A Lesson learned from ‘Kalasatama’

By: Byoungkuk Na

There are a lot of space existing around the world which are temporary not being used by anyone. Those space are not being used at this moment for several reasons such as environmental problem. Our society will provide this kind of space a lot and current system is not valuable way. It will be a big disadvantage to us.

The existing temporary not being used space are the space in the constructing area, demolished area which is waiting for the next program and the space where the constructing is temporary stopped and so on. These space are provided temporary and uncertain space so it is difficult to put fixed programs into the space. ‘Temporary’ is the feature that leads the space to be useless for general program. But the problem is that this kind of space are too common and many of them have totally attractive location and space. therefore, we all have to think about the solution which will give those space a new life.

Kalasatama is one of the area which is not being used temporary in Helsinki. This area is a good example of this article. It is located near the city center and it is a peninsular where the Helsinki city is planning to build a high-rise apartment complex. The area is already under construction. Generally construction site is just used for nothing except constructing which is not efficient way to use the whole area. However, those areas in construction site are too valuable just to waste especially if it’s publicly accessible. In this situation, Helsinki City suggested a great idea for the construction site, Kalatrama. Kalasatama is highly attractive area for the reason that, as mentioned above, it is accessible from the city center, surrounded by the sea on three sides.

Helsinki City’s suggestion was to use Kalasatama as a temporary activity area for every citizen. For example, legal graffiti, art exhibitions held in a container, bicycle brunches, swimming and movie theater. Most of the users are between 20 and 30 years old and they have time, ideas and enthusiasm but no place. Constructors and Organizers of this activity pay some money to City planning Department and they provide the space and some materials to the users. After that, participants use it freely which is quite a rare chance. This event changes the construction site to artistic, informative, participative and useful area. Because this area is also accessible from the city center, many people will visit and enjoy and will make the area famous.

As a result of this suggestion, first, the users who wanted to have temporary usable place could do what they want without any charge. In fact, it was quite a big burden for them to pay some money to borrow space for their exhibition or work. Secondly, more and more people visit this place for the exhibitions, shows and activities. The more visitors come to this space, the more famous this space will become. That means providing the space to public could be a big advertisement for the area. This advertisement is what the constructors need.

To compare with the general situation, the most biggest difference is the number of stakeholders who get the profit. Generally if there is a construction site of residential building, the constructors pay for the advertisement of the building to promote the sale. Then possible future residents get some information of the place and that’s all. But the system in Kalasatama provides profits to more stakeholders than general system. Every stakeholders get different profits they want. In a sense, this is quite a simple system. Someone needs a temporary space and there is a temporary space which is not in use so they borrow and use it. From this process, several groups get profit. It’s a simple win-win system.

In conclusion, this system is valuable and suitable in our society. This win-win system could come into action in many kinds of place. Therefore, the government should accept the idea and implement it in many situations. It will provide more and more profits to people and they will like it.