ed. P채ivi Ker채nen
Design for Everyday Mobility championing
cycling in and around Helsinki
Contents Foreword PĂ¤ivi Fredriksson
Service design for a better city Bicycle Centre to inspire cycling in Helsinki Building KivistĂś for cyclists
Elements for Shared Stations
Design for Everyday Mobility And in practice?
Foreword created fertile ground for new ideas. Visits to London, Ghent and Vienna and working with students abroad for instance at a workshop at the Radical Design Week in Shanghai prompted the realisation that similar ideas for promoting cycling are being developed around the world.
Design concepts can launch change processes. The purpose of the ‘Design for Everyday Mobility’ project was to envision a city with more sustainable mobility through the means of design, and its results can already be seen in the cityscape of Helsinki. Principally implemented by students, the development process was steered by assignments from the Cities of Helsinki and Vantaa. This publication is a compendium of things that emerged in the project: aspects of urban design and the service and product concepts that evolved.
The final section showcases service and product concepts designed by students. Students have had a unique opportunity to participate in urban design, to gain diverse professional guidance for their work and to see at first hand how processes actually work in working life. In the best cases, they had the opportunity to see their ideas come to life in the city. Practical projects have fostered new and inspiring partnerships between future professionals in design and in other sectors. The new and thought-provoking design concepts also reinforced the need for continuing cooperation between city authorities and consultant agencies involved in the planning of the urban environment. There are already plans on the drawing board for improving urban design services, and the ideas so far developed are being put into practice with support from the City of Helsinki innovation fund.
The first part of the publication charts the current state and future outlook of urban mobility and the needs of service providers and people moving around in the city. These were taken as design assignments. Design for Everyday Mobility was one of the spearhead projects of the Metropolia University of Applied Sciences for the World Design Capital year. One of the themes of the year was Open city – Embedding Design in Life, which describes the aims of Design for Everyday Mobility very well. In the three following sections, the theme is explored in various contexts: the Bicycle Centre in Helsinki, bringing together services needed by cyclists; the solutions applied in a new residential and business district in Vantaa that is still under construction; and refurbishing the vicinity of the railway station in Malmi together with the local community. The project has helped actors in the areas of public transport, pedestrian access and cycling to network. The operating model employed creates a space for mutually beneficial dialogue. There have been discussions about work in progress and development goals to promote cycling. This, in turn, has led to the improved sharing of best practices in service models between cities. Each section includes contributions from experts and ordinary citizens who participated in the work.
We would like to thank our partners and funding providers, the European Regional Development Fund, the Uusimaa Regional Council and the local authorities of Helsinki and Vantaa for this opportunity to contribute to the development of our shared urban space in the Helsinki metropolitan area. We would also like to thank cordially everyone else who participated in the development work. We hope that this publication will inspire the reader to look at the city with new eyes and to see details that influence our daily choices. Above all, we hope it will prompt you to act on your observations, to voice your development needs and to contribute to the designing of a better city! Päivi Fredriksson Head of Design Degree Programme Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences
The fifth chapter describes forms of community design, i.e. perspectives and aspects emerging in interaction that generate ideas for a new and better functioning urban environment. Fact-finding missions to cycling cities and their actors
Service design for a better city back to Contents
Cycling in Helsinki in the 2010s Otso Kivekäs
Service design to encourage smart mobility choices Tarja Jääskeläinen
pastime to transport 15 From Antti Pönni
Cycling in Helsinki in the 2010s
Otso Kivekäs, Helsinki Cyclists association Member of the Helsinki cycling project team 2009–2012
Focusing on cycling is one of the major trends in urban design of the 2010s. Cycling has risen from almost zero to constitute a significant percentage of all traffic in cities such as Rome, Seville and New York. Almost everywhere in Europe, sales of bicycles outnumber sales of cars, and this trend has reached Helsinki too. The number of cyclists in Helsinki has risen steadily since the beginning of the millennium, and the number of cyclists at the Helsinginniemi survey line has nearly doubled since 2005. The active promoting of cycling in Helsinki can be considered to have begun with the cycling project. The City of Helsinki strategy programme for 2009–2012 incorporated a decision to launch a cycling project to double the volume of cycling in the city. In June 2009, Marek Salermo took office as bicycle traffic planner of
Plans for the Cycling Route Network 2025 One-way bikeway
Cycling on the car lane, lowering speed limit
Connection needs further investication
the City of Helsinki. The brief was not entirely precise, and the project spent the first years mainly wondering what should be done and how. Repair needs for principal routes in the city were surveyed in 2010. However, the exact routing for the principal routes had not yet been settled, which complicated the operation. It is perhaps because of this that the majority of the problems discovered still have not been fixed. In autumn 2010, a reform of the Critical Mass Bike Rides was begun. New parties were invited to participate, including the Helsinki Cyclists association. At the same time, these demonstrations that had been going for years became more specifically a tool for influencing City policies. In 2011, officials were still in planning mode. A couple of dozen ‘bicycle pockets’ were painted on streets in the Kamppi and Töölö districts. Outside the world of local government, a Critical Mass Bike Ride took over the Länsiväylä motorway on 13 September 2011, demanding that it be converted into a street. Today, that idea has been incorporated into the master plan. In 2012, officials began to show results too. A major milestone was reached with the opening of the Baana bicycle path on Helsinki Day, 12 June. On the same day, the temporary Bicycle Centre was opened on Narinkkatori Square. For two summers now, it has served as the focus for a variety of cycling events. The target network for bicycle paths in the city centre was also adopted, including the targets of establishing bicycle paths along Mannerheimintie, Hämeentie, Mechelininkatu and Tukholmankatu. The first of the design guidelines, explaining how bicycle paths should be built, was also adopted. This year (2013), a cycling promotion plan was drawn up to implement the target set in 2009: to increase the percentage of cycling out of all traffic to 15% by 2020. Bicycle lanes were painted on the street at the western
Big wheels turn slowly, but they do turn, and the obstacles that come up in the way of achieving a functioning infrastructure for cyclists will be overcome, one at a time.
end of Nordenskiöldinkatu in Töölö and at the southern end of Runeberginkatu in Kamppi. The Mannerheimintie bicycle path plans were approved, but the Mechelininkatu and Helsinginkatu bicycle path plans were bogged down in committee due to concerns about parking spaces. As the above brief history shows, translating ideas into lines on the ground is slow, very slow indeed. Despite years of concerted efforts, every single time street repairs are undertaken at an intersection with a bicycle path, the end result is worse with an extra raised kerbstone added to the bicycle path. This may be indicative of the general political climate with regard to cycling. There is extensive political support in Helsinki for making cycling more prominent. This is a goal enshrined in the City of Helsinki strategy and various traffic development plans. All political parties are basically in favour of it. But whenever something concrete actually needs to be done, there are suddenly big problems. The City of Helsinki has a huge, sprawling organisation where projects easily get stranded in no-man’sland. The organisation runs perfectly smoothly when doing things like they have always been done, but if anyone tries to change anything, half a dozen different
agencies have to come to agreement before anything can happen. And usually there is someone deliberately slowing down the process just to be on the safe side. A case in point is the City Bike system. The decision to acquire an ad-funded bike system was made way back in 2008. After three rounds of competitive tendering and five years of dithering, the latest attempt at getting a City Bike system failed because the City was unable to provide good enough ad placements. The most recent tender is two years old, and the advertising market has changed in the meantime. Planning took so incredibly long because every single thing had to be agreed with Helsinki City Transport, traffic planners, town plan architects, the Public Works Department, the Building Control Department and the cityscape advisory board. Permission was required from every possible authority for just about everything that had to be done. Big wheels turn slowly, but they do turn, and the obstacles that come up in the way of achieving a functioning infrastructure for cyclists will be overcome, one at a time. There are indications that we have already passed a turning point. In the ten-year investment plan of the City of Helsinki, funding for the building of bicycle paths is to be increased from EUR 4 million as it has been in the past 7
years to about EUR 10 million. This is the funding level recommended in the cycling promotion programme, and it will enable systematic development of the bicycle path network. There are plenty of new paths being planned, including straight, level paths between the city centre and the suburbs, running for instance along the main railway line to the north and the Itäväylä highway to the east. Danish-style bicycle paths will be built on the main streets in the city centre. There are plans not only for Mannerheimintie and Mechelininkatu but also for Mäkelänkatu and particularly Hämeentie. A decision in principle on kerbstones was made in 2012. New specimen plans for intersections to prevent sabotaging of bicycle paths are expected later this year. And we will get the City Bikes too, although not before 2015. With or without ads.
