Things change. This blog is a record of one person’s observations about change in Helsinki. Though not exactly. These are supplemented by the insights of a significant other, who sees Helsinki and Finland with rather fresher, if no less passionate, eyes.
So there are posts on current events and news in the Helsinki area, but also more personal commentary. Most of it is about planning, city government, capital and the other powerful drivers that shape where the rest of us live (allowing, of course, for some of the rest of us falling into those categories too). The whole thing is a personal diary. It’s also an attempt to make sense of one of the critical public concerns of our times, the shaping of shared and public space. Academics have written stacks about this, most of it thoroughly depressing stuff – more privatised space, more rules and security guards to police them, more consumerism and more segregation, mostly in tne name of attraction. That doesn’t mean nice-looking but rather enticing to international capital and wealthy tax payers. Some of the thinking here is from them, but much of it is from personal experience and from campaign groups and others who take an active interest and role in shaping Helsinki for people as well as profit.
Originally this blog was inspired by the sense that much of what goes on here is another case of urban “development” obstructing and obliterating anything that anyone might have really wanted. We’ve calmed down a bit now, but still hope to come up with readable ideas and pleasurable visuals.
HRH The Prince of Wales wishes it to be known that He has nothing whatsoever to do with this blog.