Out came urban entrepreneurs

Our Low2no Camp started in May by bringing together 30 passionate urban activists and shipping them to Berlin to teach and to learn how to make our cities more sustainable and better to live.  This summer back in Helsinki the campers have been busy organizing Helsinki Night Bike Rides, Ravintolapäivä (Restaurant day), Kallio Block PartyPunajuuri Block Party and farming urban vegetables. But on the hot days of summer they have also been writing a lot of post its, sketching on flip charts, discussing in Facebook, meeting face to face, building presentations and thinking and thinking how to scale up what they are doing.

Yesterday in Jätkäsaari in Helsinki they came out to potential partners. What we saw was our urban enthusiasts grown into urban entrepreneurs. They want to change the way we produce our food, use our space, dress ourselves and think of our possibilities to make the city our own. We are terribly proud to present 100 ways to Eden, Hukkatila Ltd, pukuhuone.fi, School of Activism and Aquaponics Finland.

P.S. For those interested in doing something similar we have done in Low2no Camp, here’s the recipe:

  1. Take 15-30 activists
  2. Mix
  3. Take somewhere inspiring, e.g. Berlin will do
  4. Match
  5. Push
  6. Enjoy five new ventures
    Easy!

 

 

 

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Low2No Inspires: NO-CHAIR-DESIGN Challenge

Low2No Camper Eero Yli-Vakkuri and his Ore.e Refiniries have turned a new page in the history of design. They have started a NO-CHAIR-DESIGN Challenge for 2012. The challenge is easy to understand yet hard accomplish: not designing a chair in the year 2012.

So if you’re a designer you can participate by not designing a chair in 2012, challenging a friend or by downloading and distributing the campaign kit. The campaign kit  includes everything you need to push these ideas forward in your own neighborhood.
Web: banners, gif | Printable: badges, posters | Video: stills (4:3/16:9).zip .zip ~4,6MB
If nothing elser print this .pdf and post it on your library wall!

 

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The Simple Kitchen

The Simple Kitchen is an all-natural and organic café using only local ingredients coming from an own farm, The Simple Kitchen Gardens, located less than 100 miles away in Bethlehem, CT.

The idea of transparency and traceability of products represents the fundament of the concept and it is evident inside the store, equipped as it was a home kitchen. Evocative images of products grown in the farm are used as communication and decoration elements of the interiors and help people create a direct link to the production site.

More information here

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The People’s Supermarket

The People’s Supermarket is a food cooperative aimed at offering a sustainable alternative to the traditional food offering by connecting urban customers with the local farming community.
The supermarket responds to the need of healthy and local food at reasonable price obtained through economical and active engagement of customers.

The workforce consists of volunteers who commit time to the store in return for discounts on their shopping and a role in the management of the enterprise. Because of the low staff costs and the non-profit nature of the organization, the People’s Supermarket is able to price their items considerably cheaper.

www.thepeoplessupermarket.org

 

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Brooklyn Grange

Brooklyn Grange is a commercial organic farm located on New York City rooftops. The farm produces vegetables to be sold to people and businesses in the city. The goal of the initiative is to improve access to high quality food by connecting urban population to farming and food production and making urban cultivation a viable enterprise and livelihood.

Although the production is a privately owned and operated enterprise, Brooklyn Grange is open to the public. School groups, families and volunteers can visit, participate and learn.
The farm sells its produce to city restaurants, at some markets of the neighborhood.

Official website

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Holton Farms

In an effort to promote healthier lifestyles among its residents, the Albanese Organization, a NYC Real Estate Development and Management company, is offering an exclusive farm-to-table delivery service at three of its buildings located in Battery Park City. Buildings renters who sign up for the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) membership, receive weekly deliveries from Vermont-based Holton Farms, that range from seasonal fruit and vegetables to fresh dairy and meat, depending on commitment level.

 

Unlike others CSAs where members receive items pre-selected by the farm, Holton provides their customers with the ability to customize their orders each week through an online portal with products from both their own and neighboring farms. In addition, the farm’s mobile truck sets up shop outside the buildings on weekends, offering a curbside farmer’s stand for the community.

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Inspirational Photography

Photography has long been a means to capture memories and moments in time. Throughout a person’s life, photographs begin to tell a story that highlight one’s personal journey, and one’s relationship to one’s environment, society and even the time one lives in. The same way that photographs can speak about us, they can also speak about or wishes and our dreams- what we want to accomplish and what we would like for our lives. Why not capture these wishes, expressions and thoughts through visual paint, using long exposure photography?

Imagine the images of citizens from a whole neighborhood being exhibited together to speak about their vision for the future or exhibited in a way that redesigns a public space. Photography and its interaction with our environment has brought about non-confrontational conversation and drawn light to social issues before, as by French artist JR who hopes to and inspires us to change the world by engaging in visual storytelling.

Light painting not only allows for the incorporation of an immigrant community, as the message conveyed trespasses verbal miscommunication by creating an emotional rapport- it also inspires graffiti artists to rethink their traditional methods and create timeless tags and pieces, instead of ones that eventually get painted over.  In all cases, light painting reinforces the individual voices within a community, while avoiding communal yelling.

 

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Prinzessinengarten

The Prinzessinengarten is a urban communal garden located in an area of Berlin (Moritzplatz) kept abandoned for some years. With the help of the Berlin community, the site was cleared away of garbage, and a communal garden was established.
Due to the usage of mobile planting beds, the garden is designed to be moved around the city.

The garden is open to the public, providing a space for people to work in the garden, learn about biodiversity and planting techniques or just relax and enjoy the oasis of green in the middle of the city. It also host a café. The produce is all grown without pesticides or artificial fertilizers, and is available for purchase.

More information

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The Windowfarms Project

Urban window farming is a movement, inspired by 33-year old Brooklyn, New York resident Britta Riley, that promotes a simple but highly efficient DIY system for growing food in urban areas.

Utilizing recycled recycled plastic water bottles, plastic tubing, and simple aquarium air pumps, the window farmers are able to create indoor gardens that supply fresh vegetables and fruit year round for less than US$30 (€22).

Described as vertical, hydroponic, modular, low-energy, high-yield edible window gardens, window farming is catching on around the globe with window farmers in Italy, Israel and Hong Kong. The Window Farm website has more than 4,000 registered international users with urban farmers reporting success with growing strawberries, lettuce, cherry tomatoes and peppers in their city windows.

Official website

 

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Parkour & Free-running

As parkour has visibility in Finland, (see Finnish Parkour Association), it could be a great idea to establish a competition where anyone could participate and experts could judge the contestants. A recent film called “My Playground” can be sourced for inspiration as it follows the making of the first dedicated parkour park in the world. Designed by the danish team, Team JiYo. The film is shot all around the world and asks the question, “Does travelling to the other end of the world change our understanding movement in the urban space that surrounds us?”

The film maker is readily available for questions and comments through his website.

Kaspar Astrup Schröder, film maker

For those that want to see beautifully shot footage, you can see the trailer for My Playground here.

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