"Everyone in Helsinki, including children, should have the right to mental health, urban planning on the terms of citizens, and a carbon-neutral city with diverse urban nature. "
I am a psychiatrist and researcher, working as Director of Development at MIELI Mental Health Finland (a non-governmental charity) and part-time as a Research Professor at the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL). I am one of the initiators of the citizens' initiative for a therapy guarantee, and I am also a psychotherapy expert by experience. I have attended my school in urban activism in the defense of the Lapinlahti former hospital and park as a citizens' centre for mental wellbeing from nature and culture.
All Helsinki residents must have the right to mental health. Mental well-being is promoted when the city supports the interaction between the city's residents, offers opportunities for meaningful influence and participation as well as accessible leisure activities, urban culture and a rich urban environment with parks and proximity to nature. In the event of mental health issues, there must be expert help with a low threshold and a therapy guarantee for early psychotherapy interventions.
The city and we all bear a responsibility for the future of the earth. I want to work for urban planning on the terms of the city's inhabitants, for carbon-neutral construction, and for the diversity of urban nature. Such vehicle traffic that causes large carbon dioxide emissions must eventually be phased out, and we will move to more modern forms of passenger transport. Renovating buildings is often more climate-smart than demolishing.
Housing and construction
The share of state-subsidized ARA rental housing in all housing in Helsinki has decreased. Many city dwellers are therefore forced to resort to expensive market financed rental housing. To some extent, the expensive rents are paid with tax money through housing allowance. For me, it is important to increase the city's own production of affordable rental housing, also within the framework of the city's company HEKA.
Living in a owned home is in the long run the most economical alternative. More people should be provided with an opportunity to purchase their own home. If the city lowers land prices, it is important to make sure that the benefit benefits homebuyers, and does not just end up in the builder's pocket.
The boulevardisation of the access roads is necessary to free up building land for new homes. The change is possible because commuting by car is reduced. The boulevards can and should be built without damaging surrounding green areas.