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Discussion on vacant spaces at Radio Helsinki

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radiohelsinki2Last Wednesday I was invited to speak at Radio Helsinki’s new program “Hesa meidän” (Our Helsinki) about vacant spaces and their reuse, together with Tommi Laitio, head of Helsinki youth department and Hannu Kurki, development manager of Helsinki real estate depertment. What could be done with empty offices or retail spaces? Or schools and municipal offices that are only used for part of the day or the year.

Tommi Laitio gave exciting news from the Suvilahti area. There are plans to turn the old gasometers of the former power plant into a new venue for music and youth culture. If the plans are accepted and everything goes right, there would soon be a concert hall for 3000 people inside one of the gasometers, along with smaller halls and music studios.

We also talked about models of how to enhance a more effective use of the spaces lying vacant. Could we use similar models as in Amsterdam, where the user doesn’t always pay with money but brings other kinds of value and benefits for the real estate owners. And what about agents for temporary use, or new services based on open data? Some of these models have also been discussed in my recent report of the Vacant Spaces project for the Ministry of the Environment.

The discussion is available here as podcast. Listen and enjoy!