Lähiöfest Seminar: People-Driven City 2019

How do we create more inclusive urban spaces in an increasingly complex urban context?
How can citizens learn and gain better understanding about their cities – and vice versa?
Crowdfunding and public projects – match made in heaven or road to chaos?
Is a desirable, sustainable and also affordable neighbourhood an utopian dream?
How do we empower locality in a fast growing, ever-changing city?
Lähiöfest logo 2019

Welcome to the 2nd edition of  ‘People-Driven City’!

‘People-Driven City’ is the main conference of ‘Lähiöfest’ – festival of neighbourhoods. The first edition was organised in 2017 during Lähiöfest2017 in the main hall the University of Helsinki. The conference attracted 500+ participants representing cities, corporations, NGOs, universities and media.

In 2019 Lähiöfest takes place in four different Finnish cities: Espoo, Riihimäki, Kauniainen and Helsinki. Findings and learnings of the festival will be shared and digested during the conference – this year located in Dipoli, the beautiful gem of the architectural couple Raili and Reima Pietilä at the campus of Aalto University.

Except a whole day of inspiring keynote speakers, engaging discussions and workshops on urgent urban topics from cities around the world!

‘People-Driven City’ looks for ways how top-down and bottom-up could meet and  better work together, what are the structures needed to support more diversity, and, above all, who are the connectors, the “bridge-builders” that can help our cities to become more inclusive, more people-driven.

The thematic streams of the conference are sustainability, participation, learning and democracy. Here are some of the questions that will be discussed:

How do we create more inclusive urban spaces in an increasingly complex urban context?

How can citizens learn and gain better understanding about their cities – and vice versa? 

Crowdfunding and public projects – match made in heaven or road to chaos?

Is a desirable, sustainable and also affordable neighbourhood an utopian dream?

How do we empower locality in a fast growing, ever-changing city?



The conference day is roughly divided in two. In the morning we will hear insightful keynotes in the main hall. From midday on there will be breakout sessions with different options to choose from. Apart from talks and workshops there will be also entertainment and surprise program.


  • sustainability
  • participation
  • learning
  • democracy

9:00–11:15 Kaleva hall: Keynotes 

  • Welcome Katja Lindroos / Urban Practice, executive producer of Lähiöfest
  • Introduction Päivi Sutinen / City of Espoosustainability
  • Keynote Amin Khosravi / Urbzparticipation
  • Keynote Elma van Boxel / ZUSparticipation
  • Keynote Kimon Moerbeek / Kennislandlearning
  • Presentation Pedro Aibéo / representing Aalto Living+learning

11:15–12:00: lunch break: Sief hall

  • Please note that food is served during the whole afternoon in the restaurants of Dipoli. Each participant is thus free to choose the time of their lunch break.

12:00–15:00 Kaleva hall: Keynotes, Discussions and Master Classes

  • Discussion Elina Wanne / City of Espoo, Anniina Korkeamäki / City of Riihimäki and Alpo Tani / City of Helsinki, hosted by Heidi Kalmari / Lähiöfest – sustainability
  • Keynote Christina Lindbäck / NCCsustainability

short break

  • Keynote Michel Rojkind / Rojkind Arquitectosdemocracy & learning

12:00–14:00 Palaver & Poli workshop rooms: Breakout sessions – suomeksi / in Finnish

  • 12:00–12:45 Palaver: “Miten kuihtuvista keskustoista saadaan elinvoimaisia elämyspaikkoja”, isäntänä Innovarch – participation
  • 13:00–13:45 Palaver: “Mikä on oppimisympäristöjen tulevaisuus – onko tilalla väliä?”, isäntänä Innovarch learning

vaihtoehto edelliselle:

  • 13:30–14:00 Poli: “Skiss my Hatsina -kisa: miten suunnitelmia elävästä kaupunkiympäristöstä katsovat ammattilaiset, entä miten asukkaat?”, isäntänä NCC – participation

