The Finnish capital beat out the Dutch city of Eindhoven in the final 'showdown' during the World Design Congress in Singapore.
Icsid (the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design) announced November 25 that the designation was conferred to Helsinki because of the city's design initiatives' positive impact on everyday life.
"From urban regeneration and planning policies, to product development and technology, these and other developmental initiatives have proven that design can be used for the betterment of the human condition," Icsid president Carlos Hinrichsen explained the jury's choice.
Helsinki's mayor Jussi Pajunen said: "The decision to designate Helsinki as WDC 2012 brings great responsibility and we accept this title with an open mind and with great enthusiasm," adding that he hoped the title would serve as a "catalyst for change:" "Helsinki is eager to become a global role model in 2012."
It is only the third time that the biennial designation has been bestowed with Seoul, South Korea having carried the title from 2008 and Turin, Italy preparing to take over next year.
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