Social scientists (Junnilainen, Kortteinen) have told during the lectures that it is a good idea to go to Ostari, the mall, of the area. There you can observe people and real life in neighborhood and get into contact with them.
We visited northern Haaga mall during the field trip and place looked interesting. It looked like it has been there for a long time, there were old trees very near the building, but it has been renovated some time ago. It has many activities, an important everyday service is a grocery store Alepa and it also has some educational activities for free time for adults. We stopped there, but didn’t interview people or look more carefully, but the atmosphere there was not very inviting.
I found more information about it from project report made by Pasi Mäenpää from University of Helsinki. Project was done in 2014 and it was about developing plans and was done in a way that involved many stakeholders to take part.
There was this short introduction: Mall was built in 1959 and it is one of the oldest in Helsinki. Before it was common to have shops and services at the lower floor of residential buildings, but this was new suburban style in planning. Mall and neighboring residential building is planned by Airi Seikkala-Viertokangas.
Museum authorities in Helsinki municipality have valued the building very high, it is an essential part of the area and is a valuable historic building. There was a conflict between restoring ideas and other developing ideas. The company that manages the building wanted to built a residential house with some shops and tear the building down.
There were also dissatisfaction among Haaga residents and they were very active and insisted that something has to be done. They also were proud that there used to be a place where Hurriganes (very famous finnish rock band in 70’s) had possibility to play and train.
Biggest problems among inhabitants in Haaga was that there are so many pubs, clients are noisy and the environment is uncomfortable.
In project the group of reseachers made actions to influence this disturbance and also interviewed many stakeholders. They developed the activities together and had public discussions. Important message in the report was that is important that municipal services could get combined and use facilities like this mall. It could be interesting to find out what the situation in the mall is now, 4 years after this improvement project.