It surprises visitors and even confuses its own people, with elements that come together in a completely unique way. Can it really be this beautiful? This easy? This open to the new, this sincere, this innocent even. Helsinki is unusual, a little strange, an ecosystem that evolved by the open sea, hidden from view. It’s a revolving door from one world to another, a pocket between east and west.
- Helsinki is a tree you can wrap your arms around, a city that’s easy to fathom. Helsinki is big enough to give birth to new ideas, yet too small for congestion problems. Traffic jams are measured in minutes. If you see a queue, it’s likely to be for an urban event.
- Helsinki is built on trust. Here you can walk home after a night out. The wallet you’ve lost turns up at the lost and found. You can send your child off to school alone. It’s not unusual to borrow parking money from a stranger.
- Helsinki is astoundingly beautiful, still unspoilt. Nature is never more than an arm’s length away. Half of Helsinki faces the open sea. Helsinki breathes the sea with 130 kilometres of shoreline. That means the seaside belongs to everyone. It’s for washing rugs, shared saunas, wedding celebrations and paddling, or just for immersing yourself in the scents of the still summer night.
- The sea changes the scenery and colours every day. That’s why Helsinki has 365 seasons. On the same day the sea may be cold, the asphalt hot and the sky bright blue. Shades of grey can cover the horizon overnight.
- Helsinki turns ordinary people into city makers. It’s a city shaped by shared innovation, a living room and office full of spontaneous events and ventures. Every year sees the opening of more restaurants than the year before. Just yesterday the city wasn’t famous for its cafés – let alone its roasteries.
- Helsinki people are best at creating something new that seems unexciting, no big deal, but that reveals its importance in the everyday. The unexciting excites us. Helsinki people have invented a sensor system for waste management, more personalised cancer care, an oat-based meat substitute and inspirational ways to teach children to code.
- Helsinki is friendly, even when its body language tries to deny it. Those who are mute or shy just want to give you space and respect. Helsinki gives space to humanity. Everyone can be part of the city as they are, to proudly carry their own values and experiences.
- The humble madness of Helsinki is epitomized by the world class violinist who’s open to all ideas, as long as they feed his creativity. He flits between instruments, from a pump organ to a melodica, swallowing his microphone while tapping the rhythm on his body. In Helsinki everyone can redefine themselves with no filters.
- Right now Helsinki interprets itself anew every day, constantly redefining its essence through the actions of its people. The city is open from the beginning, still unknown, still unfinished.
- The future demands radical, bold actions. Helsinki is made to be a platform for the new.
This is my Helsinki. Do you need more reasons to love it?