Helsinki-based culture producer, researcher, artist and activist, Jaakko Blomberg (1983, Haapajärvi) co-founded Yhteismaa, a non-profit organization specialising in new participatory city culture and social innovations. His projects, which all research and explore urban space, culture, people and community, range from an international flea market day to setting up a table for a thousand people to eat in the middle of a street, turning a street into a weekly flea market, pop-up restaurants in ‘waste’ spaces, art exhibitions and theatre in homes, as well as projects with refugees.
What is the city but the people? Public space is made for the people and by the people—something which often seems to be forgotten. We often have rules and regulations that make little or no sense for the people. As they were once written down, they are still followed. But if necessary the rules can and should change. The question should not be if something is possible or not, but how it is possible.
Social media has given citizens the power to act in a new way. Now people have far more power to make their voice heard and unite for a common goal. In many cities, there have been major changes in the way people form their city. And reclaim public space. The trend is inevitable. The question now is how to find the best ways to support it and empower society.