Kalasatama Flexi Spaces – Digital Solutions Enable Use of Empty and Underused Spaces


In REFILL project, Helsinki focused on the digital drivers and barriers for intensification of the use of spaces and temporary use. The aims of REFILL were supported by other projects linkin to the same thematics: Flexispaces project executed a wide demonstration of digital solution that enables opening spaces for self service use. Digital Helsinki programme coordinated joint activities between these projects and other smaller development projects done by the city.

During the projects, Helsinki’s willingness to open it’s spaces for citizens was stated in it’s newest strategy. The ongoing projects produced understanding and good practices to show how this could be done in a wider scale.

REFILL focused on sharing good practises between the partner cities. Helsinki, Ghent, Amersfoort, Nantes, Bremen, Athens, Riga, Ostrava, Cluj-Napoca and Poznan learned from each other. In 2017 Helsinki hosted a transnational meeting, sharing it’s expertise on design thinking and digital service development.

The learnings from REFILL, Flexispaces and Digital Helsinki were collected in one publication “Tilat avoimiksi” (“Open the spaces”) to provide up-to-date insight on intensification of space and temporary use in Helsinki. The publication also works as the integrated action plan for REFILL, explaining in four scenarios, what the next steps for Helsinki should be.

The action plan was co-produced with city administration, researchers, space activists and companies operating in the field of space sharing. The co-creation took place in a series of workshops during autumn 2017, where four future scenarios were formed. These scenarios emphasize different angles for the future of spaces: how to make spaces visible, how to use the city as an experimentation platform, how the business models can be improved and how the spaces support in making Helsinki a nonstop city.

Forum Virium continues the work formulated in scenarios by supporting local schools to use empty and underused spaces in the neighbourhood, and developing further the digital solutions for self service use of spaces.

As of May 2018, the REFILL URBACT network has completed its activities. Find more information at http://urbact.eu/

Read the project publications:

REFILL magazine series
REFILL final publication
Tilat avoimiksi (“Open the spaces”) -publication, in Finnish