* The latest edition of “Fast Company” magazine (soon to be my favorite magazine if Business 2.0 goes under) rates the 30 “fastest” cities in the world. They “scoured the globe in search of the perfect place to transplant yourself and your business” using attributes such as green leaders, R&D clusters, and culture centers.
Unfortunately Helsinki didn’t make their list (although their website calls Helsinki “Absolutely the capital of mobility and design”) but our two neighbors Tallinn and Stockholm did, and St. Petersburg is listed as “on the verge” - here’s what they had to say…
The capital of Estonia, as it’s known, is the most connected city in Europe. There are no Internet cafés, because wireless service is everywhere and mostly free. (Universal Net access is actually guaranteed by Parliament.) Wi-Fi is free on commuter trains, and drivers pay parking fees by text message. Cyberattacks may happen, but the place radiates a switched-on vibe–an ease with and saturation of technology, and an abundance of youth.
Home to almost 2,500 green-sector companies and powered by the research output of its Karolinska, Beijer, and IVL institutes, Stockholm is the fuel cell under the hood of a country that aims to be oil-free by 2010. Its Hammarby Sjöstad district is a living eco-laboratory of 4,000 apartments with quadruple-glazed windows, ovens and cookers that run on biogas from wastewater, and central heating wired to photovoltaics.
Feel free to nominate Helsinki (or any other city) on their website and leave your comments.