The Agile Piloting Programme, a model developed in the Smart Kalasatama district of Helsinki, is used in Finnish cities with the aim of experimenting with new services and technologies in a co-creative way. Agile piloting is a model for fast experimentation of new services in a real-world environment.
These quick pilots are run in a 6 month long period. The goal is to maximize learning: get everyone involved, including public authorities and established companies in the field.
Experimentation makes smart city development visible and palpable. Furthermore, it creates possibilities for the citizens and stakeholders to participate. Piloting offers a neutral space for co-development and learning, and provides possibilities for collaboration beyond experimentation.
More than 50 agile pilots have been run in different urban labs in Helsinki by Forum Virium Helsinki. The thematic piloting rounds have ranged from climate positive solutions to education, mobility and wellbeing. The model has also been adopted widely in the six biggest cities of Finland, and in 2019, in the city of Stavanger in Norway.
Learning and generating new understanding about emerging services and technologies is at the heart of the process. Lessons learned pave the way for future services with better availability of data and interfaces, or learnings for better planning and policy- making. The impact of relatively small pilots comes from genuine real-life experiences and engagement of the wider ecosystem, opening opportunities for scaling up.
The Pocket Book presents the model for agile piloting, a framework developed for cities to experiment innovative solutions in an urban environment. The book provides concrete examples of how to use a co-creative approach to engage companies, citizens and other stakeholders in the development of more functional sustainable solutions.
The book builds on the experiences from Smart Kalasatama and Jätkäsaari Mobility Lab in Helsinki and condenses the key learnings in a pragmatic and easily digestible way. We hope to inspire urban innovators to apply experimental approaches in creating better cities.
“Cook Book for Agile Piloting” (2017) shares the lessons and best practices learned in Smart Kalasatama. In 2016–18 the 21 pilots with more than 30 companies were run in the programme.