Helsinki needs places – distinct, active, urban, beautiful places; rooms to live in.
Architect Juha Ilonen has mapped some such urban places, that have been neglected by the city so far. Empty pockets inbetween buildings, backyards, gated piazzas in front of public buildings that all provide great possibilities for urban life. In these now inactive spaces, instead there could be cafeterias, galleries, temporary exhibitions, wine bars, workshops open to the public etc. These are spaces that by simple actions (but hindered by a labyrinth of bureaucratic red tape) can be taken into use as rooms for the citizens.
As the City of Helsinki is trying to image itself for example as the innovative “Helsinki Living Lab”, it cannot do this by words alone. Our city culture and space needs to provide the means for innovation to happen. People have to be able to meet, discuss, try out ideas and also fail in an open and flexible city space. We need tolerant spaces to meet.
Please do step on the grass. //aito
The map shows the locations of architect Juha Ilonens city space activation spots. Click on location to see the space:
Bulevardi/Annankatu, the backyard of the Aleksanteri Theatre gets new life when bigger windows are opened on street level in the hotel building next to it
Tulli- ja pakkahuone fenced garden turned into public space and entrances into basement workshops opened in the stone foundation
Helsingin Sanomat article (link)