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City Center Vision City of Lahti - Uusi Kaupunki Kollektiivi
2023 | Lahti | 🇫🇮

Participatory AI for Lahti City Center Vision

More in Finnish about the city’s vision document 

The Uusi Kaupunki Kollektiivi (The New City Collective), in collaboration with the City of Lahti, developed a comprehensive vision for Lahti’s city center. UrbanistAI was integrated into the final phase of an extensive participatory process, featuring an open workshop aimed at reimagining three key locations.

Both civil stakeholders and politicians utilized UrbanistAI, and the resulting visualizations helped bridge the gap between participatory planning and decision-making.

The city of Lahti is committed to transforming its city center into a vibrant, attractive, and cozy destination for residents, business owners, and visitors alike. 
To achieve this vision, the city has launched the “City Center Vision 2040” project, aimed at developing a comprehensive and bold plan for the city center’s future

Lahti’s strategy involves engaging the community in a participatory manner to gather ideas and feedback for the vision. This inclusive approach has utilized various methods, including resident workshops, meetings with city center business and property owners, online surveys, youth center interactions, school engagements, and the advanced capabilities of UrbanistAI. 
A highlight of the vision’s ideation phase was the “Future Festival” (Tulevaisuusfestarit) event, held in November 2023 at Lahti City Hall. Co-organized by the city of Lahti and Nordic Works, this event served as a platform to showcase and refine the ideas gathered, with UrbanistAI playing a crucial role in bringing the residents’ ideas to life. Participants were invited to help crystallize these ideas into actionable goals for the city center vision plan. 


Designed as an open house, the Future Festival allowed citizens to freely explore various stations, each dedicated to a different aspect of the city center’s development. The UrbanistAI station stood out for its unique interactive experience.

At the station, participants first engaged with key themes, such as creating a new city center landmark and developing green and blue spaces. Next, they told their ideas to an expert, who then used the UrbanistAI tool to transform images of chosen sites according to these ideas.

This process resulted in multiple visualizations of how their ideas might look, sparking discussion and allowing participants to choose their favorite concepts. UrbanistAI’s ability to directly convert urban planning ideas into photos provided a tangible and engaging way for participants to see the potential transformation of their city.

Through UrbanistAI, the Future Festival successfully generated a diverse array of visual concepts, re-imagining the city center in various ways. These images not only added depth and nuance to the citizens’ aspirations but also introduced innovative ideas into the planning discussion.

The ideas and feedback collected during this phase will be instrumental in finalizing the City Center Vision 2040 in the coming spring.


The integration of UrbanistAI into Lahti's city center visioning significantly enhanced the project's impact. This initiative demonstrated how city planning can benefit from a collective effort shaped by the diverse visions of residents and showcased the effectiveness of using visualizations as communicative tools, bridging participatory processes and decision-making.
Enhanced Project Impact through AI Integration

The inclusion of UrbanistAI significantly boosted the project's effectiveness, demonstrating the value of AI in facilitating participatory planning and enabling swift, iterative visualization of ideas.
Empowering Collective Visioning

This project underscored the importance of collective effort in city planning, illustrating how diverse resident inputs can shape urban development and contribute to a shared vision.
Effective Communication Tools

The visualizations created using UrbanistAI served as powerful communicative tools, bridging the gap between participatory processes and decision-making, ensuring that stakeholder inputs were effectively translated into actionable strategies.