Planning with new methodology
Cultural and planning department fo the City of Pori started to work on a new methodology to replace the outdated plan for city centre from 1994. The UCP team mapped the area and collected valuable data. They established a pop-up shop called Poris: Research Centre of Pori City Centre. Over 2000 residents participated in the shop and gave over 2400 ideas and thoughts about the city centre. Since then they have worked with other city departments to create a unique bottom-up methodology. They aim to create a co-creation process to support the daily development of the area. The project included many artistic interventions and events such as Poris: Dialogue Village concentrated specifically on one outdoor space, the Central Square or focused on Kokemäenjoki river bank during the event Green and Blue.
The city centre of Pori seems deserted, it functions predominantly for elderly people, with community centres for the elderly. The sense of decline is worsened by the empty shop windows on the pedestrian streets. Enterprises are moving to the shopping malls or are going bankrupt because of the lack of pedestrian traffic. Linked to this is the motorisation of the city.
Like other cities in the Global North, Pori is facing challenges due to climate crisis. The winters are getting warmer, and the activities that used to be fun and brought communities together, such as skating and skiing, are limited to fewer and fewer winter days. The challenge was also the cross-sectorial collaboration between the different departments in the municipality, that was advocated by dedicated individuals and teams.
The biggest risk when working with specific groups is the risk of nothing happening. If people get excited about a certain topic and then we as operators or the city fail to deliver, that creates risk. People might lose faith in us or get frustrated. - curators