Service design to encourage smart mobility choices Tarja Jääskeläinen Helsinki City Transport
The car industry has developed product design into an art form. Moreover, the car trade is excellently acquainted with the means of service design that will entice a customer to close a deal. The customer feels special and leaves the shop contented, with the smell of a brand-new car in his nostrils. So what does public transport feel and smell like? At worst, the service experience may even be miserable. The station platform is cold and dark. The train is running late, but there is no information available. When the train finally arrives, the customer unwittingly steps into a coach where no tickets are sold and wonders why the guard is nowhere to be found. After a few stops, a seriously socially disadvantaged person boards the train, carrying a pungent smell with him. The customer steps off the train and is unable to find the stop where he should catch his bus. Because the train is late and because he could not find the bus stop, he misses the connection and has to wait for the next bus, which 8
will depart some twenty minutes later – and it is dark and cold at the bus stop too. The customer, with justification, decides that this will be the last time he tries public transport, and he will be driving the next time. The above is a description of a failed service path. Fortunately, customer experiences in public transport are rarely as bad as this, as we can see from the good results of customer surveys and resident surveys and from the increase in passenger numbers. What is very significant is that the volume of public transport as a percentage of all traffic has increased while that of cars
has decreased by one percentage point in the most recent traffic study conducted in the Helsinki metropolitan area. So we have done something right, and most of the customers of public transport feel that their service experience is a positive one. The values of Helsinki City Transport are customer orientation, cooperation, continuous development and environmental responsibility, and we aim to implement these in everything we do. The slogan ‘Helsinki City Transport moves us all’ was launched in 2010, coinciding with the beginning of the development of a custom-
er strategy. In this, we defined the customer service path: important customer encounters from trip planning to actual travel and how these fit into customers’ everyday lives, and also how the processes of Helsinki City Transport have to match customer needs at various points on the service path. Helsinki City Transport aims to retain current customers and to attract new public transport passengers by offering safe and reliable services that are easy to use. We have begun working on a customer programme based on the strategy, and aim to complete it towards the end of 2015. Mobility guidance is employed to encourage people to embrace environmentally friendly ways of getting around, through advice, marketing, transport planning and the coordination and development of mobility services. The overall goal is to reduce the number of people driving alone and to increase the use of sustainable forms of transport. Examples found abroad show that
mobility guidance measures can reduce the use of cars by 10% to 30% on average. Mobility guidance makes use of service design by enhancing positive and addedvalue customer encounters for various target groups. As an example, we may mention customisable smart mobility services aimed at employers and using online services to influence the location of homes or businesses, which in turn influences mobility choices. The main thing in mobility guidance is to address customers at a concrete level: we have to know where, when and how to inform any particular customer group about smart mobility. Promoting smart mobility involves influencing attitudes. The very term ‘sustainable mobility’ may arouse mixed emotions: it is easy to dismiss it as just another example of environmental do-good rubbish. Some may consider that public transport is for those who cannot afford anything else. Cycling except for fun or exercise
is seen as the domain of eco-freaks. However, the car is no longer the god it once used to be. In the Helsinki metropolitan area, an increasing percentage of young people give driving school a pass because they feel that a driving licence is unnecessary. A car is no longer a primary status symbol – wellbeing is becoming more important. The term ‘smart mobility’ introduced in Finland gives exactly the right idea: using anything except a car to move around is a smart move.
From pastime to transport Antti Pönni Metropolia University of Applied Sciences
What is cycling? For many, it’s just a pleasant way to spend a sunny Sunday afternoon or perhaps a fitness activity. But could cycling be a real everyday alternative to driving or riding public transport – a means of commuting or going to the shops? Or to put it another way: could cycling be a way of getting there instead of just going around in circles? I have myself been cycling to work for several years, first occasionally and then more regularly and systematically. One of the important events in my ‘career’ as a bike commuter was the founding of Fillarijengi (Bicycle gang) in 2008. Fillarijengi was born through the online forums set up when the Metropolia University of Applied Sciences was founded. A discussion emerged on the pages of the Metropooli online magazine about promoting cycling. The discussion then spread to cof10
fee rooms and finally to the Fillarijengi website set up in a Wiki-workspace. It was described as the ‘advocate for bike commuting at Metropolia’. The Wiki website featured chats, trip counters, surveys of cycling facilities at various locations, proposals for ‘company bikes’, and distribution of cycling-related links with various degrees of enthusiasm. Later, a Facebook group was added and an annual thing was made of participating in the Kilometrikisa (Kilometre race) distance competition held by Pyöräilykuntien verkosto (the cycling communities network). Fillarijengi is a case study in how everyday cycling started to become more popular around the turn of the 2010s, particularly in the Helsinki metropolitan area. Of course, people had been cycling to work and for other everyday purposes for years, but the new element that was now added – and this was true of Fillarijengi too – was the social media, through which cyclists have found like-minded companions and a forum for exchanging ideas and brainstorming. Cycling is being promoted in various blogs, most prominently perhaps in Kaupunkifillari (City bike) and several Facebook groups. The conception of cycling as transport instead of a pastime has become a dominant topic in discussions. This means that promoting cycling involves developing solutions that will make cycling a realistic alternative to driving or taking the bus not just in summer but in winter too. At the same time, the authorities have taken a 11
Cycling is a means of mobility that is basically available to everyone.
more active and systematic approach to cycling development, as we may see from the actions of the Helsinki City Planning Department. The Tour de Metropolia cycling event, held annually since spring 2009, has become the most popular and most visible of the activities organised by Fillarijengi. Tour de Metropolia (or TdM) is, like all of the group’s activities, conceived from the perspective of the everyday cyclist. The TdM is not a sporting event with fit and technologically well equipped cyclists racing one another; it involves a circuit made up of short legs and proceeds at a leisurely pace. It does not require participants to be in excellent physical shape or to have special equipment. The underlying idea here is, of course, that cycling is a means of mobility that is basically available to everyone. The TdM is successful if you can complete it on the most basic Finnish bike there is, the Jopo.
Obstacles to everyday cycling The TdM seeks to address one of the principal obstacles to everyday cycling: attitudes. The event is intended to demonstrate that cycling is not only a possible but a feasible way of getting from A to B. An attitude shift is the first thing to achieve in taking up cycling. Will I be able to cycle five kilometres? Ten? Fifteen? Could I be bothered to go out on my bike in the rain? Will I dare ride my bike in the winter? These are all
questions that I have asked myself and eventually answered with a ‘yes’. Attitude is not, however, the only obstacle to everyday cycling; other issues include ease, comfort and safety. These are factors that are partly beyond the control of the cyclist. One can always dress for the weather and equip one’s bike with lights if it is dark and studded tyres if it is icy, and so on. However, planning and design facilitating the ease, comfort and safety of cycling are also vital, and Design for Everyday Mobility is making an important contribution to these. Ease, comfort and safety are not separate elements: improving one will in many cases improve the others. Route clarity is an important point. In an American study, factors affecting the popularity of bike commuting were studied in nearly 100 major cities in the USA. It emerged that temperature or rainfall had very little impact on the popularity of cycling. The most significant individual factor was how clear and how logical the cycling routes were. This combines all three factors: ease, comfort and safety.
Small solutions that make a big difference Although much has improved in cycling in recent years, Finland still presents rather a confusing environ-
ment for cyclists. Pedestrians and cyclists have to share the same paths, leading to constant conflicts. A bicycle path may end in the middle of nowhere or be unclearly marked. Visibility is often poor at intersections of roads and cycling paths, which hinders progress and causes hazards. In many places, it is difficult or impossible to park and lock bicycles securely. In winter, it is anyoneâ€™s guess whether any particular bicycle path has been cleared or not, and one never knows when setting forth whether a commute will take 30 minutes or 90 minutes. If serious progress is to be made to promote cycling as a form of transport, areas to concentrate on include
urban planning and traffic planning on the one hand and a clarification of the currently rather confusing legislation on the other. There are already signs of improvement, as with the aforementioned cycling planning undertaken in Helsinki. However, small everyday solutions also important for cycling, as they can make a big difference; and expert design can help find just such solutions. Here are two case examples of everyday situations in which only a small investment in design would have yielded great benefits. Case 1. I was recently in Helsinkiâ€™s Keskuspuisto park with the idea of cycling a short, 3-kilometre stretch along a route I did not know. The route looked straight 12
enough on the map, but the reality on the ground was a maze of criss-crossing paths. Sometimes there were signs pointing the way at intersections, sometimes not. The signs that I found were small, high up and difficult to read. In the end, I had nothing but my sense of direction to rely on. The result was that I got where I was going, but the 3-kilometre straight line on the map had turned into an 8-kilometre meander. If the route had been clearly signposted, there would have been no problems. Case 2. My neighbourhood supermarket carried out a major extension project, making the shop better in all ways. The parking lot was also completely redesigned to cater to the needs of the now larger supermarket. But scarcely any provision was made for bike parking, only a cheap bike rack screwed to the wall, allowing a bike to be supported by its front wheel. Not only can such a rack bend the spokes of the bicycle wheel, it is also impossible to secure the bike to the rack by its body. The result was that I avoid going to the supermarket by bike, because I cannot lock it securely while there. If decent and well-designed bicycle racks had been provided, it would be practical and enjoyable to go shopping by bike. Increased cycling is not just a result of people deciding to cycle more. Cycling is also affected by the many small and big decisions that make cycling easier, more comfortable and safer.
back to Contents
Exploring the Bicycle Centre Bicycle Centre to inspire 21 Päivi Keränen cycling in Helsinki Inverse city planning? 27 Leena Silfverberg
Mega-joint planning along Narinkkatori Square Mari Siikonen your bike 31 On Juuso Andersin
Centre 1.1 – pedalling forward 33 Bicycle Johanna Taskinen and Mari Päätalo
the Bicycle Centre Päivi Keränen, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences
“The Bicycle Centre is a living hub for cycling events, publicity and services.” (Cycling Promotion Programme 2013.) For two cycling seasons now, the Bicycle Centre has served Helsinki residents on Narinkkatori Square. The Centre has introduced services such as monitored bicycle parking, advisory services, tools available for self-service bike maintenance, and quick service available for a fee, besides bike 14
rental. The Centre also offers a base for cycling events in a very central and visible location. The past two years have seen fruitful development. Helsinki residents have discovered the Bicycle Centre, and visitor numbers have been steadily growing. This helps point the way to the future: there is demand for introducing similar services in the suburbs, and there is talk of erecting a permanent Bicycle Centre on Kansalaistori Square along the Baana bicycle path.
