisciplinary institution, a metro rail system will be extended and an Espoo hospital project for the elderly will ‘require shared efforts in city planning and service design aimed at a high quality of life’.

The biennial designation was announced by the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design at its world congress on Wednesday, following voting by an international jury, which had seen Helsinki and Eindhoven shortlisted from 46 cities.

Helsinki will become the third World Design Capital, following Turin in 2008 and Seoul in 2010.

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