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Sunday, August 16, 2009

Helsinki shortlisted for the World Design Capital 2012


Following deliberations on 17 July 2009, the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (Icsid) announced on behalf of the members of the WDC Jury that the City of Eindhoven (The Netherlands) and the City of Helsinki (Finland) have been selected for the shortlist of cities that will move on to the next round of evaluation in the hopes of becoming World Design Capital in 2012.

The World Design Capital (WDC) is a biennial designation appointed to cities based on their accomplishments and commitment to design as an effective tool for social, cultural and economic development. Upon careful consideration, these two applications were retained based on their ability to demonstrate their relevancy to the WDC mission and vision.

The evaluation for the WDC designation is founded on a comprehensive assessment process spanning a five-month review and deliberation period, during which time, applicants were requested to demonstrate evidence of their strengths in the following areas: Design, Programming, Infrastructure and Financing.

Mr. Jussi Pajunen, Mayor of the City of Helsinki said "We are extremely proud and enthusiastic to be shortlisted for WDC 2012. Design has a key role in all of our strategies, so being shortlisted means that the jury understood our goal to create the city of our dreams by expanding the scope of design to all activities of society – businesses and individuals, as well as to our city.

"Helsinki has a vibrant design tradition but we also know that we must go further, beyond the edge of our limits and test the boundaries of design. The WDC project is an important step in this process and will help Helsinki to put design in a truly unique position in our society. This is powered by openness. We want to invite the world design community to join this process and share the results of our work. Helsinki is ready to be designated for WDC 2012."

WDC Founding Chair and Icsid Senator Prof. Dr. Peter Zec said, "As per the jury's decision, the WDC 2012 shortlist is represented by two very qualified cities that have presented strong bids. They are already a testament to design effective cities that understand the value of the WDC designation as it relates to city development projects."

The final jury deliberation will take place in September 2009 in Montreal, Canada.

The official announcement of the WDC 2012 designated city will occur during the Icsid World Design Congress in Singapore on 25 November 2009.

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