After summer 2013, the following points were found in favour of the current container setup: It is easy to bring bikes up to the containers: no steps or other obstacles. No lifting, no carrying up steps, no holding doors open, etc. The centre is clear and conspicuous. There are bikes on display and at the service facility. This clearly communicates to passers-by what the place is. Social control. Although some suspicious characters frequent Narinkkatori Square, it is always a busy place. The location is far from unsafe: it is a pleasant urban environment. The hosting and supervisory operation was a success. The shoe repair service on Narinkkatori Square is open and manned from 07.00 to 22.00. This was very good for the Bicycle Centre. Open to the outside. The Bicycle Centre is halfway between an indoor and an outdoor space, as befits the nature of cycling. The Laituri premises may be used for training and meetings. Only a small conference room would be needed at the Bicycle Centre itself.
The Bicycle Centre was long in the planning. Over the past twenty years, various proposals were made for setting up such a centre, for instance in the western wing of the Railway Station, in the Lasipalatsi courtyard, on Töölönlahti Bay and in Kaisaniemi Park. The content and range of services of the centre also morphed into various guises as the design work progressed. So how did the Bicycle Centre eventually come to be set up, and how did it come to be the way it was?
Design for Everyday Mobility at the Bicycle Centre The Helsinki World Design Capital year (2012) accelerated the implementation of the Bicycle Centre, as it was an excellent fit for the themes and objectives defined for the year. The City Planning Department, which coordinated the planning, decided to make it a priority to launch the centre in 2012. The Bicycle Centre began to attract wider interest. The service concept for the cen15
Public address systems were handled through the Kampin suutari shoe repair service. Display of brochures and maps. Cycling map on the wall or on a board. Storage for maps (currently in the shoe repair service facilities).
tre was drawn up by Saana Tikkanen in a thesis submitted to Aalto University. The WSP Finland design office developed the concept further, designing a permanent Bicycle Centre dovetailing with the series of bicycle fittings designed by the office. However, instead of going with a permanent structure, the coordinators decided to first set up the centre using freight containers. Once the amended plans had been finalised, the City Planning Department commissioned students at Metropolia University of Applied Arts to design their practical implementation. The students were quick to pick up the project: productionready floor plans and furniture schedules were created within weeks, permit and other applications were submitted promptly, and the required containers were rented. The design was based on making the centre attractive and easy to approach, on users’ requests and on the needs of the various actors involved. Earlier planning work on the centre was leveraged. Interior design students Sari Seppälä and Sanna Viik designed the furniture and fittings for the four containers that made up the Bicycle Centre, and the visual appearance was designed by communications student Kristjan Laansalu. A little bit at a time, the Bicycle Centre reached its first incarnation, and its operations got under way. Bicycle rentals were launched in mid-May, but the official opening was not held until a month later, coinciding with Helsinki Day and the opening of the city’s first high-quality bicycle path, Baana. The opening ceremony also launched the next round of development, a user survey. Because of the extremely tight design and construction schedule, it had become apparent in the course of the spring that the Bicycle Centre would remain at an
experimental stage in its first summer. Making a virtue out of a necessity, it was decided that city residents should be involved in the design process. The centre was redubbed Bicycle Centre 1.0 and branded as a test case. The user survey was conducted in practice by interviewing visitors to the centre on two days a week in June and July. They were asked about their cycling habits and their views on storage, cycling-related services, bicycle maintenance and the visual appearance of the Bicycle Centre. At the same time, users for canvassed for their experiences of bike parking fittings and the usability of the bicycle racks in the area. In all, almost 250 residents responded to the survey. The responses were compiled into a visual report that was published during Mobility Week in September. The publication brought together the actors involved in the centre for a feedback and debriefing session on the first summer that also included a look at the future.
First steps towards a Bicycle Centre network Cyclists need services all around town, not just at the Bicycle Centre. Help should be near at hand if a tyre bursts or a chain snaps. There is a clear need for bicycle service points at least along the most frequently used bicycle routes. This concept was put to the test at five ‘canopy kiosks’ around Helsinki: next to Pitkäsilta bridge, in Karhupuisto park, in Käpylä, in Munkkiniemi and in Arabia. These kiosks lent cyclists tools and pumps besides providing snacks. The ‘canopy kiosks’ (lippakioski in Finnish) were selected because they are highly distinctive and well located. Also, the students behind the concept were keen to use existing and familiar buildings rather than build new ones. Experiences gained during the summer showed 16
that the service was well received but that its visibility and marketing needed a lot more investment. If the service were continued, it would be beneficial to involve all the ‘canopy kiosks’ in the city, because this would make marketing easier. However, all the ideas and experiences gained can be used in other plans for a Bicycle Centre network.
Second summer of the Bicycle Centre It was decided that the Bicycle Centre should again operate on Narinkkatori Square in summer 2013, essentially in the same form and with the same actors as in the previous summer. The aim was to improve operations based on the previous summer’s user feedback, with specific reference to opening hours and the service portfolio. For instance, the info container now offered not only tools to borrow but also advice on bike maintenance. Users became familiar with the advisory service in addition to the rental service in the course of the summer, and the info container acquired a number of regular clients. The operation was coordinated by two sustainable mobility entrepreneurs, Mari Päätalo from Valpastin Oy and Johanna Taskinen from Mobinet Oy. They had been allocated a combined five days a month of working time at the centre. Electricity, public address equipment, cleaning and many other practical issues were managed by the building superintendent for the centre, the Kampin suutari shoe repair service. There was a bicycle mechanic from the CycleCenter bicycle shop at the centre every day to help cyclists. His principal task was to advise visitors on bicycle maintenance. In addition to guided self-service maintenance, Kampin suutari offered maintenance services for a fee and sold spare
parts. Bike rentals were handled by Greenbike as in the previous summer. Events are an important part of what the Bicycle Centre is. They highlight cycling in the cityscape while promoting the centre itself. With the activities of the coordinators, the centre saw more action than in the previous summer. Events are highly resource-intensive, however, and it must be carefully considered whether the Bicycle Centre should in fact produce events itself in the future. Publicity must also be more prominent and therefore requires more resources.
Future of the Bicycle Centre “The user survey conducted shows that the Bicycle Centre is considered an important service. It is therefore justifiable to develop its operations based on the current model. Extending the concept to other regional centres would improve the standard of service.” (Draft for the Cycling Promotion Programme 2013.) Encouraged by the experiences of the past two summers, it is now time for the Bicycle Centre to branch out into the suburbs. The location of the Bicycle Centre in the city centre will also be reviewed. Building a permanent Bicycle Centre on Kansalaistori Square seems off to a promising start. Town planning for the Töölönlahti area is under way, and it would be possible to reserve a space for the centre, whether intended as a temporary or a permanent feature. There are already preliminary plans for locating the first suburban Bicycle Centre at the old Malmi railway station, which is conveniently located at a nexus of public transport connections and bicycle paths. At the Everyday Mobility workshop held in September, the new housing district of Pasila, the busy Itäkeskus and Mel17
Perhaps a few years from now we will have a centre and a network that we can only guess at now.
lunmäki metro station were also proposed as locations for a Bicycle Centre. Also, centres catering for students, staff and residents of the surrounding districts have been planned at the four new campuses of Metropolia University of Applied Sciences. This would extend the service network to Arabianranta, Myllypuro, Myyrmäki and Leppävaara. Opportunities are wide open for the Bicycle Centre. This is a work in progress; perhaps a few years from now we will have a centre and a network that we can only guess at now. Perhaps there will be a mobile Bicycle Centre cruising the streets of Helsinki, or perhaps the network we envision now will form part of a comprehensive system of cycling services. The residents of Helsinki will hopefully play at least as important a role
in the future of the Bicycle Centre as they have done so far. After all, it is cyclists who bring the centre to life.
Bibliography Hernberg, Hella (ed.) 2012. Helsinki beyond dreams, actions toward a creative and sustainable hometown. Urban Dream Management. Kaupunkisuunnitteluvirasto & WSP Finland 2012. Pyöräkeskus 1.0 Helsinki, Tarkennettu palvelukonsepti ja pyöräkatosten yleissuunnitelma. Kaupunkisuunnitteluvirasto 2013. Pyöräilyn edistämisohjelma. (Cycling Promotion Programme) Koivusalo, Tiina 2013. Pyöräilypalveluiden brändäys Helsingissä. Aalto-yliopisto.
Laansalu, Kristjan 2013. Graafinen suunnittelija konseptisuunnittelijana: Konseptisuunnittelu ja visuaalisen ilmeen luominen Helsingin Pyöräkeskukselle. Metropolia Ammattikorkeakoulu Malk, Maiju & Viik, Sanna 2012. Pyöräkeskus 1.0 Käyttäjätutkimus. Liikkuvan Arjen Design -hanke, Metropolia Ammattikorkeakoulu Päätalo, Mari & Taskinen, Johanna 2013. PYÖRÄKESKUS 1.1 Toiminta vuonna 2013. Tikkanen, Saana 2011. Pyöräkeskuksen suunnittelu palvelukonseptina. Aalto-yliopisto. Tulensalo, Heidi et al. 2013. Helsinki on Tires. Aalto-yliopisto.
Leena Silfverberg, Helsinki City Planning Department
More people are cycling in Helsinki, and they are an increasingly diverse crowd, from men in suits to girls chilling out. Surveys show that an overwhelming majority of Helsinki residents consider the increase of cycling an invigorating and positive phenomenon in the cityscape. Sometimes, this growth unfortunately translates into conflicts and disruptions; some cyclists still illegally cycle on footpaths despite efforts to root out such practices. Much of the problem is due to the fact that the cycling infrastructure has not kept pace with the growth of cycling. But we are determined to catch up and are doing our level best to do so. City life and urban culture are becoming more lively and more spontaneous, and the city administration is expected to respond in new, user-oriented ways that bring flexibility and allow for experiments and pilot projects. The Bicycle Centre opened up on Narinkkatori Square in late spring 2012. It was a pilot project and a test lab for trying out how the providing of these services would be received. Although no similar procedure has been used in any other project under the supervision of the City Planning Department, there are obvious connections between this and other processes geared to attaining the strategic goal of making Helsinki more fun.
