The ideas team’s kick-off event at theRauhankatu streetworkroom
Essential material for theLahtiresidents invited to participate in the workshop.
On Tuesday my “Diamond team” – that is, the so-called ideas team – gathered together. In theRauhankatu streetworkroom, acquired for the railway area project, different teams gather together to generate ideas for the area. On “market days” (the first Wednesday of each month) we have an Open Day where others are welcome to participate. It’s funny how organising events always takes time, even though I’ve already facilitated quite a few workshops in my lifetime.
The kick-off meeting of the ideas team. There were lively discussions on a number of themes. The aim is that we will meet with this team several times during the year. By June we will have built a scale model which puts together the wishes of theLahtiresidents regarding the area.
The team consists of a great variety ofLahtiresidents. The development of the area besides the railway tracks is seen as important and the participants had rather evolved ideas about the area.
The travel centre planned in connection with the railway station sparked a lively discussion among the ideas teams. The project was considered good as such, but its location as proposed by the city was criticised as poor. The group came up with suggestions of how the travel centre could replace the existing post office building. With this proposal it was seen that more usable space could be created for the functions of the travel centre, and consequently there would be the opportunity to create better bicycle, pedestrian and public transport connections to different parts of the city. The generation of ideas even reached the level of planning a tunnel under the Radiomäki ridge, thus making it possible to direct the through traffic further away from the core of the area.
The team highlighted the safety in the railway area and bringing services close to the residential centres. They wished for facilities in the area that served social aspects; for example, a free-of-charge “village house” with adjoining park. Old buildings were definitely to be preserved and the team expressed a wish for curved street views as well as colourful and interesting buildings in the cityscape. Furthermore, they wished for well-maintained parks and barrier-free connections from everywhere to everywhere else.
The team suggested that bicycle and pedestrian routes should be redesigned so that they really support pedestrians. The signposting on the routes should be up-to-date, and there should be both overpasses and underpasses along the railway area so that the area would be in more comprehensive use. “In fact, one could dig the whole railway tracks underground”, one man blurted out. The already suggested mini-metro for the area received a lot of support. The non-stop shuttle service with several platforms along the route would be very welcome.
The brainstorming continues hopefully also at home. I put together “probe packages”. TheLahtiWorld Design Capital folder includes the competition programme, a welcome note to the team, leaflets about events in the city and a WDC badge. The folder also contains a diary, in which participants can draw and write down their thoughts between meetings.
Post-it notes are an important tool when noting down ideas. All workshops are documented through video, sound recording and photographs. This way the ideas will not be forgotten and we can later return to previous discussions.
An oldLahtitextile manufacturer donated theLahtitextile patches from the 1970s, which feature the city’s silhouette.
Gathering together around a single table people and stakeholders representing different starting points widens the horizons of all parties. The discourse between different viewpoints highlights the fact that there is not a “single voice” among the residents for how the urban structure should be developed. Urban planning is a diverse process in a state of continuous movement.
The city’s residents have superbly become involved in the generation of ideas, and even fairly complete proposals have been put forward.
Thank you all for that! These are the ideas and wishes that we will be developing further with the ideas team.
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