Nordicum - Real Estate Annual Finland 2013 - Page 18

The population of Tampere continues to grow rapidly: during the next 20 years, there will be 90,000 new residents in the Tampere Region. Turku School of Economics, the final report from the project offers some interesting insights into the matter. Setting the Tone First of all, the report argues that city centre serves as a meeting place – as well as a context – for social and private life, leisure, business and culture. Commercial activity takes priority, but downtown shopping can be seen as a necessity or, alternatively, leisurely pursuit. If shopping is placed in a leisure context, it is not much different from strolling along the streets or seeing the sights – the things people enjoy doing in an urban setting anyway. Therefore, spending time at city centre 16 Nordicum is not all about consumption or running errands. The Kautas report points out that the consumer can be perceived as modern day flâneur who is consuming experiences: he/ she is enjoying the freedom of choice offered by the urban environment, happily taking in the stimulation. According to the report, operating in urban space in very much about creating meaning for the individual. Personal and social reasons motivate the person to go downtown and spend some time there (as youth behaviour demonstrates, for example). On the other hand, urban space takes guises which can have adverse effect on willingness to go downtown (for example, elderly people who don’t want to go to city centre after dark). Open For All The way to combat this is to make city centres open, accessible and safe. Encouraging diversity means that there are more choices and more potential patrons. City centres can serve people of all ages and social groups, if they are versatile and flexible enough. Professor Lasse Mitronen from the University of Tampere offered some interesting perspectives at a “Dynamic city centre” conference held in Tampere in August 2012. He pointed out to some vibrant urban centres – such as Chiswick in London, Ginza in Tokyo or, closer to home, Østerbro in Copenhagen – as some places also Finns could draw inspiration from. According to Mitronen, working traf-