What if future Helsinki would offer a possibility to celebrate a night of the galleries or participate in late evening meditation in school gyms? Or to tour the archipelago on a nightly sea cruise and to go to the swimming pool at four in the morning? The possibilities of Helsinki's evening and night are discussed in a report ordered by the City of Helsinki Culture and Leisure Division, which was published today.
An interesting nightlife is an essential part of a city’s attractiveness. In spring 2018, a group of night-time operators in Helsinki gathered to discuss the development of the City’s nightlife. The briefings by the night mayors of Amsterdam and Berlin and the joint discussions resulted in the thought that Helsinki could also gain more from its nightlife.
Based on the meeting, the City of Helsinki's Culture and Leisure Division commissioned a report on the potential of the City’s nightlife from the perspective of the service producers. The report, published today, includes an array of actions through which Helsinki’s night could send a message of an international and attractive City.
– All the service producers who participated in the report recognised a lot of unused potential in the night of Helsinki. The result does not surprise me. Nightly Helsinki cannot be overlooked – people want to live during the nights as well, notes Helsinki Deputy Mayor Nasima Razmyar.
– Helsinki is an international and modern large city, which also includes a lively urban life during night-time. As we create more opportunities for work, services, events and hobbies, we need to make sure that this can be realised safely and without causing disturbances. In the most functional City in the world, the nightlife must also be good life for everyone, emphasises Mayor Jan Vapaavuori.
Less bureaucracy and more courage wanted from City
In the report, it is suggested that the City prepares a night strategy and vision together with the service producers. New nightlife initiatives could initially be tested to a restricted extent in terms of area, division and time, for example through a monthly night of the museums or in specific night neighbourhoods. A lot of potential was also seen in the contrast between light and darkness in Helsinki, the nightless summer nights and the darkness of the winter.
As for the City of Helsinki’s role, the service producers expressed wishes related to everyday bureaucracy, such as development of the licence procedures for nightly activities and distinct contact persons at the City. Financial support and assistance in communications and marketing for evening and night event trials was also on the list.
The City should also show courage in developing unique night-time events in Helsinki. Furthermore, the service producers wanted the City to pay attention to the functionality of the night-time traffic and the City’s security during night as well.
Helsinki hires a night liaison
The City will hire a night liaison to coordinate the nightlife trials and opportunities.
– At the beginning of my term, I spoke about a “night mayor”. Now Helsinki has decided to join that group of international cities, who have recognised the importance of evening and night-time and hired a specific person for the purpose; somewhere it is a night tsar, somewhere a night mayor, while we have a night liaison, cheers Deputy Mayor Razmyar.
– The night liaison hired by Helsinki works as an interpreter and voice between the developers of the nightlife in Helsinki and the City of Helsinki. The liaison’s task is, above all, to recognise, assist and gather the makers of Helsinki, who want to develop the evenings and nights of Helsinki into something funnier, more eventful and safer.
The recruitment process will start in the autumn and the fixed-term assignment runs through June 2021. The night liaison will work at the City Executive Office Communications unit, whose responsibility it is to coordinate the development of the City’s event scene.
The report was made by LiveFIN ry on commission of the City of Helsinki Culture and Leisure Division in December 2018 and January 2019. For the report, the makers interviewed the City of Helsinki’s external service producers, e.g. in trade, music festivals, restaurant business and sports, accommodation and traffic services as well as museum and performing arts actors.
Link to the study (in Finnish)