Thursday, February 22, 2018 - 09:27

Digital solutions to put spaces to efficient use

The Flexi Spaces project of the Forum Virium Helsinki innovation unit has created a model to give citizens and communities easy access to various spaces. The model utilizes digital solutions such as smart locks and web-based space reservation and payment platforms. The new model for opening spaces, tested in the Helsinki smart city district of Kalasatama, has been a success. The topic was discussed at an event focusing on the opening of spaces to citizens and communities, held at the Helsinki City Hall on 15 February. The opening speech at the event was held by Helsinki Deputy Mayor Nasima Razmyar responsible for the City’s Culture and Leisure Division.

As with other sharing economy concepts, new solutions to increase efficiency in the use of spaces benefit both the owners of spaces and those with needs for spaces. When under-used and empty spaces are opened for use by citizens and communities, the city becomes more dynamic, and citizen activity becomes possible in different parts of the city. Efficient use of spaces is also advisable from the economic perspective.

“Efficient use of spaces is a particularly significant question to the Culture and Leisure Division. If we manage to put the City of Helsinki spaces to efficient use with the help of digital solutions, we can create a tremendous amount of new opportunities for sports and cultural activities,” Deputy Mayor Razmyar says.

Kalasatama as the host district to the Flexi Spaces pilot

Kalasatama has served as a piloting area for flex-space services. For example, a rental housing company of Setlementtiasunnot opened their leisure activities space to all users in the Kalasatama Flexi Spaces project. Residents of the housing block can use the space free of charge; other users pay 20 euros per hour in rent. The space is reserved and the rent is paid through the system.

“We have paying customers almost daily. The newest customers include a musical kindergarten and a dance group. The quality of life and level of activity of the housing block residents increase when, for example, they can go in slippers from their homes to a yoga class,” says Pirjo Peltosuo, a community coordinator at Setlementtiasunnot.

Thanks to the Flexi Spaces project, Kalasatama alone now has 15 flex spaces, which were reserved more than 600 times in the first year. Forum Virium Helsinki is now extending the Flexi Spaces model to Tampere, Turku and Oulu. The lessons learned from Flexi Spaces are distributed Europe-wide in the Refill EU project.

City of Helsinki spaces reserved through Varaamo and spaces bank

The City of Helsinki has opened its spaces through the Varaamo reservation system and the City spaces bank. An increase in flexible spaces is already taken into consideration in zoning. The City of Helsinki also promotes the flexible use of spaces in the City strategy. One goal is to make schools and sports facilities easily available to citizens.


Read more:

Kalasatama Flexi Spaces project


City spaces bank (service in Finnish)

Publication on how to open under-used and empty spaces flexibly (in Finnish)


Video: Deputy Mayor Nasima Razmyar’s opening speech at the event focusing on the opening of spaces

Monday, July 2, 2018 - 09:21

Clownery, fire theatre, dance film and resident party in summer of Kalasatama

The City of Helsinki has chosen Kalasatama residents' association's resident party, Maria Baric Company's Kalasataman valon juhla ("light party"), Red Nose Company's Kalasataman kulttuuripilkki ("cultural jig") and Susanna Leinonen Company's Kalasatama in Motion project as the environmental art projects of the summer to receive financing. The events are open to the public and free to attend.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018 - 08:57

Helsinki Central Library Oodi Nears Completion

The landmark public library will be complemented by the new Amos Anderson art museum in Helsinki’s cultural district

The downtown cityscape of the Finnish capital Helsinki is about to be crowned with a new landmark building: Helsinki Central Library Oodi will open doors on December 3, 2018.

The library building is a powerful and iconic contemporary design by ALA Architects of Helsinki. It completes Helsinki’s downtown cultural district in the Töölönlahti area, where it is flanked by many other architectural landmarks.

Monday, June 4, 2018 - 11:50

Enter the Helsinki New Horizons photo and video contest

The City of Helsinki organises a photo and video contest in the spirit of the website Helsinki New Horizons. We hope to receive pictures and videos of real situations of living in the different neighbourhoods of Helsinki.

The photo and video contest continues all summer, from 1 June 2018 to 31 August 2018.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018 - 08:30

Housing and land use monitored by City Council

The Helsinki City Council discussed a new report on a programme for housing and related land use at the Council meeting of 16 May 2018. The programme was approved by the City Council in June 2016. The progress of the programme and changes in the programme’s operating environment are reported to the City Council annually.

The population of Helsinki grew by 8,091 in 2017, that is, by 1.3 percent. The volume of residential construction has grown at a record rate.