Author: Timo H.
Could Europe’s Refugee Influx Trigger a Shift Towards Leaner Urban Policies?
The sudden need to make room for asylum-seekers may gather momentum for inventing new ways to solve housing shortages in Finland’s growth centers. Urbanization is a highly transformative force in Finland. Our seven biggest urban centers are projected to grow by one million new residents by 2050 thanks to rural-to-urban migration, the geography of natural…
Intelligent Mobility and the Long Walk to Freedom from Cars
Finland’s revolutionary aim to curb car ownership with driverless cars and MaaS mustn’t evolve into an excuse for not making better cities. Finland and especially Helsinki have lately received a fair share of global media attention thanks to ambitious plans for bettering urban life by making car ownership obsolete in the next decade. Or “to…
Tactical Urbanism Can Help Cities Meet Changing Livability Demands
This spring, Finland’s second city Tampere has been the scene of an interesting urban planning spectacle. Or probably ‘drama’ is a better word to describe the turmoil around the city’s ambition to move on to the second phase of its experiment for temporarily transforming Tampere’s main street, Hämeenkatu, into a transit-only zone. The first phase…
Istanbul: Notes on the Eternal City’s Urban Problems and Ideas
I had the pleasure to visit to Istanbul last week. This was just a leisure trip to explore the city (and have a break from work), but when roaming the streets I quickly noted that there’s no way I can keep myself from reflecting on what I’m seeing and hearing. I also had the privilege…
K+S Urbanism – Will Mega-Retailers Kesko and S Group Ever Think Outside the Box?
Last year my neighborhood in Helsinki experienced a small, but curious change. A stuffy Czech-themed beerhouse called Milenka got refurbished into a somewhat trendy Scandinavian-style one, Ølhus Oslo. Now, the incident that a worn-out joint got replaced by something more hip is not exceptional at all – new eateries and bars get opened all the…
Six Major Developments Shaping Finnish Cities: 2014 in Review
Another exciting year has passed! To wrap up 2014, I decided to piece together what I think are the six most important developments that shaped Finnish cities during the past year. Most things obviously weren’t invented this year nor did they directly affect every city; it’s better to grasp my list as themes that peaked…
Changing Work Patterns and the Rise of Urban Innovation Districts – The Future in Finland?
The changing nature of how and where we work seems to be hollowing out Finland’s science & business parks and industrial areas. Is the geography of innovation shifting and leaving cities facing a choice between sticking with a landscape of vacant business premises and nurturing lively innovation districts? Last month an over 10,000-strong horde of…
Pro Helsinki 2.0 – The Urbanist Vision for Making Helsinki Denser and More Diverse
Today I have the great pleasure of introducing you to the alternative city plan for Helsinki that I have worked on with my fantastic colleagues from Urban Helsinki since early 2014. It’s our second land-use plan done completely in do-it-yourself fashion, and after the small project at the edge of Helsinki’s inner city we did…
City of Boulevards or City of Malls? Urban Transport Infrastructure Retrofits Are Changing the Urban Landscape in Helsinki and Tampere
This article has been written in collaboration with Panu Lehtovuori and was originally published in Project Baltia’s issue 22 “Infrastructure”. Project Baltia is a professional journal covering architecture, urban planning, and design in North-West Russia, Finland, and the Baltic states. The journal is published in St. Petersburg. Panu Lehtovuori is an architect and urbanist. Currently…
PehmoGIS-menetelmillä kohti asuintoiveita priorisoivaa kaupunkikehittämistä
Yksi nykypäivän kaupunkisuunnittelun ydinongelmista on, että suunnittelua ohjaa joukko rakenteita, jotka eivät osaa lukea 2000-luvun kaupunkilaisten käsityksiä kiinnostavasta ja hyvästä kaupunkitilasta. Useimmat kaupunkien rakentamiseen liittyvät lakimme, virastomme ja käytäntömme on nimittäin luotu aikana, jolloin palvottiin modernismin alttaria ja sitä myötä tuottamaan takavuosien suunnittelijoiden ihanteiden mukaista yhtenäistä kaupunkitilaa ihmislähtöisyyden kustannuksella.