Turntable is a laboratory for sustainable food production and urban planning, as well as a center for peer learning and urban culture at the Pasila railway yard. At Turntable, we search for urban solutions to climate change and other global challenges by experimenting together. More future for Helsinki, thank you!

There are four themes in the manifesto

More future for Helsinki!

We live in a time of eco-desaster. Climate change, the sixth mass extinction and the scarcity of natural resources will form the boundary conditions of societies in the coming decades. This reality should also be the starting point for decision-making regarding the future of Helsinki. Although, for example, the climate debate has become mainstream in recent years, the new changing reality is not yet sufficiently reflected in urban planning and urban culture.

The current urban construction is often based on plans that are out of date already at the time of completion. A good example of this is the mega-sized shopping center rising in the geographical core of the city, Keski-Pasila, with its parking garages (approx. 2,300 parking spaces) and the Veturitie lane, which is largely based on private cars.

At the same time, however, there is still unplanned, temporary space in Keski-Pasila that is open to many options. In the southern railway yard, it is possible to take steps to create a more experimental and temporary urban structure. Turntable was created to serve as a compass for this development.

We live in a time that includes both huge global challenges and opportunities for unprecedented development and learning. For example, the growing appreciation for the culture of experimentation has produced new intelligent, energy- and material-efficient solutions, which can also be efficiently duplicated for the use of different actors. The interest in the sharing economy and urban culture also awakens a new sense of community among citizens and increases opportunities for influence.

Turntable is the place where these new opportunities are seized. Future food production, peer-to-peer learning, urban culture and urban planning are developed through experiments carried out by citizens.

We are what we eat – and what we do

As the climate changes, food production is facing increasing challenges worldwide. Cycles learned by observing nature and developed using new technology will play a key role in the food production chains of the future, at best, for example, a closed nutrient cycle. With their help, we save energy, reduce waste and emissions, and produce more versatile and healthier food for growing populations. Most of the world’s people today live in cities. At the same time, technology makes it possible to produce food efficiently in places other than the fields. That’s why it makes sense that an increasingly larger part of the food is grown in the city – and with more sustainable methods than before. Turntable is a grassroots laboratory where solutions to these challenges are sought. The citizen, who traditionally remains in the role of a consumer, gets closer to the world of food producers there.

The central goal of Turntable is to increase the adaptability of future citizens by increasing both the degree of self-sufficiency in food and a variety of civic skills. At the same time, Turntable functions as a farm for its own community and contributes to the development of new urban livelihoods. Turntable blossoms as a garden of inspiration for more casual guests – and future generations of urban farmers.

With the turntable plantation, we are also piloting an “island of diversity” in the built environment, from which different groups of organisms in their interactions provide ecosystem services to humans as well. Diverse urban nature and food also support the ecosystem closest to humans – the gut microbes.

#foodsecurity #communityculture #nutrientcycle #composting #peefarming #peeponics #zerowaste #biodiversity #ecosystemservicest #permaculture #bokashi #ownvegetables #circulareconomy #closedcycle #sustainablefoodproduction #communitygarden

Basic skills revolution

The internet has rapidly revolutionized the opportunities for people to learn new skills from each other. Peer advice shared on social media, online guides shared freely, and instructional videos made by enthusiasts are today’s everyday learning. However, there is also a need for physical meeting places where peer learning communities can develop and grow.

Turntable functions as a training center where citizens learn new and old basic skills, such as recycling, repairing, tuning, peer production, refining and growing. Teaching takes place in the form of workshops and peer learning, because we all have latent talents and knowledge that we are happy to share. Solutions found together and shared skills are powerful social experiences.

The spirit of doing promotes a culture of experimentation, the focus of which is self-sufficiency, circular economy and other concepts that have the potential to slow down climate change in Finland or even worldwide. Our goal is openness, which we implement by organizing low-threshold public events where all kinds of people are welcome to participate.

#peerlearning #peertopeer #inclusivity #lowthreshold #cultureofexperimentation #prototyping #expertyoume #ordinaryexpert #basicskillsrevolution #commonskillrevolution #experienceeconomy

Open urban space enables culture beyond consumption

In a post-fossil world the meaning of life must be found somewhere other than consumption – art, good food, other people. This is the cultural dimension of the ongoing social change. Current urban culture is often consumption-oriented and exclusionary; non-commercial spaces open to everyone are needed. In addition to reduction and moderation, we need local parties and responsible hedonism.

Turntable is an open urban space. Its operation is not based on commercialism and the pursuit of profit, and in addition, anyone can influence its planning and implementation. The space created together deepens our relationship with the place and creates a basis for social innovations.

#urbanculture #openurbanspace #postfossilculture #responsiblehedonism

An experimental field for a diverse, dynamic and sustainable city

The locomotive garages and the railway yard are culturally historically valuable environments that are still open to new experiments. Historical buildings serve as spaces for experimental urban culture and circular economy. The new structures are restrained in scale and embody the region’s precious past in a way that enables new activities. The experimentality, temporary nature and humane scale make the citizens feel that they are able to influence the development of their city, even if they are only turning at Turntable. The area is easy to move around on foot, and everything from fresh food is nearby. The central location in the center of Finland’s railway traffic brings visibility to the city’s own projects, which otherwise might not be seen by the general public.

The area acts as a balancing force for the concentration of commercial structures and massive infrastructure formed by Tripla, Torniarea and Veturitie. At Turntable, the city dweller does not live as a prisoner of the structures, but participates in their construction themselves. Some experiments remain temporary and people change – the city is constantly changing. Layers of different ages overlap each other as a weave of a rich urban structure that teems with life and shows the direction for Helsinki’s sustainable future.

#humanscale #minihouses #temporaryuse #sustainablecity #experimentalcity #culturalhistory #railwayenvironment #walkingcity #diy #diwo

See also: