How to Make Helsinki the World’s Best City with Help of Tactical Urbanism

Something has changed in our cities. People are moving to cities for their dynamic street life and elegant and personal services. At the same time we are building more and bigger units than ever. This creates a widening gap between large-scale developments and people’s willingness to mould their surroundings. Newly built areas take centuries to develop into lively cities that people appreciate.

There is a new approach – tactical urbanism – that promises to bridge this gap.

Short-term, community-based projects—from pop-up parks to open streets initiatives—have become a powerful and adaptable new tool of urban activists, planners, and policy-makers seeking to drive lasting improvements in their cities and beyond. These quick, often low-cost, and creative projects are the essence of the Tactical Urbanism movement.


On Friday 18th Demos Helsinki and European Commission Representation in Finland invite all urbanists, planners, builders, technologist, investors and architects to RE:vitalizing Cities co-creation session at YIMBYcon to join in combining strategic urban development with everyday life. The session is free and snacks will be served, so please let us know, if you will be there, by signing in the Eventbrite.

RE:vitalizing Cities session will launch with distinguished keynotes from Mike Lydon and Kaisa Schmidt-Thomé. Presentations will be commented from multidisciplinary point of views by Juha Kostiainen, Timo Mäkelä, Pauliina Seppälä and Olli Voutilainen. The session is part of YIMBYcon, an international event that brings together urban-minded people to exchange thoughts, ideas and lessons on developing cities. Main event: YIMBYcon 2017 – an event for networking and creating change.


Mike Lydon is an internationally recognized planner, writer, speaker, and advocate for livable cities. He is the principal of Street Plans, an award-winning urban planning, design, and research/advocacy firm and the creator of the The Open Streets Project. With Tony Garcia, Lydon is the recipient of the 2017 Seaside Prize and co-author of Tactical Urbanism (Island Press, 2015), named by Planetizen as one of the top ten planning books of the year. He collaborated with Andres Duany and Jeff Speck in writing The Smart Growth Manual (McGraw-Hill, 2009).

Kaisa Schmidt-Thomé, senior researcher from Demos Helsinki, has a long research career in the field of Urban Studies. She did her PhD dissertation at Aalto University about tension between urban development megaprojects and place-based regeneration. Lately Schmidt-Thomé has been interested in co-creative research done together with stakeholders.

Juha Kostiainen, M.Sc. (Eng.), Ph.D.(Adm.), is Senior Vice President of Sustainable Urban Development at YIT Oyj and its Member of Group Management Board. He is a passionate and practical urbanist with urban development experience from academia, business and the public sector.

Timo Mäkelä has worked on environmental, finance and sustainable development issues for the last 40 years in a wide range of organizations in the national and international context.  In 2015 he joined Sitra as a senior advisor on issues related to energy and climate, sustainable management of natural resources, circular economy and environment finance.

Pauliina Seppälä is one of the founders of Yhteismaa ry, the organisation behind concepts such as Cleaning Day and Nifty Neighbor. She is also a partner and employee at the crowdfunding service. In 2016, Seppälä was selected as the social scientist of the year.

Olli Voutilainen works with urban development policy in the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment in Finland. Olli also has a long-term international working experience on EU collaboration on urban issues as well as on key European funding instruments for cities.


For further informtion

Facebook event
Johannes Mikkonen, Demos Helsinki,  0405694948,
Otto-Wille Koste, Demos Helsinki 0405217122,