Follow-up study on Pohjois-Haaga shopping centre (Ostari)

I looked more carefully the project I was interested in previous post.  It  was carried out by group of researches from Helsinki University and it affiliated with the Department of Social Studies. The responsible researcher was Ph.D. Pasi Mäenpää, adjunct professor of urban sociology.

This R&D project was to renew old suburban shopping centres in Helsinki.  Some information was found in a blog they had during the project.  Blog was to discuss and change information with stakeholders and other interested people.  There they shared and stored information during the project and can still be found.

The aim of the project was to practically innovate new modes of residential services by applying concept of 4P (Public-Private-People-Partnership) in specific suburbs. Suburban shopping centres in Haaga, Laajasalo and Myllypuro were chosen to develop new concepts for.

Project started in January 2014 and there was regularly posting  to the blog. Unfortunately, the language was Finnish, but it was free to comment on English.

Questions in blog for stakeholders were: What would you do with the old shopping centres? What kind of services should and could locate there?

I contacted Pasi Mäenpää by email and asked if there has been done a follow-up study or not. He replied that no, at least he haven’t heard, and he would be interested to discuss with us if we decide to carry out research in this case. That would be a good start.

In blog (in Finnish) is information on negotiations, citizen panels, guided tours, publications in press and there can be seen opinions of different stakeholders. Contact information for them is not provided, but that could be found from project archives or found otherwise.

Project ended 2.6.2015 and then was organized a bus tour for journalists, municipality officials, planners and architects. There were other shopping centres researched in this project and this bus tour covered them all. (Myllypuro new shopping centre being one)

Research questions for us could be: What has happened in Pohjois-Haaga shopping centre since project ended? Did project make something to happen? How do inhabitants think about it now? Has something improved? What is still to be done? Some new ideas?

It takes a group of students to carry out this follow-up study. Someone being interested in shopping centres? Interesting is also to find out and learn the way the reseach group have carried out this few years earlier. One task would be site visits, and interviews, observations would also be interesting to do. And some other methods can be tested, referring to Methods -course.

We met some very active people from Haaga during the field trip and they are willing to co-operate with us. They have their interest in trash picking (Littermovement, pick a trash per day). Their community is one group that could be contacted, in addition to those groups that attended to researches project. A questionnaire could be possible to share with help of these groups, still have to be asked.

Interesting would be making the questionnaire so that results can be analyzed using statistical programmig tool R. Kimmo Vehkalahti introduced the tool, and this can be reasonable opportunity to enhance skills using it.

Let´s see on Friday, if there will be encourging and inspiring discussion on this!

more in Finnish: Ostari blog and report of Pohjois-Haaga shopping centre