City planning is generally a more exact field than service design. In local planning projects, we always know from the first what we are planning and where; often we even know exactly who is applying for an alteration to the town plan and for which plot. Service design could be seen as the inverse of city planning: it begins with a need or a service gap and then goes looking for a location, a context and a host. Service design is about demand and users’ needs, while town planning projects mainly revolve around the needs of the service provider. In the best-case scenario, however, the two approaches could be mutually complementary. Participating in cooperation projects and forums is of course also a question of attitudes and resources. In preparing the Bicycle Centre pilot project, it was not al-
ways easy to navigate the maze of local government permit procedures, even with an insider’s perspective. One can only imagine how difficult it would have been for someone outside the City bureaucracy. Working with active people who have faith in the future has given us strength. We would probably not have completed the groundwork for the Bicycle Centre without the active contribution of Design for Everyday Mobility. In spring 2012 in particular, we needed lots of energy, ideas and expertise to spruce up the freight containers making up the Bicycle Centre to be able to open up the service to the general public. The first two summers of the centre’s existence have been a process of continuous development. User feedback collected by de-
sign students in the first summer was used to improve features such as opening hours, staffing and particularly the supervised maintenance facility. When the service portfolio is better established, we will be in a position to expand it, for instance by introducing services at railway stations and encouraging residents to use them. The vision is for the Bicycle Centre to form part of the City’s transport services. It should thus obviously be hosted by Helsinki City Transport, which is already responsible for park-and-ride facilities at suburban railway stations, including bicycle parking facilities. There is also an agreement in principle on this in the draft for the Cycling Promotion Programme, which has been circulated for comment and is currently being prepared for presentation to the City Board.
joint planning along Narinkkatori Square Mari Siikonen, WSP Design Studio (ed. Päivi Keränen)
There are always lots of parties involved where design in urban spaces is concerned and where working with local government is required. The task of actually deciding on a visual appearance is only a small part of a designer’s work. The designer must understand the processes of the agencies involved, such as permit procedures and cityscape conventions. Experience teaches one to be more adept at identifying which parties any particular task will involve, and there are thus fewer surprises along the way. As in many other sub-areas of design, working in an urban space increasingly involves designing immaterial things such as services. Designers often also have the task of reminding the powers that be of the needs of the people who will actually be using the services – the local residents. Urban space projects often involve multiple city authorities, and even an apparently simple assignment may subsume the needs and expectations of many different interest groups. A designer is often also required to dig out latent needs and to delimit the scope of a project. In designing the Bicycle Centre, for instance, it
was the task of WSP Design Studio to determine the minimum requirements for launching a credible and attractive bicycle centre service. The requirements for making a credible introduction were outlined through information acquisition, consideration of the parameters set by the City authorities, the wishes of potential service providers, capacity calculations, design, scaling and cityscape development. We distilled a service pledge for the centre and described its service encounters and the physical elements involved. It was clear that the first incarnation of the Bicycle Centre would not be a finalised and polished service portfolio and environment so much as a pilot version, a user laboratory for developing the service into a more sophisticated form. It was decided that we should make full and frank disclosure of the fact that the service was a trial and that Helsinki residents would have the opportunity to tell us what they would like the Bicycle Centre
to become. The user survey conducted by design students in summer 2012 incorporated this publicity decision as a feature of the centreâ€™s actual operations. The design and implementation of the Bicycle Centre has to date been a sort of mega-joint-planning project. There have been many cooks, but instead of working in the same room or to the same timetable, the various parties have worked on different things at different times independently. Much of the work was done in the form of student projects, workshops and theses. We have had a great team spirit, and people have been gratifyingly open in sharing their expertise. The people working on the Bicycle Centre clearly shared an enthusiasm for bringing services for cyclists to Helsinki and making them as good as we possibly can. City planning projects are often characterised by architects working with municipal architects and traffic planners working with the city transport planning au-
thority. There are plenty of engineers on both sides of the table, but there is generally no opposite number for a designer in the city administration. The city might have a Design Department to coordinate user-oriented city planning projects. The Bicycle Centre represented a new type of challenge for the city organisation, because there was no obvious host department for the establishing of a service centre of this kind. Therefore Design for Everyday Mobility assumed the role of a City Design Department, bringing together all the actors and coordinating the implementation.
On your bike
Juuso Andersin, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences
In summer 2012, I was one of the volunteers conducting a customer survey at the Bicycle Centre on Narinkkatori Square. We asked people various questions about cycling in Helsinki. How often did they ride a bike? What did they see as the major challenges when cycling in and around Helsinki? What did they think of bi23
cycle parking opportunities, and what kind of bike racks and facilities would they need? We made a thorough exploration of the possibilities and challenges involved in making Helsinki into a city for cyclists. The long-term goal for Design for Everyday Mobility is to make Helsinki a cycling-friendly city. We have stud-
ied many European cities where cycling is a mainstream feature – Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Trondheim, and so on – and looked into what exactly makes them ‘cycling cities’. The main elements shared by all these cities are a comprehensive network of bicycle lanes, bicycle parking facilities and good traffic planning. Helsinki should learn from these examples. What was particularly gratifying in the interviews was to find what a positive attitude Helsinki residents have towards cycling. Many reported that they cycled often or occasionally, mainly in the summer, but they also said that cycling in Helsinki is rather difficult. I can only concur. There are several areas in Helsinki where the bicycle paths seem to openly encourage you to leave your bike at home. They are not a safe environment for cycling, and this breeds hazards and a general wariness of cycling. Motorists and pedestrians are none too pleased, either. Why do cyclists need to ride their bikes in the midst of cars / on the pavement? We should note, though, that motorists all too often consider green and yellow to be the same colour, and sometimes even red looks suspiciously yellowish-green to them. Pedestri-
ans, for their part, do not always remember to stay on their side of the pavement or to cross the street where they are supposed to. My point is that every one of us is sometimes at fault. However, there is a simple solution this problem, so simple that I scarcely need spell it out. But in the interests of education, I will say it anyway: the answer is to follow traffic regulations. There are many problem points, such as vandalism and theft of bicycles, as we found in the interviews. It seems unpleasant to have to either decide not to buy a bike at all, or to buy one that is so old and ugly that no one would bother to steal it, or to lock up the bike in a cupboard whenever it is not being used. Our working group discussed this problem too. Winter is another major issue, as it is scarcely entertaining to spend a morning digging your bike out of a snowdrift at -20°C. But however many issues there may be, there are also plenty of opportunities. Cycling has a remarkable health impact and is an excellent form of everyday exercise. What if the people sitting on the bus were to become unglued from their smart phones and looked around a bit? What if we were not in such a hurry all the
time? Getting from A to B is often a question of scheduling. Cycling is a good way to take a better look at the city you live in. Your home city, with its own sounds, smells and people. How about coming home from school or work by a slightly different route? You cannot do that on a bus, although you could always ask the driver if he would drive a different route today; but I fear it is highly unlikely. Although Helsinki is in some places decidedly unfriendly to cyclists at the moment, this is just one challenge among many. Urban cycling is one of the forms of mobility most in focus at the moment, and I believe that working together we can make Helsinki into a city where it is easy and safe to move around by bicycle. As design students, we are trained to see opportunities, to solve problems and to come up with new ways of doing things. We are encouraged to think like children and to see the big picture beyond the immediate challenges. There are a lot of challenges, but perhaps we already have the means to beat them? Just throwing money at the problem will not turn Helsinki into a genuine cycling city; it requires the efforts of all of us.
Bicycle Centre 1.1
– pedalling forward Mari Päätalo and Johanna Taskinen, coordinators at the Bicycle Centre in summer 2013
The Bicycle Centre was given a second outing on Narinkkatori Square in summer 2013. Bicycle rental and bicycle maintenance services against payment were provided as in the previous summer, but we wanted to improve the bicycle maintenance advisory service, as customer feedback indicated that simply being able to borrow tools was not much of a service. This slightly improved version was styled Bicycle Centre 1.1. The most obvious change from the previous summer was the addition of an advisory service to the Info container. The container was opened after May Day and remained open until Car Free Day in September, Monday to Saturday, 10.00 to 18.00. There was a professional bicycle mechanic on site to advise visitors. Some 10 to 30 people visited the Info container every day. They usually came to us with bicycle maintenance issues or minor repairs. The wide selection of tools available enabled them to learn some new tips. Most of the visitors were cycling commuters, and there were a lot of students too. The majority of the visitors were women.
"The Bicycle Centre is brilliant! :)" Visitors to the Info container were generally very pleased with the service. The Bicycle Centre is commonly compared to a public library. Visitors were genuinely willing to learn new things and to maintain their bikes themselves, and judging by the feedback they were happy with the new skills they had 26
The Bicycle Centre is commonly compared to a public library. learned. There were no freeloaders, meaning people looking for a bicycle maintenance job for free. "I had a flat tyre, and I found help on Narinkkatori. Within 30 minutes, I had bought a new inner tube at Kampin suutari, and I was given friendly and expert guidance in how to install it." "The service was awesome, probably because the advisor was so patient. I would never have dared tinker with my bike in the way I did this summer." "Excellent, expert, enthusiastic service! I love being able to get advice on how to service my bike so that I don’t have to take it to an expensive repair shop for every little thing." ”Dear City of Helsinki. The Bicycle Centre has helped me many times this summer. Yesterday I learned how to balance a bicycle wheel! Many thanks for this brilliant service to you and to the helpful people at the container. I would love it if the Bicycle Centre became a permanent feature. Please say yes? THANK YOU!” To be fair, the Bicycle Centre also featured some of the downsides of urban life: "The Bicycle Centre smells like PISS every time I go there, and I can’t stay for more than 5 minutes... PHEW!"
