Thursday, March 24, 2011

Neat idea from Helsinki..

Well, I was in Helsinki this last weekend. The above "!" doesn't exactly convey the level of my enthusiasm for Helsinki..To be honest, I was pretty underwhelmed and unimpressed, and that's even considering my expectations weren't all that high. But it was a fascinating trip from an urban design standpoint, since there are so many interesting things that they've done successful and so many enormous planning blunders that I think they've made. All in all, not really a well-planned city to be honest. In fact it's probably Europe's version of Oklahoma City. But it does have a beautiful city center.

In said beautiful city center is a really fascinating idea: they have a permanent urban planning exhibition center where they have 4 really cool things:

1. An exhibit of urban planning in the Finland-Estonia region, which surprisingly has a lot of really interesting modern architecture.
2. A huge-scale aerial of the city mapping large development projects, showing a cohesive masterplan for the entire city.
3. Literature available for all of the big urban planning projects, to inform citizens of urban planning. Literature is available in Finnish, Swedish, Russian, English, and more.
4. City of Helsinki staff on hand (sitting at an actual desk) to answer questions about urban planning and talk to citizens, take suggestions, etc.

At the very least, it would be nice to have a total downtown masterplan in City Hall that shows Project 180, Devon, streetcar, convention center, Core 2 Shore, central park, Oklahoma River, and countless other major improvements. Something like this:

And of course, I can't help it but to make some sort of band reference:

Who on earth would draw lyrical-musical inspiration from the architecture in Helsinki?? Schiza! That is a very spartan reference indeed.

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