Professor of Sociology Eric Klinenberg from New York University discusses the future of democratic societies and social infrastructure. He highlights the importance of shared places – both physical as well as digital – where people gather, making friends across group lines and strengthening the community. The local panelists share their views and examples of urban development in Helsinki and Finland in a public event open for all. The event is organized in collaboration with U.S. Embassy in Finland.
The Keynote Speaker
Eric Klinenberg is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Institute for Public Knowledge at New York University. He is the author of Palaces for the People: How Social Infrastructure Can Help Fight Inequality, Polarization, and the Decline of Civic Life (Crown, 2018), Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone (The Penguin Press, 2012), Fighting for Air: The Battle to Control America’s Media (Metropolitan Books, 2007), and Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago (University of Chicago Press, 2002).
Mari Vaattovaara is Professor of Urban Geography at the University of Helsinki and Director of Helsinki Institute of Urban and Regional Studies (Urbaria). Her research interests relate to the social and spatial developments in urban areas, segregation, immigration, housing preferences, and housing choice as well as to the housing policy.
Maria Jaakkola, Manager of Urban Space and Networks Unit in Urban Environment Division of the Helsinki city administration. As a landscape architect (M.Sc.) she authored with her team the citywide Helsinki Green Areas Strategy and a consequent Open Space Plan in conjunction with the new Helsinki City Plan, defining the future of the city’s public spaces and green areas network.
Katri Vänttinen, Director of Library Services for the City of Helsinki. Throughout her career she has been a team player and a change leader. She enjoys taking on the challenges of rapidly evolving environment, always trying to find new ways of networked cooperation to create the best possible value and impact to the workplace and society.