Helsinki (Finland) – The British magazine Monocle has selected Helsinki as the most liveable city in the world. Zurich took second place while Copenhagen placed third.

Monocle praises Helsinki for its fundamental boldness in rethinking urban environments – and for its ability to move from thinking to implementation. The ranking also emphasised the cities’ round-the-clock functionality, its combination of old and new architecture and the role of nature in the urban space.

“This is such an honour! As Design Capital in 2012, Helsinki is a global role model for how design can be used to develop cities. This recognition by Monocle means that our city has succeeded in solving many issues in a people-oriented way – design has been taken into consideration in the city’s activities, services and structures. Helsinki is a good place to live,” says Pekka Timonen, Director ofWorld Design Capital Helsinki 2012, who is a Helsinki resident himself.

“It’s natural for the same city to receive such distinctions simultaneously. Design has been included in our city’s strategy, and this is visible in everything from mass transit to city planning and from services to education. User orientation works here too – the city improves when residents and visitors are taken into consideration in planning. The World Design Capital designation encourages the city to keep developing,” continues Pekka Timonen.

Along with the cities of Espoo, Vantaa, Kauniainen and Lahti, Helsinki is World Design Capital in 2012. The organisation behind the selection is Icsid, the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design. A total of 46 cities were candidates to become the Design Capital.

Monocle’s The Liveable Cities Index 2011 has listed the 25 most liveable cities in the world since 2007. Helsinki placed 6th in 2007 and has been 5th on the list since 2008.

Read more: Monocle’s website


World Design Capital®

The World Design Capital® (WDC) project is a biennial international designation created to identify and recognise cities that have effectively used design to revive the city and improve its quality of life.