Briefly in English

Kaupunkiaktivismi.fi is an information bank on urban civic activism, helping especially public sector actors and civic actors in their activities with urban development. The information bank was made in the project 'Civic Activism as Resource for the Metropolis'. While waiting for the English version of the information bank, this page provides the material the project has produced in English.

'Civic Activism as Resource for the Metropolis' was a research and development project by The University of Helsinki Department of Social Research in 2015-2017.

It was funded by Helsinki Metropolitan Region Urban Research Program, The Housing Finance and Development Centre of Finland, The Finnish Cultural Foundation/Uusimaa Regional fund, The Fund of Heikki von Hertzen and SITRA, with support also from Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Finance.

Objectives of the project

The project studied civic activism from the perspectives of innovation policy, sense of community, involvement and ecological sustainability. The aim was to build understading and knowledge on

1) how various forms of civic activism support cities’ innovation policies and goals on sense of community, involvement and ecological sustainability and

2) how government organizations could support this constructive activism, so that the actions of citizens and cities contribute synergistically to the cities’ innovation policies and goals on sense of community, involvement and ecological sustainability.

Research questions:

  • What kind of civic activism
    - supports cities’ innovation policies and goals on sense of community, involvement and ecological sustainability?
    - creates income and can carry itself economically, for example in maintaining a community space?
    - can institutionalize and develop itself into a business and how does that happen?

  • What kind of spaces and other facilities does activistic action need?

  • What kind of practices and types of support would encourage activism that supports cities’ innovation policies and goals on sense of community, involvement and ecological sustainability?

  • What can the public sector learn from activists in acting to meet these goals and citizens’ involvement in developing the metropolis?

Partners

  • Cities of Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa, and Lahti

  • Ministries of Environment, Finance, and Justice

  • The Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities

  • The Housing Finance and Development Centre of Finland

  • Finnish Environment Institute SYKE

Publications in English

Mäenpää, P. & Faehnle, M. 2017. Civic activism as a resource for cities. Helsinki Quarterly 1/2017, 68-81.

Mäenpää, P. & Faehnle, M. 2017. The fourth sector is reconstructing the society. Yimbycon blog post 5, yimbycon.com.

Presentations in English

Urban civic activism in the Helsinki Metropolitan Region. Presentation at Temporary 6 June, 2017, Helsinki.

Urban civic activism in the Helsinki Metropolitan Region. Presentation at Otaniemi Free Space, 17 May,  2017, Espoo.

Civic engagement 3.0 in urban planning. Participatory planning course, Aalto University, 23 March, 2017, Espoo.

Urban civic activism and attractive city. Kaupungistumisen ajurit - Miltä Suomi näyttää 2039? 2 February, 2017, Tampere.

Civic activism - Reconstructing cities by solidarity economy. Solidarity Economy and Civic Activism – Cases from Malaysia and Finland, 17 October, 2016, Tiedekulma, Helsinki.

Civic activism is reconstructing the society - Tools for discussing self-organized cities. YIMBYcon, 12 August, 2016, Helsinki.

Civic Activism as Resource for the Metropolis. Conference on Urban Culture Activism: Experiences of St Petersburg and Helsinki. 13 May, 2016, St Petersburg.

Citizens in urban development – intercultural and activist perspectives
from the Helsinki Metropolitan Region
. 'Just sustainabilities: re-imagining e/quality, living within limits’ workshop with Julian Agyeman, 11 May, 2015 at SYKE, Helsinki.

Contact

Pasi Mäenpää
Docent, Project leader
University of Helsinki, Department of Social Research
pasi.maenpaa (a) helsinki.fi

Maija Faehnle
Postdoctoral researcher
External researcher at Finnish Environment Institute SYKE
(University of Helsinki, Department of Social Research)
firstname.surname@gmail.com
firstname.surname@environment.fi
@maija_f

Facebook group Kaupunkiaktivismi (in Finnish)