Tag Archives: Helsinki


Co-Creating a Sustainable City breakfast discussion, organized with Punavuori based +Studio in September focused on pioneering sustainable lifestyles and businesses, and on how everyone could contribute in building a more sustainable way of living in the city and beyond. Photo: Arsi Ikäheimonen

Dear Readers – It’s the last day of 2012 and it’s been terribly silent at the blog front. That of course means that the year has been exciting and busy in other ways. 2012 has passed so fast and so full of events it’s hard to believe it’s been only one year.

After touring with Helsinki Beyond Dreams in London, New York, Helsinki and beyond, and participating in numerous inspiring events and discussions, it’s finally become time to start new projects. In the previous years I have been spending a lot of time with grassroots and especially working on the question of how to create better dialogue with citizens, planners and policy makers. A logical step now is to learn more about how the world of policy making works. This logic has led me to a new and exhiting project: I have become a bureaucrat for a year and moved my office to the Ministry of the Environment. The new project is part of Sitra’s Design Exchange Programme, which aims to offer goverment new tools and new ways of thinking through strategic design. (more…)

Posted in Co-creation, Design with/for Public Sector, Events / Exhibitions, Helsinki Beyond Dreams, News, Rethinking Design | Also tagged , | Comments closed


We are happy to announce that our new book, Helsinki Beyond Dreams, has arrived safely from the printing house, and the official book launch will be celebrated on April 12. The plan is to use Pelago‘s new cargo bike to deliver the book to the nearest bookshops in Helsinki before the launch date. Our webshop is already open, and the first orders will be shipped after the book launch.

Helsinki Beyond Dreams is a book about urban culture and how it can make a difference. The book is a team effort by a large group of urban activists, thinkers and artists. We hope it will serve as inspiration for anyone interested in developing better future cities.

Have a look at www.helsinkibeyonddreams.com for further info!

Posted in Co-creation, Helsinki Beyond Dreams, New Economy, News, Rethinking Design, Slow + Sustainable, Unfinished City | Tagged | Comments closed


The Sarana (Hinge) seminar on 20 March in Kiasma, launched an urban zine under the same name. Click on the image to read the paper.

The temporary use of vacant spaces is still a pretty new phenomenon in Helsinki, but it seems to be making its way fast on the public agenda.

In the recent few years, major infrastructural changes, such as the relocation of Helsinki’s inner city harbors to the eastern suburb of Vuosaari, have made large areas available for new developments within the inner city, and many former industrial buildings are lying in wait for their future development. The potential for temporary use of these locations is unique, and at the same time the creative energy of Helsinki’s current grassroots activities is tangible. Areas under transformation serve as catalysts for new things and ideas. Open playgrounds, such as Kalasatama harbor in Helsinki, have become new stages for civic grassroots activities. The harbor warehouse “L3” in Jätkäsaari (which is home to Urban Dream Management headquarters) is being filled with startup businesses, art projects and creative networks. Very often a challenge still remains: how will the existing vacant spaces meet their users? And, what will happen after the temporary use of one location comes to an end?

Yesterday’s Sarana seminar, organised by Helsinki Economic Development, offered a broad overview into the potentials and challenges of temporary use from many different angles. Sarana is Finnish for hinge – the name of the seminar referred not only to opening the doors to vacant spaces but also to those two parts linked together that form the hinge. Temporary use is often a platform where different disciplines and activities, like culture and new business, are linked together. Often it is a question of how the potential users and real estate owners could find a way to meet each other’s demands. (more…)

Posted in Co-creation, Events / Exhibitions, Helsinki Beyond Dreams, Rethinking Design, Unfinished City | Tagged | Comments closed


Ever been to children’s architectural opera? Yesterday we did. The performance “Rakennetaan kaupunki!” (Building the city!), by 4th graders of Helsinki’s Kaisaniemi Primary school at the Museum of Finnish Architecture, was a heart-warming experience.

This mini-opera, premiered in March as part of Helsinki’s program as World Design Capital, was based on Paul Hindemith’s “Wir Bauen Eine Stadt” from 1930, which had earlier been performed in Finnish only in 1934. The Kaisaniemi pupils had modified and updated the original libretto and created the stage set as their vision of Helsinki in the future. (more…)

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The end of November is approaching in Helsinki and our urban garden is still green – at least partly. It looks like the poor fava beans are mistaken there’ll be another summer ahead, as they have just started blossoming again. Last year at this time a thick layer of snow was already covering our city. (more…)

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