Since we are in a city and in a public space, there is no way to avoid the challenges of urban life, including its smells. The containers formed a uniform wall and shelter against the wind, so it was inevitable that certain people would use the outside wall of the Bicycle Centre as a public restroom. This was something that we struggled with through the summer. We washed the undersides of the containers using both water and chemicals, and on an almost daily basis. We lifted the containers up on supports to make them easier to wash and quicker to dry. This problem is probably not the most glamorous challenge in service design, but it is blindingly obvious that a bad smell casts a shadow on the brand. We need to conquer this challenge before we can even think about ‘wow’ effects. At the time of writing (October 2013), it is not yet certain what will happen with the Bicycle Centre next year. There is great interest in continuing the project, but it is not yet clear where in the city administration the project would be hosted in 2014. So the preparations will have to wait. But the Bicycle Centre has found a faithful clientele in everyday cyclists who have a positive attitude to cycling and to maintaining their bikes. "Thank you so much for this service, it has made me love Helsinki even more." The statements in italics are direct quotes from the Bicycle Centre feedback surveys and Facebook page.
Building Kivistö 37 for cyclists back to Contents
Cycling-friendly solutions in a new residential district Päivi Keränen May the chain be unbroken in services for cyclists Reijo Sandberg
The story of the signposted cross-country cycling trail Noora Kanerva
Cycling-friendly solutions in a new residential district Päivi Keränen,
Kivistö is a new residential district where residents will not necessarily need a car. The district is being built along the new Ring Rail Line in Vantaa, and the keywords in its design are functionality, visual appearance and sustainable environment. Cycling is one of the conceptual cornerstones in the design of the district, as can be seen in the comprehensive network of cycling paths. Along the northern side of the Ring Rail Line there will be a route known as Promenadi, useful for both recreation and commuting. It will allow cyclists to traverse the entire district without having to cross a road. The route offers access to the Aviapolis business park and to the central park area. Visual appearance is a key factor in all design for the district. The laying out of this new residential and business district offered an interesting case study for Design for Every-
day Mobility. Students at the Metropolia University of Applied Sciences took up the urban design challenge by surveying various cyclist profiles from Sunday bikers to serious athletes. These profiles yielded service paths and the problem points that make people leave their bike at home. As a result, new product and service concepts for promoting cycling emerged.
A cycling town deserves a symbol One of the first ideas developed for Kivistö was born out of the desire to make cycling more visible in the cityscape. Cars take up a lot of room and are box-like objects that dominate the street. Cars also require large signs,
speed displays and other information services. Even bus stops are very conspicuous along the streets. Cycling, by comparison, is literally very quiet. With rare exceptions, it is silent and agile. If you do not actually see a cyclist, you are not likely to pay attention to bicycle lanes. Cyclists are also used to acting independently, checking their route on their own mobile phone or on a map at home. This need not be the case. It is high time to remind those residents who rarely touch the pedals that cycling is a very real alternative way of getting around. The purpose of the info column dubbed Sykleri is to make cycling and bicycle paths visible. It is also intended to project the message that cyclists are being considered and valued in city planning. The column is also a bicycle counter that collects data on popular routes and possible problem spots as input for traffic planning. There have been three rounds of development on the Sykleri project, and the concept has evolved from a portal-like RFID pillar through refinement of the info display into a prototype that is being tested on Myyrmäenraitti. The first actual Sykleri column will probably be installed in late spring 2014.
Neighbourhood cycling services online 29
Good urban design, like city cycling, needs carefully considered examples of a high quality.
When a lot of people move into a new urban district at one time, attention must be paid to the community and to everyday ways of moving around. The concept of Sykleri, the emblem of a cycling district, soon sprawled into the planning of a neighbourhood online service. Marja-Liisa Kauppinen and Juha Pohjola, who developed ideas for the online service in a qualification thesis, saw an excellent opportunity for the city authorities to provide cycling-related guidance to residents. For cycling to become an everyday means of mobility, the city must provide bicycle paths and services that function even in winter. It makes sense to bring the cultural, landscape and cycling routes in the neighbourhood together in one source. Real-time information on traffic problems such as roadworks would also help cycling residents. Active residential cooperation and local democracy could help promote cycling. A community online service
would also facilitate existing residents and incoming residents getting to know one another. The basic idea for the online service is to provide all of the above content. It would consist of services selected by a cyclist user and could include content from several service providers such as the local authority or other cyclists: “The online service is primarily meant for ordinary consumers. We would like people to see it as a pleasant, rewarding, refreshing place that is fun to visit repeatedly. It should also be possible for users to post their own content, such as images or texts about bicycle routes.” (Kauppinen & Pohjola) The proposed cycling online service concept could of course be used in other residential districts aiming for cycling-friendly design.
Back to school through experience
Getting small children safely to school is a current and attractive design topic that inspired an exploration of the potential and problems on the way to school. The voice of children is rarely heard in city planning, so looking at this from the point of view of schoolchildren seemed particularly important. Applied drama was chosen as the tool for supporting design methods. Experiences were gathered from fifth-graders in Kivistö and Kannisto in Vantaa through drama workshops. Design students participated in the workshops and used what they saw to draft a manual of key elements in a safe path to school. The workshops also yielded material for a miniature play entitled Koulupolku (School path), a dramatised study that was performed for the officials responsible for planning the district. The performance recalled the designers’ childhood experiences, and the method proved of interest for other city planning projects too. The work progressed towards implementation design with a view to the housing fair to be held in Kivistö in 2015. A practical implementation of the School Path was designed for the housing fair area on the basis of the information gathered and guidelines drafted. A publicity and marketing plan to publicise the concept to local residents was also prepared. The City of Vantaa is interested in implementing the plan to some extent.
Signposts on trails In a cycling district, cycling will naturally also be a leisure pursuit. There are many locations suitable for cross-country cycling near Kivistö and also in Keimola and Petikko. In order for new people to discover
cycling, these opportunities must be made conspicuous. To this end, a signage system with signposts and guide maps detailing the cross-country cycling trails in the area was drawn up in cooperation with enthusiasts and city officials. At the opposite end of Vantaa, in Vierumäki, the Korson kaiku club has already entered into cooperation with city officials to build a permanent cross-country cycling trail. Because crosscountry cycling has not yet been taken into account in the town plan for the Petikko recreational area, it was decided to test the signage concept in Vierumäki first. The opening of the permanent cross-country cycling trail in Vierumäki in Vantaa was held on 24 August 2013, and the signposted course has since been available to residents for free.
Design has an obvious role to play in the planning of our common space. Design methods can be used to illustrate city planning projects – which sometimes take a very long time to implement – for local residents to see and experience. Prototyping and testing not only yield data on user experiences; they also lay the groundwork for a dialogue between local residents and officials. This will produce better results and, gradually, turn the urban space into our shared home.
Bibliography: Aho, Suvi 2013. Draamatyöpaja muotoilijoiden käytössä Marja-Vantaan Koulupolulla. Metropolia Ammattikorkeakoulu Kauppinen, Marja-Liisa & Pohjola, Juha 2013. Pyöräilypalvelua lähialueella: yhteisöllinen verkkopalvelu Vantaan Kivistöön. Metropolia Ammattikorkeakoulu Taskinen, Johanna 2010. Marja-Vantaa pyöräilykaupunki. Strafica
Building in Kivistö is progressing fast Kivistö is being built up at a fast rate, anticipating the housing fair to be held in two years’ time. There are ambitions for the district to look like a home town, an artistic town and an ecological town. Although the concepts designed have been given trial runs all over Vantaa, it is hoped that they will find a home in Kivistö and spread from there to wider use in the Helsinki metropolitan area. Good urban design, like city cycling, needs carefully considered examples of a high quality to serve as an inspiration. Kivistö is a diverse area that has a potential body of everyday cyclists and is thus well placed to be a pioneer.
the chain be unbroken in services for cyclists
Reijo Sandberg, City of Vantaa
Cycling was chosen as a focus area at a very early stage in the planning of the Kivistö district. Project manager Reijo Sandberg from the City of Vantaa considers the decision to have been a good one, as the importance of cycling has been steadily growing over the years. Kivistö, located along the forthcoming Ring Rail Line and currently under construction, is an innovative district whose evolution is being followed with interest. The aim is to make cycling a selfevident choice in this new residential and business district. The solutions employed in Kivistö will encourage cycling particularly among those who only rarely touch a bike. Copenhagen and 31
the Netherlands are the obvious inspirations for the concept, but there are good examples closer to home too: “The urban structure of Tikkurila clearly favours everyday cycling. It is quite amazing to notice how diverse the age structure is among people cycling on Tikkuraitti. This demonstrates that in that part of the city cycling is a natural way of getting from A to B.” But accessible routes are not enough. Cyclists also need support for bicycle maintenance and similar services. “Cycling needs services. The ‘canopy kiosk’ concept developed in Helsinki was really very good, because we are ultimately talking about small things like putting air in your tyres.”
