The Seven Cities of Armi OPEN

  • The Armi OPEN Workshop invited seven cities to discuss challenges in urban planning.

    All cities organised a one-day workshop on 6 September. Invited cities included London, Stockholm, Hong Kong, St Petersburg, Tallinn, Capetown and Helsinki. The Finnish Institute in London organised the London programme. All participating cities presented conclusions from their own workshops on Friday 7 September via Skype to a seminar audience in Helsinki. At the Huutokonttori information centre in Jätkäsaari the discussion was taken forward by Finnish activists in urban culture, politicians, officials and business representatives.

    Topics raised included the temporary use of vacant spaces, the emergence of neighbourhood associations, especially in the old districts of Helsinki; the hope for a greater number of temporary pop-up solutions in urban planning; and tried and tested services that are not touted in the media, such as free meals served at the playgrounds of Helsinki, a service that has been around for decades.

    Participants of the London workshop included Jan Bega (Interface Espaces Publics CEVA), Max Dewdney (Mobile Studio), Torange Khonsari (Publicworks), Chee-Kit Lai (Mobile Studio), James Payne (Archipelago Architects) and Anni Korkman (The Finnish Institute in London) for breakfast. The group, moderated by Hanna Harris (The Finnish Institute in London), discussed the London travel experience among many other topics.

    The London proposal asked whether making traffic more experiential, alongside functional considerations, would increase the happiness of passengers. The presentation contrasted the city's historical station buildings with the current trend of placing stations inside shopping centres – a socially oriented experience with a commercially oriented one.

    The aim is to make the Armi OPEN workshop an annual event open to the public.

    The Armi OPEN Workshop partners include Forum Virium Helsinki, the City of Helsinki, Helsinki Design Week, the Finnish Cultural Foundation Finland, the National Council for Design and YIT. The workshop was part of the WDC Helsinki 2012 programme.

    All presentations and the panel discussion can be viewed here.