City residents decide on future of cultural centres – Kanneltalo’s 2030 vision to be discussed over coffee

Work has begun on creating a vision for 2030 for the Kanneltalo, Malmitalo, Stoa and Vuotalo cultural centres in Helsinki, in which the future services of the buildings are being planned. The visioning process started last autumn at Cultural Centre Stoa and will begin in Kanneltalo with an event aimed at involving city residents on 15 February 2024. This vision work aims to define the role of the four cultural centres as places that serve area residents in various ways and positively impact the development of the areas.
Cultural centers offer cultural services, a library, adult education center, and a café or restaurant under one roof.
Cultural centers offer cultural services, a library, adult education center, and a café or restaurant under one roof.

Over the decades, the cultural centres around Helsinki have proved their worth by offering affordable or even free art and cultural services to area residents. All the cultural centres have cultural services, a library, an adult education centre, and a café or restaurant under one roof, and most also have facilities and services for young people.

The vision work is part of the city’s long-term strategy work and also involves renovating the physical spaces in the cultural centres: The expansion and renovation of Cultural Centre Stoa will begin in 2028 and in the early 2030s at Kanneltalo and Malmitalo. New spaces have already been put into use in Vuotalo this spring.

“We want to better understand what is expected of cultural centres in the future. We aim to renew our services to improve the customer experience and strengthen the attractiveness of our neighbourhoods. In future, cultural centres may play an even stronger role in preventing uneven development and segregation,” says Juha Ahonen, Executive Director of the Culture and Leisure Division.

“Each district has its own identity, and we want to support and draw on the strengths of this identity in developing the services and indoor and outdoor spaces of the cultural centres. This is why we’re focusing on the views of local residents, communities, businesses and staff in our visioning process. In this project, we are planning for the future together in a way that is exceptionally broad, which is especially inspiring,” says Culture Director Mari Männistö.

The vision work began in the autumn of 2023 in Stoa under the event theme “The East will get what it wants”. This included the Futures Laboratory event series, where the residents of the area were invited to participate in envisioning the Stoa of the future. Based on their feedback, city residents continue to consider it important to have a wide range of leisure activities close to home.

Let’s make Kanneltalo more fun – residents are invited to come brainstorm on 15 February  

Planning for the future of Kanneltalo will kick off with coffee at the Café Kantsu on Thursday, 15 February, from 17:30 to 19:30, when all city residents interested in Kanneltalo’s operations will have a chance to express their views. At the event, participants will be offered an evening snack and given a tour of the entire building, including its most hidden corners.

“We warmly welcome the residents of Kannelmäki to come brainstorm with us about what kind of Kanneltalo would best serve area residents in the 2030s. Our staff will be present to discuss residents’ hopes and expectations, and participants can also complete an online survey, which will provide feedback to help shape the vision for the future of Kanneltalo.  The online survey will be open until the end of March on the Kanneltalo website. Similar events will be held in April in Malmitalo and Vuotalo,” Mari Männistö says.

During the spring of 2024, operators and partners in the region will also be invited to participate in the visioning process for regional cultural centres. After this, the collected data will be compiled and used to create a preliminary model for a new service concept for cultural centres. In the autumn of 2024, there will also be vision workshops, which will work on and develop services and facilities.

The aim is to have a shared vision for the cultural centres by the spring of 2025, after which the cultural centres will start implementing it. The city’s partner for service design is the design firm Pentagon Design.

Take the online survey: leads to external service)