Service design is the vehicle for touching the everyday lives of city residents. When the service chain is considered as a single entity, problem points are easier to notice and to address. If the chain breaks at any point, the result will be in the worst case that people choose another mode of travel. “As an example of a ‘broken chain’, we could look at bicycle commuting. In modern office premises, employees usually do not have personal lockers. This makes cycling to work practically impossible, because you need to carry a change of clothing with you at all times. A lit-
tle thing like this can effectively scupper the employer’s plans to promote bicycle commuting even if there are showers available at work and cycling is otherwise encouraged. In other words, we need to consider the entire service chain! This principle is valid for city planning in general too: we need to consider the entire service chain, starting with the moment a person leaves his home. We cannot just look at isolated parts of the chain in turn.” The importance of contacts with residents has continued to increase in
city planning, and in Kivistö there have been more briefings for residents than the law requires. There is also a local cooperation network for third-sector actors, MarjaVerkko, which is engaged in cooperation with residents on a broad front. “MarjaVerkko is an urban innovation that covers things like a child-care clinic. MarjaVerkko has great potential for fostering community feeling: residents can get acquainted with the actors operating in the area and thereby feel at home. A lot of people have a nostalgia for a village-type community. This does not necessarily mean that their home district has to look like a village; it can mean having a virtual community. Being aware of what’s going on, or being able to find out about things. A village community today is very different from what it was in the agrarian society of yesterday.” Looking at the big picture dovetails with designing an aesthetically pleasing environment with a distinct appearance. “The Design Manual drawn up for the Kivistö district has proved to be quite a good tool for ensuring coherence and continuity in the urban landscape. It reminds us to take design aspects into account at all stages of the project. Individual solutions are easier to make when the big picture has already been considered. It also helps to ensure that good public buildings will not be ruined by bad details: the principles of good design extend down to rubbish bins and bicycle racks. However, design must go hand in hand with other important features of an urban space, such as usability, durability and ease of maintenance.” The price tag also counts. “Public procurement is about using taxpayers’ money, so all decisions have to be very well motivated. On the other hand, the lowest price does not always produce the best outcome. We’ve been there and done that: we
know what it looks like when you choose the cheapest alternatives. The result is rather splintered. As I said, now it is time to look at the big picture.” Participating in the Design for Everyday Mobility scheme has opened up new perspectives and brought in the enthusiasm and fresh ideas of design students. The cooperation has also yielded useful information about solutions tried in other cities.
Noora Kanerva, Korson kaiku sports club
The story of the signposted cross-country
The Korson kaiku sports club began planning and building a cross-country cycling trail together with the City of Vantaa in spring 2012. A cooperation project with the Metropolia University of Applied Sciences was launched in autumn in the same year. Students were responsible for designing the visual appearance of the maps and signposts, and also the marketing for the testing events. There are very few permanently signposted crosscountry cycling trails in Finland. The trail in Vierum채ki in Vantaa is the first to be designed to be compatible with the Olympic cross-country cycling class, XCO. This means that when the project began, there were no established practices or ready-made symbols for obstacles and technically challenging trail sections. However, Korson kaiku had experience of signposting trails in terrain for competitive events. They thus knew something about the height at which the signposts
should be installed. In other respects, the industrial design students were given free rein to design the signposts for the trail. Their sketches were commented on by members of Korson kaiku and experts from various City agencies at meetings. The signs were tested for the first time on a promotion day held during the Vantaa city festival in May. This occasion was used for testing and collecting user feedback on the directional arrows and on the symbols for rocks, avoiding a tree trunk, drops, jumping a tree and alternative routes. Following the testing day, the background colour of the signs was changed, some symbols were eliminated and the size of the signs was reconsidered. At the opening of the trail in August, further feedback was collected to determine the final selection of signs. The students also designed a route map that will be harmonised with the visual image of the City of Vantaa. Korson kaiku expressed a few wishes about the illustrations for marketing brochures for the event. Previous experiences acquired by Design for Everyday Mobility in designing cycling-related advertising materials were leveraged in the cross-country cycling trail project. The people at Korson kaiku were
pleased with the students’ designs and the visual appearance they created for the project. Three other cross-country cycling trail projects were launched in Finland last summer: in Valkeakoski, in Mäntyharju and at Kyröskoski. There is also a plan for erecting permanent signs along a trail in Hyvinkää. Cross-country cycling events, especially marathons, have increased hugely in popularity in the last two years. All new events want to be as visually attractive as possible, with unique signs and a logo. There is thus definitely a demand for event design in cross-country cycling due to the increasing number of events and trails and above all the desire to make cross-country cycling better known.
Elements for Shared Stations
Malmi to become a Shared Station Pauli Vennervirta
Malmi points the way forward in station development
Malmi becomes a Shared Station Pauli Vennervirta,
station along the main railway line out of Helsinki more enjoyable. This community design model is applicable to various kinds of city planning.
A design paradigm shift: resident-oriented city planning and learning
“Hi! I came to see if my drawing is on display.” “Hi, go ahead, it’s over there.” This was an encounter with a young man in December 2012 when a community art work created by young people was unveiled at Malmi station. The Shared Stations development project involved a lot more than just an artwork, but this was its most physical manifes-
tation. Experiences were gained of how to engage in a design process with the local community, particularly young people. This represents a new trend in city planning. Residents and users are polled for their opinions when planning various urban sites, and user groups are involved in the planning process. The Shared Stations project involved developing a process for making a railway
city planning District planning has recently shifted away from the traditional top-down model towards resident-oriented and customer-oriented planning. The OPUS project at the School of Engineering at
New Curbing vandalism
Aalto University fostered an “idea to explore and develop city planning jointly as a complex community learning and networking process lasting dozens of years, in the course of which actors will be replaced many times”. It was noted in the study that city planning needs to be reformed into something more interactive. The main point is that “participation creates a shared understanding of and commitment to change while enabling the emergence of feasible ideas and the adoption of the revised process”. (Staffans & Väyrynen.) One of the most important requirements for involvement is well-managed communications. Residents often have strong opinions about the development
Sustainable development points when Waste
“Hi! I came to see if my drawing is on display.” “Hi, go ahead, it’s over there.” This was an encounter with a young man in December 2012 when a community art work created by young people was unveiled at Malmi station. The Shared Stations development project involved a lot more than just an artwork, but this was its most physical manifestation. Experiences were gained of how to engage in a design process with the local community, particularly young people.
This represents a new trend in city planning. Residents and users are polled for their opinions when planning various urban sites, and user groups are involved in the planning process. The Shared Stations project involved developing a process for making a railway station along the main railway line out of Helsinki more enjoyable. This community design model is applicable to various kinds of city planning.
A design paradigm shift: resident-oriented city planning and learning city planning District planning has recently shifted away from the traditional top-down model towards resident-oriented and customer-oriented planning. The OPUS project at the School of Engineering at Aalto University fostered an “idea to explore and develop city planning jointly as a complex community learning and networking process lasting dozens of years, in the course of which actors will be replaced many times”. It was noted in the study that city planning needs to be reformed into something more interactive. The main point is that “participation creates a shared un-
derstanding of and commitment to change while enabling the emergence of feasible ideas and the adoption of the revised process”. (Staffans & Väyrynen.) One of the most important requirements for involvement is well-managed communications. Residents often have strong opinions about the development of their district, and inadequate communications only adds to their frustration. Online communications is a crucial area in today’s world. The Hesan nuorten ääni (Voice of the young people of Helsinki) concept has procedures very similar to those of Shared Stations. (http://hna.nettiareena.fi/) As an inter-
national example we may name askbristol.com. This began life as an online panel in 2004, allowing citizens to talk to experts while decisions are being prepared. Involvement means taking a customer or resident into the interactive process as an equal partner; it is more than just holding hearings or collecting customer feedback. Residents can feed ideas into the planning process and get involved in the sketching process and produce content. Public art projects are excellent examples of community planning and implementation.
Aspects of community and sustainable development at a railway station
Shared Stations: refurbishing Malmi railway station with local residents
A railway line promotes growth and activity in a given area in many ways. Combined with trams and other public transport, the railway is by far the most climate-friendly form of transport except for walking and cycling. If combined with walking and cycling, rail transport becomes unbeatable from the perspective of sustainable development. On the other hand, a railway station consumes a significant amount of energy for lighting, ventilation and track equipment. It is also an important location for waste management services. But a railway station is much more than just a traffic node. It can be important for shopping and as a place where local residents can meet each other. The Helsinki main railway station has 200,000 users every day, while Malmi railway station has 15,700. (VR.) A railway station may be an architecturally and artistically significant building, as in the case of the Helsinki main railway station. Taking the above into account, the following are key sustainable development points when considering a railway station: Participation of all user groups, safety, obstacle-free access and comfort are key aspects from the perspective of social sustainability.
The opinions and experiences of users and local residents of all ages and from all backgrounds are needed in the designing of a visual appearance and facilities of a station. The purpose of the Shared Stations project was to make diverse use of methods of participatory planning. Concepts drawn up by design students demonstrated how the vicinity of Malmi railway station could be brought to life through design and art. SYKLI Environmental School of Finland coordinated the project and provided environmental expertise. The project work focused on social and ecological sustainability goals such as social sustainability, involvement of residents (particularly young people), obstacle-free access and improving waste management and recycling. The design students took a planning walk, held a future workshop and conducted interviews in autumn 2011 and then drafted concepts for making the vicinity of the railway station more enjoyable. At the end of the autumn, the students presented their concepts to the people of Malmi and representatives of the activity centre and the youth work services. The bus station is one of the most interesting elements in the area. It is rather grey in overall appearance. There is a lot of unpainted concrete, and this attracts
graffiti. The bus station was eventually selected as the location for the new artwork to improve its appearance but also for administrative reasons.
Young people make their mark in a community artwork In the physical implementation of the project, artworks were of primary importance. Compared with some of the other measures proposed, the artworks were easy to execute, especially since they were conceived as being temporary; it was easier to get permission from the City that way. The Malmi youth hall offered a base for the workshops where young people could sketch out workshops for the station. The youth hall was also responsible for providing venues and materials for the workshops, for marketing the workshops and for publicising the workshops at the Malmi market. The actual planning was undertaken by professionals, based on suggestions made by the participating young people. The artworks were installed at the Malmi bus terminal on 28 November 2012, and under the present agreement they will stay there for about one year. Permission
to install the artworks was granted by Helsinki City Transport, which controls the area. A total of 12 artworks designed by young people were completed and displayed along the platforms of the bus station.
