Designing early community engagement for the revitalization of suburbs: Experiences in Kannelmäki
Authors: Malin Bäckman, Tjhien Liao, Tatu Marttila and Aslihan Oguz
Cities are ever growing and activities within require redesign to keep them functional and support social relationships and activities. At the same time the old suburbs require retrofitting, and this requires collaboration between the local people. Different design strategies can help in developing sustainable suburbs. Design can be used to forecast and backtrace. A collaborative design event can offer an entry point to the local domain of the dwellers. But how to set up such event, and how to gather the participation and communicate first the questions and then the findings?
This paper describes an effort to initiate a connection to the domain of local, and reflects on the design of such connection in relation to the general setting of a project. The focus is on a specific case in Kannelmäki, Helsinki, Finland, and on a co-design event organised during an internationally known event, the restaurant day. Together with the local people we are looking to amplify their voice, and claim that co-design process can be crucial in designing for the “softer side” of urban systems and communities.