Helsinki or Eindhoven to be World Design Capital 2012

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Their skylines may not be the most spectacular in the world but according to international design authority ICSID (International Council of Societies of Industrial Design based in Montreal, Canada), the two cities in Finland and the Netherlands have all it takes to become the world's leading design sites.

Criteria for their selection were educational design programs available and the number of design professionals working in both cities as well as architectural sites, urban redesign projects and sustainable design initiatives.

Eindhoven deputy mayor and design councillor Marriët Mittendorff commented: "I am very proud that we have been selected amongst the final two cities. [...] Eindhoven's place in the final offers even more opportunities for the Netherlands to highlight Dutch Design's place on the international map."

Jussi Pajunen, mayor of Helsinki, added: "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. [...]"

ICSID jurors will visit both cities next month to further discuss their applications. The jury's final decision will be announced during the World Design Congress in Singapore on November 25.

The World Design Capital is a biennial designation. Seoul (South Korea) will carry the name next year, following Turin (Italy) in 2008.