Guest City Helsinki

From periphery to Metropolis

Helsinki and Amsterdam both face a big and fast growth. This event is a kickoff, where both capitals and their metropolitan areas cooperate on sustainable urban futures. What is Helsinki today and what are its strengths and challenges? What can Amsterdam and Helsinki learn from each other? How can these similar cities shape the fast change and growth consciously? The city of Helsinki and its metropolitan area, the cities of Vantaa and Espoo with URBARIA (Helsinki Institute of Urban and Regional Studies, Helsinki Uni) join us. The event is an offshoot of Amsterdam’s WeMakeThe.City and prepares for WeMakeTheCity Helsinki.


  • Mari Vaattovaara – director of URBARIA Professor of Urban Geography at the University of Helsinki and Director of Helsinki Institute of Urban and Regional Studies.
    What is Helsinki today? What are its strengths and challenges?
  • Tapio Kujala – Rector at Diaconia University of Applied Sciences.
    What can social design do?
  • Meena Kaunisto – producer and curator, previous director at Institut Finlandais Paris.
    Lessons from Paris: what can we learn from a city of over 2 million citizens?
  • Aleksi Malmberg – Chair of Helsinki 2030 Cultural vision, previous director of Finnish Cultural Institute for the Benelux.
    Lessons from Brussels: what can we learn from the ‘capital’ of Europe?
  • Ger Baron – Chief Technology Officer at City of Amsterdam.
    Smart citizens vs Smart city.
  • Zef Hemel – Professor Urban and Regional Planning University of Amsterdam / Strategic Planning Specialist at City of Amsterdam.
    Future visions for the historic center.
  • Sjoukje Alta – Head of Democratic Innovation and Citizen Participation, City of Amsterdam
    How to make the city of the future together?
  • Esther Agricola – Director Urban Planning and Sustainability at City of Amsterdam
    Growth of the Metropolitan Region Amsterdam and circular area development. 
  • Ton Venhoeven – CEO and founder of VenhoevenCS architecture+urbanism
    Transit-oriented development (TOD)
  • Mari Siivola – Head of Master Planning at the City of Vantaa
  • Mikko Rusama – Chief Digital Officer Helsinki
  • Anni Sinnemäki – Deputy Mayor for Urban Environment, Helsinki- commentator

A freshly released Finnish report anticipates that in 2040, two million people (a third of all of Finland’s population) will live in the Helsinki area. Today, with the a population of 650,000 Helsinki and its Metropolitan area are similar to Amsterdam. Both are capitals of their countries, innovative, high-tech harbor-cities. Helsinki is a city sandwiched between ‘West and East’, between Sweden and Russia. Both neighbors have occupied and shaped the city and still shape the capital of Finland. But, Helsinki has stood up on its own, and has been listed as the happiest, ‘coolest’ and one of the best cities on earth to live in and visit. Helsinki and its region are looking for a conscious process while turning into a metropolitan area very fast, while the rest of Finland is getting vastly depopulated. How do Helsinki and Amsterdam and their metropolis deal with questions of polarization, aging and shrinking local population, migration, integration, citizenship, loneliness, climate-change and urban planning?

In collaboration with

  • Urban Talk

Woensdag 19 juni 20.00 - 22.00
Pakhuis de Zwijger, Piet Heinkade 179, 1019 HC, Amsterdam

LET OP: Dit programma-onderdeel is gratis, maar er zijn beperkt plaatsen beschikbaar. Reservering is vereist.

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