Towards obstacle-free access and better waste management A survey of the current state of waste management at Malmi railway station was conducted and a development plan drawn up. The purpose of the development plan was to explore waste management and sanitation in the platform area and to make suggestions on how to improve these in order to make the place cleaner and more enjoyable. The routes for emptying waste containers and the feasibility of their emptying intervals were also checked. The aim was to gain a plan that could be used at other railway stations in the Helsinki metropolitan area. It was found that it is difficult to prevent waste from accumulating on platforms, because it is brought in from other areas by passengers. The majority of the waste found on platforms may be recovered as an energy fraction; there is also some glass and small metal items. An obstacle-free access survey was conducted together with Kynnys, the Threshold Association, and shortcomings were found for instance in staircases and with the ticket ma-
chines. Representatives of VR and the Finnish Transport Agency participated in the survey.
Conclusion Community planning projects involving public spaces often require cooperation between various authorities, and time must be allowed for this as early as in the planning stage. Finding partners depends on the general economic situation at the time. It is good to remember that enterprises in particular tend to favour projects that will directly benefit their marketing. The Shared Stations concept where students, design professionals, officials and local residents (particularly young people) joined forces proved to be a success. Experiences gained at Malmi railway station can be transposed to other stations on the main railway line. The enthusiasm of the local young people to make their mark on their neighbourhood was palpable. The process developed in the project allowed residents to have a direct influence on their everyday environment.
Sources: Murrosvuo, Heikki 2012. Malmin rautatieaseman laiturialueen jätehuoltosuunnitelma 2012. Suomen Ympäristöopisto Sykli Salomaa, Marja 2010. Sissitaiteilija maalaa harmautta piiloon. Metro http:// omakaupunki. hs.fi/paakaupunkiseutu/uutiset/sissitaiteilija_maalaa_harmautta_piiloon/ Staffans, Aija & Väyrynen, Erja (toim.) 1998-99. Oppiva kaupunkisuunnittelu. Teknillinen korkeakoulu (Arkkitehtuurin julkaisuja) Wennberg, Mikko 2009. Näkökulma 2009: Osallistava suunnittelu ja käyttäjälähtöiset toimintamallit. Ramboll Nuorisoasiainkeskus. Hesan nuorten ääni (http://hna.nettiareena.fi/)
Malmi points the way forward
in station development Arja Aalto, Finnish Transport Agency and Eeva H채meenoja, SYKLI
Malmi railway station is a busy commuter station with two adjacent shopping centres. The shopping centres on the Yl채-Malmi and Ala-Malmi sides of the railway line are linked by a tubular footbridge also providing access to the platforms. The vicinity of the station is distinctly untidy, vandalised and hazardous. The purpose of the Shared Stations project was to make the station and its environment more enjoyable and safer. Development points at the station were identified by local residents, particularly young people, and by rail passengers. Information was collected in a variety of ways: through interviews with residents of Malmi, in a future workshop, on planning walks, through a survey of obstacle-free access, in
Adding colour and light would turn the row of pillars at the southern end of the platform area into a landmark, a cathedral. arts workshops for young people and through a waste management survey. At the same time, the Malmi-based SYKLI Environmental School of Finland, which coordinated the project, established contact with Malmi residents of various ages through the Malmi activity centre, youth hall, youth work services and the Malmi forum. This yielded a lot of development ideas and also a lot of will towards improving the vicinity of the station.
It emerged in discussions that the station needs more colour and signs, lighting and artworks. It also needed to be cleaned up. During a planning walk, the Latokartanontie pedestrian underpass was given the lowest scores, but it was also considered to have great potential. At present, the underpass is unsafe, dark and even dangerous. Yet adding colour and light would turn the row
of pillars at the southern end of the platform area into a landmark, a cathedral. The unused platform idea also proved to be a rich source of inspiration. The only limitation here is that any development must be subject to the demands of usability; though unused now, it must be possible to re-convert the platforms for railway use at short notice if necessary. Ideas were also found
for improving connecting traffic, for instance by replacing the bicycle racks and sprucing up the bridge over the railway line. The area is rather good from the perspective of obstacle-free access, although lighting and signage for obstaclefree routes could be improved. The concrete outcome of the project is in the artworks created by young people and displayed at the Malmi bus terminal. These artworks were placed there to delight passengers for almost a year. The artworks have remained neat, which supports the argument that active participation by young people can reduce and prevent vandalism. The Finnish Transport Agency is currently drawing up a development programme for passenger railway stations. So far, the stations have been classified and the service level goals for each category defined. Also, a survey of the current state of and obstacle-free access to passenger stations has been made for all 196 stations. The current level of service was analysed with reference to the service level goals. The Shared Stations project has fostered good development ideas for Malmi railway station jointly with local residents and actors in the area. The ideas generated may be leveraged when considering refurbishments of other passenger stations. What is important is to make railway stations more attractive and to improve the functioning of trip chains for instance by developing transport connections and park-and-ride facilities. The shopping centre and its customers must also be taken into account when improving the functioning of the station and its vicinity.
Juha Ainoa and Päivi Keränen
55 Being a change agent in urban 57
design Merita Soini
Innovation courses as part of Design for Everyday Mobility
Light the Night! Weera Seppä
Drama workshop for designers Suvi Aho
65 Participatory design at the Everyday Mobility workshop Päivi Keränen
A designerâ€™s creativity stems from his or her own experiences as well as identifying with the role of the user.
Being a change agent in urban design
Merita Soini, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences
These are good times for designer training. We are now seeing that designers will continue to be in demand as change agents sensitive to emerging urban trends. Every day when we are out in the city, we notice things that do not work so well. These observations are fleeting and soon forgotten. But they stay in the subconscious until we are finally prompted to consider
how things could be made better. Designers are passionate about resolving anomalies and about doing things better â€“ making the sun shine through rain. Huge dreams and optimism are afoot. There is a firm belief that one day traffic congestion will be a thing of the past and it will be safe and quick to move about using any means of your choice. All routes will be clearly marked, and there will be mobility services avail-
able as needed. It is the aim of cities to build an infrastructure that is sustainable and serves everyone, besides being easy to move around in and good to live in. It is possible to influence things. You just need to know who in the city collects ideas and puts them into practice. The city planning departments and organisations of Helsinki and Vantaa are doing a lot of work to ensure that their residents can participate in and influence smooth mobility solutions and services that support sustainable mobility. Information is readily available online, and anyone can participate in events, workshops, training and briefings. City planning is a slow process, however. Bringing together the right people in any organisation is a complicated undertaking, and plans do not always progress as quickly as they should in a shifting context. Mutual trust and cooperation between educational institutions and city administrations fosters new experts who know how to look at the big picture and who learn how to network while they are still at school. The urban infrastructure is being built methodically, bit by bit, but very few people can see the end result that will not be attained for many years
yet. Users are impatient, and it is easier to complain about things that do not work than to praise the things that do. For two and a half years, the Design for Everyday Mobility project has been establishing itself as a change agent in urban design and a partner in planning sustainable mobility and promoting cycling. Students took an unprejudiced plunge into the challenges of urban design and quickly came up with new service design concepts that attracted the interest of city officials. We owe a huge thanks to the experts in our steering group and our network of partners who participated with the students in seminars, workshops, planning meetings and presentations. At the start of the project, we realised that many people were working on the same things that we had set as goals for Design for Everyday Mobility. In the end, everyone was aware of the projects going on at different institutions and we were able to pull the various threads together. We developed an open dialogue and cooperative relationship where it was easy to pitch the studentsâ€™ concepts to city planning officials. Understanding how the city works seemed a daunting task at first. A city is
a system. How do you get into such a system and find the partnerships, background information and decisions you need for planning? Who is responsible for a given decision? In what order should we do things to be able to continue planning? How do the administration, city agencies and society at large connect and influence one another, and how can designers find information to support their work? What are the responsibilities of each agency? Now that we are more familiar with the city agencies and we know the city officials we need to talk to, cooperation is much easier. A designerâ€™s creativity stems from his or her own experiences as well as identifying with the role of the user. Identifying user profiles is crucial for planning obstacle-free mobility in cities. What sort of things can happen on an everyday basis on the way to work or to school? It is easy to identify a large number of shortcomings, but these only generate a positive enthusiasm for making things better. Defining a service path governs a systematic design process that can be perfected and repeated. It is important for designers to cross borders and to experiment boldly, to try out new ideas and to build models. Concrete models make it easier to conduct user research about how well things work, how usable
they are, how they should be scaled and what materials and forms should be used. Testing is about finding weak spots that need improvement before the design is finalised. There is more tolerance for errors in prototyping. We learn from our mistakes, and working with several models can help find unconventional new solutions. With students it is possible to work on models and testing on a short turnaround, because it is a part of their studies. Students represent a huge resource for city planning. It was apparent throughout the project that something particularly interesting was going on. The students were particularly motivated by the chance to make a difference and to engage in meaningful cooperation with city planners, experts and local residents. Encouraging feedback from the partners reinforced our belief that designers have a serious role to play in urban planning. Goal-oriented design based on user needs can achieve lasting change.
