It is a fact, cities are facing diverse challenges. One of them, according to professor Jari Niemelä (University of Helsinki), lies in how urban planners are getting more and more isolated. As a result urban changes and community participation become unknown or unpleasant in some cases. Kaupunkiakatemia (Urban academy) emerged as a bridge between these kind of problems creating a constant flow between the community as a whole.
This platform is creating a network that intents to bring teaching and research from lectures halls and laboratories to the city streets, its inhabitants and policymakers. Communication is the key as well as knowledge sharing to get everyone involved in every day city issues. Therefore, more and more stakeholders (start-ups, construction and planning companies) are getting involved in the planning process and get a better understanding of different local strategies.
This network brings together people from different sectors as students, multidisciplinary researchers, urban planners, officials and residents to learn from each other through concrete studies and problem solving. All these discussions take place in several special events, courses, workshops and seminars organised by Kaupunkiakatemia. “Morning coffee” is one of those events in which they gather to discuss certain urban themes.
The participation of each group is crucial for the development of the initiative as they collaborate in a co-creation and co-designing process that might lead to future developments in cities.
Such innovative idea leaded them until the semifinals at Helsinki Challenge last November.