Helsinki: best of both worlds

Pekka Sauri is a Finnish psychologist and a Green League politician. He is currently the deputy mayor of Helsinki.

Helsinki rides high in international rankings of most liveable cities. It is getting widely recognized that the quality of life of Helsinki residents is amongst the best on the planet.

But what is it about Helsinki that makes the city special? There are various explanations for this, but perhaps the best one is that Helsinki has managed to find a golden cut between reliability and creativity. Reliability means that public transport comes on time, that you can get an appointment at a health centre within a reasonable time or that you can walk the streets safely even after dark.

Creativity, on the other hand, means that people are free to put their ideas into practice and try out fresh innovations such as pop-up restaurants on twice-yearly Restaurant Days, to name just one.

Reliability is often regarded as boring and bureaucratic, while creativity is exciting and sexy. The Helsinki attitude aims at the best of both worlds, and I strongly hope that all visitors to our city manage to catch a glimpse of this happy fusion.

As autumn glides gently into winter and evenings grow dark, Helsinki shows her cozy and romantic side. Join the experience. Let yourself unfold in 2014!