14:00–16:00 Metso hall: Fireside Chats 

  • Kimon Moerbeek / Kennisland, Saku Tuominen / HundrED and Heidi Backman / City of Kauniainen, hosted by Heidi Kalmari / Lähiöfest learning
  • Ahmed Abdirahman / Järvaveckan, interviewed by Ramon Maronier / Urban Practice,  producer of Lähiöfestdemocracy
  • Maria Derlõš / Linnalabor, Tanja Jänicke / Yhteismaa, Päivi Raivio / RaivioBumann and Niko Riepponen / City of Espoo, hosted by Katja Lindroos / Urban Practice, executive producer of Lähiöfestparticipation

+ Exhibitions & Live Performances

  • live music with The Bikini Brothers, courtesy of World Music School
  • exhibitions all day at Dome of Visions and the Capitolium aula

Additional programme 16:00–19:00: Tours and Open Doors

  • The official programme ends by 4 pm. Our partners will offer possibilities to visit various locations at Aalto Campus and Otaniemi between 4 pm and 6 pm. In addition to this we warmly recommend to visit exhibitions at EMMA in Tapiola from 4pm and 7pm.
  • Alvar Aalto Architecture Tour, starting at 4 pm from the entrance of Dipoli, hosted by Head of Research Juhana Lahti / Museum of Finnish Architecture
  • Open Doors at Aalto Living+ Hub
  • Open Doors at Espoo Museum of Modern Art EMMA, exhibition “Michael Jackson On the Wall” and featuring DJ. Free entry

more details TBA


Keynote Speakers

We are happy to introduce our brilliant speakers!

  • Michel Rojkind, Architect and Founder / Rojkind Arquitectos, Mexico City
  • Kimon Moerbeek, Director and Education Advisor / Kennisland, Amsterdam
  • Elma van Boxel, Architect and Founder / ZUS (Zones Urbaines Sensibles), Rotterdam
  • Amin Khosravi, Urban Strategist and Partner / Urbz, Geneva
  • Christina Lindbäck, Senior Vice President Corporate Sustainability / NCC, Stockholm


Case Studies, Interviews & Discussions

Apart from inspiring keynotes speeches, People-Driven City offers engaging case studies and interviews. Here are some of the guests participating in discussions:

  • Ahmed Abdirahman, Founder of Järvaveckan, Social Sustainability Expert at Stockholm Chamber of Commerce / Stockholm
  • Maria Derlõš, Project Manager and Lasnamäe Community Activist / Linnalabor, Tallinn
  • Pedro Aibéo, Architect, Researcher and CEO of Gamified Cohousing / Helsinki
  • Saku Tuominen, Founder and Creative Director / HundrED, Helsinki
  • Päivi Sutinen, Director for City as a Service Development / City of Espoo
  • Heidi Backman, Director of Education and Culture / City of Kauniainen–Grankulla
  • Päivi Raivio, Designer, Placemaking Expert and Founder / RaivioBumann, Helsinki
  • Niko Riepponen, Participation Designer / City of Espoo
  • Tanja Jänicke, Designer and Founder / Yhteismaa, Helsinki

For more information on the Keynote speakers and discussions, check the Lähiöfest website.

Thank you

‘People-Driven City’ is made possible with the kind support of our partners:

Content Partners

Lähiöfest2019 Partners

Host City & Event Cities

Main Partners

Campaign City

Programme Direction & Production

This is the 2nd edition of PEOPLE-DRIVEN CITY. The 1st was organised as part of Lähiöfest2017 programme in Helsinki.

Urban Practice reserves the rights to any changes in the program.


City professionals and enthusiasts from near and far – welcome to PEOPLE-DRIVEN CITY and the city of Espoo!

The Aalto Living+ Platform is a project partner of the Lähiöfest 2019!

Aalto Living+ Platform banner image including the title Living+.

Aalto Living+ Platform

Living+ Platform supports multi- and transdisciplinary research on human-centered living environments, one of Aalto University's key research areas.

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