CNN International spent two weeks in Helsinki at the start of the year to have a closer look at how the city deals with challenges such as lack of daylight. As a result, CNN filmed four videos to its Future Cities series, presenting Helsinki as a functional, future-orientated design city with excellent snow-how.
The initiative for CNN’s visit came, somewhat unexpectedly, from the Finnish F1 driver Heikki Kovalainen, a friend to the CNN news reporter Richard Quest. Inspired by the work of Finland’s country brand delegation who published their final report in November last year, Kovalainen invited CNN over to his country of origin. An intensive shooting schedule with ideas for stories, interviews and filming locations was planned by CNN’s European editorial staff in London, with a little help from the Finnish Embassy.
On site CNN shot four episodes of for the Future Cities series, all of which were broadcast during January and February. The purpose of the series is to present creative and surprising solutions for problems that are shared by many cities.
Among other topics, the Helsinki episodes show how design is used in city planning, how Helsinki fights darkness with bright lights and how excess computer power provides heat for Helsinki.
While in Finland, CNN also produced news reports on current issues. Prime Minister Mari Kiviniemi was interviewed ahead of the UK Nordic Baltic Summit in January 2011, while Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb gave his thoughts on the stability of the Eurozone for CNN’s Quest Means Business programme.
CNN International is one of the biggest news channels in the world, and reaches some 200 million households in more than 200 countries around the world.
CNN's Future Cities films can be watched online at cnn.com/futurecities