Helsinki Living Lab - Forum Virium

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Information doc: 

Greater Helsinki Promotion

office +358 9 562 6677
fax +358 9 562 6688
Mechelininkatu 1a, 00180 Helsinki, Finland

Forum Virium Helsinki

Jarmo Eskelinen
jarmo.eskelinen (at)

Effective member: 

Helsinki Living Lab (Arabianranta) Helsinki Living Lab is based on the place were Helsinki was established by King Gustav Vasa in the year 1550 in Arabianranta. By the year 2010 it will be the area for 13,000 students, 10,000 residents and 8,000 workers. Arabianranta is a real Living Lab and the most important hub of creative industries and creative people in the Nordic Countries.

Description of Concept

Art and Design City Helsinki Ltd. is the co-ordinator in Arabianranta and its trademark is Helsinki Virtual Village, which was established in 1998 consisting portal services for students, companies and residents living in Arabianranta. There are also a fiber optic broadband network delivering 10 Megabytes connections for every home, IPTV and VoIP-telephones. The latest innovation is the test bed called “Helsinki Virtual Village urban screens” in malls, schools andBusiness Parks. The last mile of the net is owned by the people who are living in Arabianranta, so delivering information is part of infrastructure like heating or delivering gas or water. Every house has also an eHousemanager, who takes care of internal information.

Arabianranta has a lot of special housing, like Active Seniors, MS-disease people, mentally disabled youngsters, student houses, social housing and flats for the wealthy people. Many of the flats onsist of a workroom or an office. So the area itself is a “Living Lab” already. Because all the residents are connected to the areal broadband network, they can be identified and so can be part of the Living Lab. Every developer is required by the City of Helsinki to spend 1-2% of the acquisition costs on works of art, so creativity, design and art are part of everyday life.

References and Track Record

As a campus area Arabianranta-Kumpula is already completed. There are 7 schools, 2 universities (Helsinki University, University of Art and Design Helsinki) 2 polytechnics (Stadia for finnish speaking and Arcada for swedish speaking people), 2 vocational schools (audiovisual institute Heltech and Prakticum for Swedish speaking youngsters) and Pop & Jazz Conservatory. All the schools have their own projects and they have joint projects in Arabianranta-Kumpulaarea. In the year 2006 there are 5000 residents and about 5000 workers. Two third of the companies (300) are on the fields of creative industries, most of the companies come from two incubators in Arabianranta.

Helsinki Living Lab - Forum Virium is member of the ENoLL Council.