"First a city is against civic activity, then they slowly allow it, then they encourage it and now Helsinki is promoting the city with it!"

Jaakko Blomberg will participate in the New Europe City Makers Summit on May 27-30 2016. Find out more about the programme and register below.

City Makers Summit

Niesco Dubbelboer interviewed several City Makers during the City Makers Conference in Rotterdam on October 30th. What moves them, which hurdles do they have to overcome and and what are their basic needs when it comes to their activities as City Makers?

The interviews resulted in interesting discussions, putting fundamental questions for the City Makers Agenda on the table. Jaakko Blomberg, one of the four interviewees, is a City Maker from Helsinki and founder of Yhteismaa, a Helsinki based non-profit organization specialized in new participatory city culture, co-creation, social movements and placemaking. All our projects aim for a more fun, free, sustainable, responsible and social urban life.

“I work towards a more social, more sustainable, more fun, more free, more responsible urban life! That’s the life I want to promote.”

“Facebook is really important for us! Everything starts there for us.”

“A business model? I would like to have one. No, there are private parties that help us, also we get grants, small subsidies, we have memberships, also we use crowdfunding, we also give workshops – so all sort of ways to get our projects funded.”

“If I need help from the government I usually send a facebook message to the vice mayor. Or to somebody else from the government, and if they do not react I just start my plans and then send them information afterwards.”

“It is important that there is something like a New Europe agenda, because if tell on that level that these initiatives are great, that would help a lot! Especially in the eastern of Europe it is really hard for the civil movements to do such things. It is really needed there!

First a city is against it, and then slowly allow it, then they encourage people and now Helsinki is promoting the city with this stuff! Interesting how it goes.”

“My advice for City Makers? If you have a good idea, stop thinking things like: maybe it is not a good idea, people will not like it, I do not have the right permit. No! Just start doing it, try and see what happens!

Watch the interview with Jaakko and Niesco below:

Share your opinion 

What is your experience as a City Maker? How much room to experiment do you have in your city, and did it require a great deal of courage to take the first step? Share your opinion and experiences on our Citizenlab discussion page. You can find the discussion around Jaakko’s interview and statement here.

We need your input as a City Maker

What are your experiences, values and obstacles? How does your city compare to other cities? Find the New EuropeCitizenlab page below and let your voice be heard!


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