In a couple of my previous posts, I’ve stressed my amazement with the quick change in attitude among Helsinki’s urban planners. The message from the planning authorities is that they have chosen to increasingly question the conventional modernist planning ideology and are now actively seeking to add elements of a more urbanist approach to Helsinki’s upcoming steering document, the new city plan.
Now that the first excitement is slowly beginning to settle down, it’s time to start thinking ahead. And what I’ve been thinking about this time touches upon the management of links between planning ideologies and planning practice. Namely, I would like to see one classic planning debate enter the Helsinki discussions, because A) it has not been discussed at all in this process; and B) it plays a significant role in the on-the-ground implementation of the new city plan. Continue reading Design First or Last? A Fork in the Road for Helsinki’s New City Plan
It’s been far too long since my previous post, but I assure you this is not because I would have lost my interest in blogging. It’s just that I haven’t really found the time to write anything during summer. One might think that summer equals as plenty of opportunities to kick back and concentrate on reading and writing, but somehow that just never is the case during my holidays. I choose to travel, attend events of many sorts and generally do things I feel I otherwise don’t have enough time for.
Another excuse for my blog inactivity is that I’m about to begin a new interesting chapter in my life: I’ve been accepted to a one-year master’s program called European Urban Cultures (POLIS) that will be taught in four European cities during the upcoming academic year. My goal is to deepen my expertise in urban issues and do a bit of research on issues that I find interesting.
Going back to school also means that I’ll be working on a thesis throughout my study year. The rest (and the more interesting part) of this post is aimed at bringing out the general theme I’ve had in mind for my personal research project.
My blog has mostly focused on criticizing the outcomes of modernist urban planning and architectural design. I’ve also suggested that a better alternative would be to revive the use of time-tested interpretations of city-building. There’s not too much of this going on in Finland, but on a global scale the blog is just another outlet for anti-sprawl rhetoric. And the good thing is that to my experience, the number of like-minded urbanists around the world is all but decreasing in years to come. The message is getting louder: let’s make cities instead of sprawl. Continue reading Digging into Form-Based Urban Planning