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GLOCAL

Globalization and local development, course work (2009).

Deliverables: a co-edited book, boards, presentations.

The main objective of this urban planning course was to get a an idea how globalization affects City of Helsinki. Trying to examine a whole city, one is  easily stuck on large amount of data and superficial findings. Therefore, an area of manageable size and clear boundaries was needed to narrow the topic down. Kallio neighbourhood was chosen.

STARTING POINTS FOR THE STUDY

Assumptions
1) Globalization accelerates metropolization.
2) Helsinki will get more international.
3) Planning strategies emphasise international competition between cities.
4) Helsinki’s population will age.
5) Apartment prices will stay expensive in the city centre.

Areas of interest
* Local culture
* Analysis of the elements that create the ambience of Kallio
* People’s perceptions about Kallio

Methods
* Literature research
* Interviews of Kallio residents/passers-by
* Visits to NGOs related to immigration such as refugee centre, a mosque etc.

The course was a great opportunity to exercise statistics reading skills and combining different research methods.

RESULTS

Present – what Kallio is?
* In the core of the city, dense, small flats
* Professionally diverse
* A place of transit
* Working class past still visible
* Rich in services
* Party district
* Transportation hub
* Loose space (certain ambivalency regarding acceptable behaviour and use of spaces)

Future – what Kallio will be?
* Older
* Singles’ area (Unless radical renovation takes place, there are no flats for families.)
* Moderately more international
* More expensive

Potential threats and Planning tools
* Wiping away the margins: “Weak” planning
* Convergence and “placelessnes”: Carefully cultivated “symbol economy”
* Short-sighted profit hunting: Promoting diversity

Below: a scaled down Board (originally A1). Besides the boards, we delivered several presentations and co-edited an (unpublished) book. My article was approximately 50 pages.

July 30, 2010 | Filed under Architecture.