Layered city

Election fever. Oh yes. Soon we’ll know the damage! Will a new lot of decision-makers come along who would advocate, like their 1960s predecessors, destroying Mannerheimintie’s neo-renaissance streetscapes to make way for glass and steel boxes? Which are only objectionable really when you stop to look and think.

Keep moving, folks. Go for a stroll, perhaps.

Before voting (or taking your Finnish partner to vote) you could do worse than to walk around Kallio. You’ll see post-war housing, the odd relic of low-rise wooden Helsinki, and a 21st-century municipal playground.

On Siltavuorenkatu you can see (from left to right) the Finnish National Board of Education (refurbed recently so it’s no longer considered ‘Finland’s ugliest building/pdf‘), some concrete brutalism at Merihaka and part of the city museum and the national archive.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the staff of the City of Helsinki’s Planning Department like to remind their audiences that a city is made up of layers – temporal layers. Here are a few more. Some more permanent than others. Some more uplifting than others.

In addition to those examples of Helsinki layers, JHJ would like to share some recent images of snow melting away.

Not a moonscape, but the grit and snow brought to Munkkiniemenranta and deposited there on the ice through the winter.

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