Innovation courses as part of Design for Everyday Mobility Juha Ainoa and P채ivi Ker채nen, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences
The majority of the design work undertaken in Design for Everyday Mobility was done in innovation projects in the Degree Programme in Design, with students, city officials and users working together. The project was run three times, allowing teaching to be linked to the regional development task of the university of applied sciences. Everyone studying at Metropolia is required to participate in an innovation project, defined as addressing concepts arising from the needs of the region, of working life or of other activities in society. Design for Everyday Mobility offered students a new learning environment where they could come to grips with city planning in practice. The purpose of an innovation project is to give students experience of working in a multi-professional working group. Its goals have to do with multi-professional cooperation and development and with competence in working on a project team. Students are responsible for drawing up a project plan and for timetabling and administering their respective component projects. Liaison with interest groups, publicity and networking are also important goals. In Design for Everyday Mobility, cooperation between sectors was explored in working groups for thirdyear students of industrial design and interior design. The teaching was mainly given by teachers from the Degree Programme
in Design, but other experts were invited to talk about various topics. Students were introduced to a variety of source materials and information acquisition channels. Their understanding of community planning, concept development, user groups, user-oriented design methods and service modelling and development increase. Design for Everyday Mobility set a number of practical goals for the courses.
A comprehensive description of different types of cyclists was drawn up together with the service paths they experience, analysed in detail. Existing problem points on the service paths for these cyclist types were charted, and students assessed how serious the problems are and how greatly they affect the cycling experience.
After the survey and research stage, the students were invited to come up with solutions for the problems noted, either to remove the problem or to alleviate its effects. The trip paths or service paths identified and the new solutions proposed were fashioned into an integrated concept for each cyclist type. New concept solutions were tested at least to some extent, and prototypes were built. Because everything done under Design for Everyday Mobility was transparent and documented online, the results of the innovation projects were available almost in real time and usable beyond the confines of the project.
Innovation project topics and design briefs From the start, we decided to try to establish a continuum for the courses: each innovation course would pick up where the previous one left off. Our approach was governed particularly by the goal to experiment with and test solutions in iterative design. We did not just want to sit around envisioning concepts; we also wanted to test and prove the concepts in practice. The Cities of Helsinki and Vantaa proposed design topics that conformed to the goals of Design for Everyday Mobility. The City of Helsinki had already commissioned various reports and concepts concerning a bicycle centre to be located in the city centre, determining that the first version of a bicycle centre would be set up as a trial in summer 2012. The Bicycle Centre and its various satellites remained an ongoing motif through all the courses. In Vantaa, 47
the design work revolved around the new residential district of KivistĂś. Vantaa provided no specific topics to work on, but KivistĂś was originally conceived as a cycling-friendly district. Safety and obstacle-free access in public transport, cycling and pedestrian traffic were key points in design. The City of Vantaa announced early on that solutions to promote cycling should be tested in the area. The housing fair to be held in the area in 2015 added to the attraction. In all other respects, project topics emerged and evolved in the process of the cooperation between students, instructors, interest group experts and teachers. A design concept could encompass something as large and complicated as the Bicycle Centre, including its buildings, functions and visual appearance, but also something as specific as designing and prototyping a single product such as a bicycle trailer. Projects have also included designing and testing signage and signalling systems and event concepts. Student groups have developed service concepts further, each group building on the work of the previous yearâ€™s group. Concepts have also been developed further beyond the innovation projects. The first Bicycle Centre was put into practice mainly by students, based on the concept developed in the innovation project. The students not only set up the Bicycle Centre but also conducted a user survey. Another example of further development is the Sykleri info column, whose first version was developed in the first innovation project. This portal has continued to evolve in the work done by subsequent groups and
has even been the subject of a qualification thesis. With the completion of this thesis, the concept is progressing to a testing phase in situ together with the Vantaa Innovation Institute. After three iterations of the innovation project, however, it would seem that further development of a single concept has reached saturation point. No really new ideas emerge when the same concept is taken up for a third time. Planning the implementation for a service, for instance, rarely reaches a third round. The solution may be to change topics or perspectives in the implementation of the various innovation projects. Concept development has prompted discussion of potential for cooperation with planning and consultant offices involved in designing urban spaces. A possible framework for cooperation that has been envisioned is a city design development community where Metropolia and its students would generate new, fresh service concepts, the planning offices would take them up for product development and the city authorities in the Helsinki metropolitan area would put the results into practice in their city planning solutions.
Light the Night A student designing everyday mobility Weera Sepp채, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences
Summer was over, autumn began. And with it began the last edition of the Design for Everyday Mobility course. The course had been given twice before, so we had some idea of what was to come. There are innumerable problems and points for improvement in cycling from the design perspective, so our four-member team was eager to get started. Our team consisted of two interior design students and two industrial design students. In an added challenge, our working language was English: half of the team members were exchange students. We were given the topic of planning and possibly implementing a workshop. Nobody on the team had ever organised a workshop, so this was completely new for us: where do we start,
what are we trying to achieve, what are we going to do and where, and where do we get the funding? Above everything else, we had to come up with a brilliant theme around which to build the workshop. It was clear from the start that we would not be content with putting things on paper. We also wanted to put the workshop into practice to see how it worked. By analysing an actual experience we would be able to draw up realistic plans for future development and suggestions for improvement. Workshops are standard features at many events today, and people are used to them. We aimed at creating a cycling-related event that would involve people actively. We soon hit on the idea of a reflector workshop. With autumn progressing, darkness was a
daily annoyance, and safety can never be underlined enough. We decided to pursue this idea under the working title LIGHT THE NIGHT. We wanted to give people the chance to make their own fringed reflectors to attach to 49
their clothing and reflective cards for inserting in the spokes of bicycle wheels. We would never have been able to organise the workshop without the two dozen partners we had: we were donated reflective travel card holders, reflective fabrics and tape, scissors and other
tools, tablecloths, rugs, lighting fixtures, traffic safety flyers and recycled bicycle bells and spoke reflectors. We were also donated two dozen products to give away as raffle prizes! We held our workshop adjacent to the Bicycle Centre on Narinkkatori Square in Helsinki on a September Saturday. The weather was better than we expected: there was no rain, and the sun even shone occasionally. More than 100 people had signed up for the workshop through Facebook, and because Narinkkatori Square is a busy place, there were dozens of interested passers-by. We received good feedback for visitors having the opportunity to make something themselves at the event and for having materials available for free. Reflectors are easy enough to make for children and their parents alike, and cycling-related facts and events were seen as important. The workshop lasted for six hours, during which we met dozens of happy people, talked about cycling and life in general and created hundreds of new, original reflectors! The workshop was a very positive experience. To be sure, it was stressful and time-consuming to build a public event from scratch in three weeks, but after the fact we were nothing but pleased. It was great to see how willing businesses were to contribute to a student project and to promote traffic safety and raise the profile of cycling. What surprised and gratified me most was the energetic and unprejudiced attitude of the people participating in the workshop. Although this was the last time this particular course was held, I remain hopeful that there is an active group somewhere that would like to follow up our workshop next year. LIGHT THE NIGHT â€“ donâ€™t let the darkness catch you unawares!
Dramamethods as a designer’s tool Suvi Aho, researcher
Applied drama methods have been developed at the Metropolia University of Applied Sciences as part of performing arts teaching and research for more than a decade. The results of this work and the background information from my earlier research on children’s mobility and the relationship of applied drama methods to other information-gathering methods were leveraged in the Design for Everyday Mobility project in the Kivistö district in Vantaa: design students designed a school path concept for the district, acquiring information on the thoughts and experiences of local children through drama workshops conducted by drama instructors. The workshop findings were also reported to the City of Vantaa officials responsible for planning the district through what is known as a dramatised study, i.e. a miniature stage performance. We also presented the findings and gave the performance for the pupils who had participated in the workshops.
A drama workshop is a powerful tool for information gathering because it augments understanding of what the target group thinks and how it acts. Group work is also an important factor, not just at the workshops but in the work of the research team, in setting goals and analysing the findings. Working together helps information accumulate and makes it more concrete. When a drama workshop is employed for information gathering, different worlds meet. Applied drama is a process that requires in-depth preparation, while the parties who will be using the information may have a very tight schedule. The parties must determine together what will be a sufficient quantity and depth for the information to be gathered. Also, a workshop target group may behave unexpectedly. It is useful to acknowledge that there may be a gap between the team’s goals and the interests of the target group. Taking up a new research method that is unfamiliar in one’s own workplace community calls for courage on the part of designers. Applied drama
methods allow designers to approach their target group in a way that is more intuitive than interviews of questionnaires. As the design students themselves said, this is a method that is suitable for instance for the design of a public space. The method is not and does not need to be feasible for all kinds of design processes, but I believe that at its best it can explore the motivational needs of users. What emerged as important in this process was that the drama workshops offered the designers, and indirectly (through the dramatised study) the city officials, a moment for reflection and immersion in the world of a child. The school path concept was approached on the terms of children, and a child’s viewpoint is very much apparent in the School Path Manual and in the dramatised study presented by the drama instructors. Children as a target group need a little help for their voice to be heard in the planning of our shared environment. Leading the workshop process and being subjected to pressure to
achieve results called for expertise and courage on the part of the drama instructors. Designers and city planners need to be unprejudiced enough to grasp this new and unfamiliar method. Having taken the plunge, however, participants find that the drama workshop is a good and revealing method for gathering resident-oriented and user-oriented information.
at Everyday Mobility workshops An Everyday Mobility workshop is a place where people meet to come up with ideas and to plan action to promote cycling in the city. All interested residents – designers, city planners, students, cyclists, service providers – are welcome to attend and to learn from one another. The workshop can be visited on the spur of the moment or with a detailed list of ideas or problems. The workshop is for sharing information on projects on your desk and comparing them with others’. Encounters are hoped to spur thoughts and yield ideas for your own pursuits and for collaboration towards shared goals.