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Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands, will soon celebrate its 750th anniversary. The city represents a great historical richness and is one of the most important Smart Cities in the world. One of the city’s main goals is to ensure, together with partners worldwide, that a safe digital public space is the standard for all citizens, so that they can benefit from the possibilities of digitization in a city where human digital rights are protected.

The current city government developed an ambitious policy framework in 2018 entitled “The Digital City,” which includes proposals on data minimization, open by default, privacy by design, and a ban on Wi-Fi tracking. In addition to this, the city is also implementing the participatory manifest “Tada, Clarity about Data“, created in partnership with local businesses, academia, and residents, in order to highlight concepts such as inclusion, transparency, and ethical data use.

The city of Amsterdam is convinced that diverse input from residents is essential to their policymaking. OpenCity Amsterdam provides easy-to-use digital participation tools to include the residents’ voice, such as co-creating the design of public space. In Amsterdam, civic initiatives have emerged to empower people digitally. For Amsterdam, being part of CommuniCity means making sure all communities are included, integrated, and empowered.

Neeltje Pavicic

Sennay Ghebreab

Kristina Khutsishvili

Matti Hämäläinen

Forum Virium Helsinki

Anne-Mari Sandell

Forum Virium Helsinki

Anna Björk

Demos Helsinki


Helsinki is the capital of Finland, the administrative centre of the country, and an important hub of business and culture. The Helsinki metropolitan area, the most populous urban area in Finland, has approximately 1,2 million people and is composed of the cities of Espoo, Vantaa, and Kauniainen. In Helsinki, Finnish is the primary language, with 6% of the residents speaking Swedish as a mother tongue and another 16% of the population speaking other languages.

According to a UN report, Finland is the happiest country in the world, and Helsinki wants to reinforce this status. It has launched a City Strategy for the years 2021–2025 to be a city where different lifestyles and opinions can coexist in harmony. The strategy also renews the city’s economic policy priorities, strengthening and developing Helsinki’s status as a top start-up hub, an innovative environment, and a hotbed of business opportunity in Europe.

But still, Finland is facing a challenge with an aging population. While the share of individuals aged 65 years and older was still 15% in the year 2000, it increased to 22% in 2019, partly due to a declining birth rate. This demographic shift is accelerating to the point where Finland has one of the world’s five fastest-aging populations. Following the city’s commitment to innovation and democracy, CommuniCity will address the needs of the Helsinki population, from the young to the elderly.


Porto is in the Northwest of Portugal, in a strategic location in relation to three continents (Europe, North America and Africa). The city has around 232,000 inhabitants but the Porto Metropolitan Area (AMP) totals 1.7 million people.

The city’s historic center is classified by UNESCO as World Heritage Site and its architecture and culture show a strong connection to the historical past. In parallel, Porto has state of the art knowledge being produced by academia (Universidade do Porto and other strong education institutions), a strong pool of talented and creative people, a large number of R&D units with many scientists, a growing local investors network, good accessibility and infrastructures, uncommon safety levels, high quality of life and a vibrant culture.

Innovation plays a big role in the city and region and there is an ecosystem leading transformation with very interesting outcomes on the challenges smart sustainable cities face. There is also a clear ongoing effort to use Innovation to combat climate change and population aging, as well as the polarization of the socio-economic conditions.