Good News from Thu, 12 April, 2012:

Our Helsinki

Over the past few years, Helsinki has become a terrific place to live. The fine offering of summer events surpasses even your wildest dreams, and interesting workshops or other urban community activities are offered practically every week.

It’s as though the city dwellers, after years of apathy, have realised that they can and should take matters into their own hands. The shift to a more consumer-centred society has also prompted countermovements.

Social media has enabled easy and convenient communication between like-minded people. There are currently several more or less organised groups in Helsinki whose goal is to get people to develop their own living environment. Some good examples are the environmental group Dodo and the Kallio Initiative, a community of activists in the Helsinki neighbourhood of Kallio.

In summertime, some parts of Helsinki resemble large village communities, where joint events are organised by residents of the same city blocks. City districts are increasingly being seen as communal spaces, enabling people to engage in shared activities.

I have always believed in making an impact at the grassroots level and in accomplishing things together. Workshops and events that are open to everyone are an excellent way to get city dwellers to come up with ways to make Helsinki a better place to live. Rather than ranting about the way things are, people should encourage others to adopt more eco-friendly lifestyle choices through their own actions.

Above all, I believe that by making lifestyle changes we improve our quality of life. I get around by bicycle because it’s the most convenient way for me to get to work and at the same time it keeps me in better health. Switching from car to bike not only reduces your carbon footprint – it also reduces stress.

On 31st March in Kallio, Helsinki, people had the chance to learn how to take proper care of their bicycle. Advice, tools and spare parts were on offer for those who needed them.