“Dayday is a day when anyone can create a day for a day”.
It was only a matter of time before some joker posted this one on facebook. Not least because last weekend’s effort at another “day” in Helsinki, certainly in Töölö, felt a bit contrived. Cleaning day is nice but it’s nice too to walk in the park, take the boat out, head out to the mökki.
Seems some Helsinkians are exhausted after a summer of running from one pop-up event to another. Perhaps they’re even wondering why they’ve turned into producers as well as consumers, prosumers, of urban culture.
We now create our own “content”, we even take part in planning [can we check this? Ed], and we are told to set up our own businesses rather than relax lazily into lifetime jobs.
Yet it’s a stretch just to get the kids to school and find time to talk to the spouse – though Finns do work shorter hours than most. Still, we can forget the lazy Sunday afternoon – those over-equipped little leagues filled that slot long ago.
So it might be time that that the experts who get paid for their trouble took a bit more seriously their role in “content creation”.
Sure, we like public participation though it has its troubles. But we still/also have some seriously crap planning. Regular readers, and anyone with an interest in Helsinki’s construction projects, know this.
The latest bit of annoying planning in Helsinki concerns the railway warehouse in Vallila/Pasila. Though it’s nice that the interesting building is to remain intact externally.
And it’s nice that the Teollisuuskatu area – which is in danger of becoming a strip-mall-type insertion into the otherwise liveable (but only after popular struggle!) urban surroundings of wooden Vallila and properly dense Kallio – will become a place of work as well as of sleep.
It seems the “choice raisin in the bun” is to be carved out of the wider former railway lands and given (almost) away by VR in unceremonious haste, when a better negotiated and more encompassing planning deal or masterplan would surely be worth it and possible.
OK, many of us are upset because this means that the one genuinely multicultural venue near central Helsinki, Valtteri’s flea-market, will have to go. Why couldn’t the entire area be developed into a mix of homes, workplaces and a fleamarket that attracts a solid crowd three days a week?
It’s not too late to comment on the plans. (Visit the usual site and scroll down to Aleksis Kiven katu). But it would have been good to get in there earlier. Maybe we’ve just been too busy doing day-days to notice what’s being done in our name.