The USP group has now worked five weeks exploring varying and potentially conflicting aspects and interests in the surroundings of Haaga. At this point there is plenty of interesting starting points but even the boundary of the study area has remained uncertain, so we are in right track. Now it seems like the right time for more targeted questions and answers.
A bold statement by Kai Wartiainen concerning present day planning is that city planning has shifted in reverse mode – working increasingly from the needs of construction industry towards the needs of inhabitants (Wartiainen 1996). This is not by any means a Finnish phenomenon. The problem of the so-called comprehensive-rational planning has also been recognised elsewhere. Rem Koolhaas (2002) even calls the product of modern planning junkspace – a residue that the mankind leaves on the planet.
Therefore, in contrast to traditional general planning, which starts from (often not so talented) estimation of future population, our task is to find truly interesting development trends and matching solutions. Keeping in mind that your own objective is only one voice in the debate exploring the future of Haaga. In this first semester course, we are not looking for one-size-fits-all solutions, but trying to tease out your personal interests in planning and uncertainty.
Based on your own perspective, describe in a blogpost (max 1000 words), the most important development threads and how you would approach them. Read the blogposts written by your peers and outline the area of interest that you would like to explore more either by deepening the analyses, or seeking transferable and robust solutions. Root your observations in local, national. and global context. If needed, use additional references to focus your research/planning question more precisely.
The text is meant to be your subjective interpretation of research/planning questions that can be answered within a course framework. The overall “plan” outlined in the publication of this course will be the amalgamation of supporting and conflicting perspectives for the future. You don’t have to claim solving all problems of mankind, but find a corner in our uncertain future that can be approached in an academic, argumentative manner.
Bear in mind that in the local context of Haaga, sustainability, or any other generic aim for that matter, cannot be a target on its own. Despite the fact that for instance sustainability must remain an inevitable ethical tailboard for any contemporary urban planning activity.
We’ll discuss your texts on Friday morning (19.10) and we will do the preliminary work outlining the joined publication.
Kai Wartiainen (1996). Helsingin kauneuden logiikat. Kulttuurisesti moniulotteinen kaupunkirakenne. Helsingin kaupungin tietokeskuksen keskustelualoitteita.
Koolhaas, Rem (2002). “Junkspace”, October, vol 100. Obsolescence, MIT Press.