top of page

FinEst Centre for Smart Cities news



Bridging the gap between research and implementation: Smart Cities Demo Day unveils novel solutions 

On an exciting day filled with insightful presentations and engaging discussions, FinEst Centre's first batch of pilot projects gathered to present their novel smart city solutions. "Let me remind us about the definition of the smart city: 'A smart city goes beyond the use of digital technologies for better resource use and less emissions. It means smarter urban transport networks, upgraded water supply and waste disposal facilities and more efficient ways to light and heat buildings. It also means a more interactive and responsive city administration, safer public spaces and meeting the needs of an ageing population."



Inside Stanford's network of smart cities movement

The Global Digital Governance Fellowship (GDGF) has effectively helped me to start collaboration with majority of key initiatives at Stanford within the movement of smart cities. As a positive surprise, there is way more research going on at Stanford around the smart city concept than I predicted.



How can we implement a seamless Renovation Wave in Estonia?

The purpose of the RESTO tool is to collect data from various databases about the buildings in the observed area and compare their energy efficiency with the best renovated buildings. Based on nearly 500 parameters, the model analyses around 6,000 renovation possibilities for each building and suggests how the buildings in the given area should be renovated in such a way that it is possible to ensure the objectives of energy savings and emission reduction and optimal costs for the building owners, while not contradicting various building restrictions.



City-to-city collaboration leads to smarter and healthier cities

Smart City Exchange Forum brought the flagship examples of smart city projects to Tallinn. Throughout the day, presentations were given about projects taking place in Estonian cities, projects from Estonian-Finnish collaboration and examples of international projects we are taking part of. Focus of the forum, that took place already 3rd time, was city-to-city collaboration and how these partnerships drive innovation and smart city developments.



GreenTwins pilot project's team is looking for curios students who would like to do Systematic Literature Review

Are you interested in research, do you want to gain new experiences and like reading?
Then you are certainly interested in working with GreenTwins pilot project team!

As part of the GreenTwins project, we are currently doing a Systematic Literature Review (SLR) and are looking for curious students who would like to work with us.



Estonian researchers developed an open-source platform for efficient energy flow management

Researchers from FinEst Centre for Smart Cities and TalTech have created a groundbreaking platform that revolutionizes energy management. By enabling the utilization of energy storage and control systems instead of relying solely on the power grid, this platform allows for optimized consumption profiles, efficient resource management, and the flexibility to respond swiftly to crises.



Estonian researchers developed a platform for real-time energy efficiency and indoor climate assessment

Uniqueness of DigiAudit platform lies in the real-time energy labeling of the entire real estate portfolio.
Researchers from the FinEst Centre for Smart Cities and TalTech developed a platform that enables real-time monitoring and analysis of energy use in buildings and indicators of indoor climate. In cooperation with the Estonian IoT startup Thinnect, the solution will reach a wider market and will be distributed worldwide.



3D green models to evaluate and visualize urban biodiversity enhancement

UrbanLIFEcircles project aims to improve the conditions of biodiversity in participating cities: Tartu, Riga and Aarhus. One of the goals is to prove a systematic approach leading the way to more biodiverse urban areas by creating “urban LIFE circles”. FinEst Centre’s researchers from GreenTwins project are creating a specific 3D modelling nuance to provide with necessary perspective for urban planners in their decisions.



Smart City Research and Innovation Trends for 2023

Smart cities use technology to improve the quality of life for citizens, increase efficiency and sustainability, and enhance the overall performance of a city - using this principle, we shifted from asking the ChatGPT AI somewhat mainstream and naive keywords “smart city and research trends for 2023” to pinpointing our focus and emphasizing the most important aspects: How are these trends relevant for people and in which form they would be implemented in reality?



Is smart city a happy city?

Understanding of the term “smartcity” can vary according to a person's understanding due to their professional background. Researchers and experts from different fields can understand it very differently and therefor criteria what makes a city a smart city and a happy city is quite versatile.

We asked FinEst Centre for Smart Cities researchers Kaija Veskioja, Sara Thabit, Pauline Baudens and Environmental psychologist Silver Sternfeldt to ponder from there point of view what makes a city a smart city and furthermore is smart city a happy city?



Exploring Indian women's inclusion in smart mobility

The core objective of Pauline's thesis is to examine the transformative impact of digitalization and ride-hailing apps on the daily (mobility) patterns of women, specifically within the context of Indian cities. India is a unique and dynamic setting to observe the rise of digital practices.



Empowering mayors to build sustainable and smart cities through Urban Learning Center 

Mayors play a critical role in shaping the economic, social, and environmental landscape of their cities. With rapid urbanization and the increasing demand for sustainable and smart cities, Mayors need to be equipped with the knowledge and tools to make informed decisions that will benefit their communities in the long run. To this end, the Mayors for Economic Growth (M4EG) network has launched the Urban Learning Center (ULC), an initiative that aims to provide capacity-building and knowledge-sharing opportunities for municipalities.



President Alar Karis visited FinEst Centre to discuss smart city developments

"It's smart to listen to what scientists are telling us before we start making major renovations and changes," said President Karis. "It is a pleasure to see that Estonian and Finnish researchers have modeled solutions that can be tested and which will be useful later, not only for the cities of Estonia and Finland, but can also be applied in other parts of the world." 



GreenTwins - what has been done?

Urban Digital Twins (UDTs) as digital environments for modelling and simulating change in cities, are promising instruments to overcome the challenges of rapid urbanization, social inequity, anthropogenic climate change, and biodiversity loss. However, in this regard, the representation of the green infrastructure in UDTs, and the interaction between the UDTs and the stakeholders, are limited and recognized as a significant development gap. GreenTwins project addresses these deficiencies by contributing to the UDTs of Tallinn and Helsinki and by creating interfaces between the UDTs and the stakeholders.

All developments began in autumn 2020 with the Smart City Challenge, and it is expect to get functional prototypes and demos by June 2023.

READ MORE what the GreenTwins pilot team has been done so far



Chiara Salati - visiting PhD student in FinEst Centre

Have you considered to join FinEst Centre to improve your Phd studies? Find out what is the extra value what Phd students can gain from working together with FinEst Centre.

Chiara Salati (visiting PhD student, University of Macerata) is looking at EU cities from the perspective of citizens, using European constitutional law in order to support a democratic governance of EU cities. Her research aims at elaborating a theoretical framework stemming from common European principles that EU cities could use in order to support citizen participation through the urban commons. Feel free to contact her at

bottom of page