When you hear of urban transformations, you tend to think of high-rise mega-cities like Shanghai, Dubai or Hong Kong. Or if it's technological advances, San Francisco and Silicon Valley might come to mind. But, the cities at the forefront of this growing urban revolution are often the unexpected. Take Kalasatama, a city being built from scratch on the outskirts of Helsinki, Finland. Developers say that by its completion in 2030, residents will get an average hour of their day back by living there.
City residents will never again be stuck behind a rubbish lorry on their commute. Engineers have outfitted the whole city with a vacuum waste system, where people simply take their trash to a port and it gets sucked to an underground disposal center. Another time-saving design is the city layout itself. Public services, such as schools, hospitals and transportation are close to one another and easily accessible.
'Five more minutes walking in the park, five more minutes with the kids before I have to leave for work, five more minutes earlier at home when I don't have to spend on logistics,' Kerkko Vanhanen, the program director for Smart Kalasatama, tells us. 'Your life is easier because of living in the most functional city in the world,' he adds.
However, only 3,500 people currently live in Kalasatama. By 2030, developer...