One Hel of an Impact

Helsinki in 2020: the city of people, encounters and actions that make an impact.

This website summarises a year-long city branding project by the City of Helsinki.

We welcome all Helsinkians, visitors, businesses, and our friends and partners from around the world, to learn more about our “One Hel of an Impact” attitude, to join our shared vision for Helsinki 2020, and to contribute to the future of our special city!

The new and accessible brand website is currently under construction and is set to open in 2022.


A city brand… what’s that?

The idea of our brand is perhaps easier to understand if you replace it with the word “reputation”. What is our city’s reputation at home and abroad; what are Helsinki’s unique characteristics; what makes our city memorable?

The idea of our brand is perhaps easier to understand if you replace it with the word “reputation”. What is our city’s reputation at home and abroad; what are Helsinki’s unique characteristics; what makes our city memorable?

The goal of the Brand New Helsinki project from 2015-16 was to define a shared vision for the future – for Helsinki 2020. A shared vision helps us make good decisions and strengthens all the positive characteristics that make Helsinki unique.

Thousands of people participated in the brand work, including Helsinkians, organisations, businesses, visitors and partners. We researched, analysed, brainstormed, debated and built our shared vision of a future Helsinki.

Next, take a look at the four cornerstones and then the core of the Helsinki brand.


Jussi Hellsten



Transforming Helsinki

Transforming Helsinki

In the future, successful cities will need excellent infrastructure and services to be competitive and keep up with rapid change.

Helsinki is undergoing a significant, even historic transformation. This opens up brilliant opportunities for new ideas and actions.


Helsinki is one of the fastest growing and fastest developing cities in Europe. Helsinki is a place where change is evident all around you. Ambitious urban development projects are underway, diverse livelihoods and businesses are thriving, and the atmosphere is open, welcoming and international.

As the population increases, the average age of Helsinkians is decreasing. Young people and families are particularly interested in affecting their quality of life and want the opportunity to make an impact on their surroundings. In Helsinki, it’s typically Helsinkians that initiate change, because they want to positively affect their neighbourhood.

Transformation and related opportunities is one of the four cornerstones of the Helsinki brand. Our city is changing in remarkable ways and this makes Helsinki stand out.

Jussi Hellsten

Jussi Hellsten

Jussi Hellsten


Smart and Functional Helsinki

Smart and Functional Helsinki

We have taken good care of the essentials that underpin daily life. Helsinki works. We have some of the world’s most alluring knowledge hubs, an attractive business scene, and we are growing the world’s most advanced everyday life.

Helsinki is widely recognised for its urban infrastructure, public services and high standard of education at all levels. Helsinki offers excellent research facilities and world-class expertise. We also have other unique strengths that make Helsinki the perfect place to turn ideas into actions, like flat hierarchies, easily accessible networks and flexible cooperation between businesses and universities.


Helsinki is a smart, safe and compact city. Helsinkians are pioneers that do good things. Together with our friends and partners, we are designing better urban life. Helsinki stands out for co-creation, user-inspired design and the use of open data.

Smart and functional Helsinki is an important cornerstone of our brand. It’s something very special about our city that helps explain why Helsinki is one of the world’s best cities for living and working.

Jussi Hellsten

Jussi Hellsten

Jussi Hellsten

Jussi Hellsten


Fascinating contrasts of Helsinki

Fascinating contrasts of Helsinki

Helsinki has a unique, recognisable style and atmosphere that Helsinkians are proud of. We don’t want to be overly polished. We are authentic and the city has a certain edge. Helsinki has its rugged side and feels vibrant.


Helsinki is a city of fascinating contrasts. You can find extremes of pulse and peace just around the corner from each other. Helsinki is filled with the surprising, the contrary: light summers and dark winters; urban nature; science and the arts.

Helsinki’s fascinating contrasts form the third cornerstone of our brand and are something people strongly identify with about the city.

Lauri Rotko

Eetu Ahanen

Mikael Ahlfors


Unique and diverse Helsinki

Unique and diverse Helsinki

Helsinki is a city where diversity is valued. Here, we can all be ourselves.


Helsinki is known for its creative atmosphere and strong culture of experimentation. Everyone is invited to participate. It’s why new and unexpected phenomena tend to spring up in Helsinki. Innovation and our utterly unique urban culture flourish here. The best ideas from Helsinki spread far and wide out into the world.

Uniqueness and diversity form another cornerstone of our brand. These are characteristics Helsinki and Helsinkians are respected for. However, there is even more strength and uniqueness at the core of our brand that makes us really stand out.

People with impact.

Encounters with impact.

Actions with impact.

One Hel of an Impact

One Hel of an Impact

In the future, Helsinki will be known for its people, encounters and actions that make an impact.

“One Hel of an impact” is not a slogan. It’s an attitude that challenges everyone to think big. It encourages us to take exceptional actions that have major impact and get global attention.

We want Helsinki to be the most attractive city for people and companies that are working towards a better world. At the same time, we want to make daily life increasingly smooth, comfortable and fun. Helsinki’s reputation is built by Helsinkians – by us. We have the passion to solve meaningful problems and create the world’s most advanced everyday life.

It’s an incredible opportunity: we can combine making our urban everyday life better with making the world better for everyone. Helsinki is where people do good things. A city that helps people, encounters and actions that make an impact – it’s uniquely Helsinki.

For a better world

The Helsinki brand concept is about more than what our city is today. We are looking to the future. What do we want our city to become? What do we want Helsinki to be known for in 2020?

The “One Hel of an impact” attitude is our desire to work together to make a better city and a better world. To get there, both Helsinkians and the City organisation need to be brave and visionary. Our city breeds a culture of openness, respect and collaboration. It means that we can all participate in change. In Helsinki, anyone can make an impact on any scale, from everyday actions to world-class revolutionary ideas. In Helsinki, you can do good things, and you can do great things that have global significance.

Helsinki is for people with the passion to solve meaningful problems and create the world’s most advanced everyday life.