Second Thought Placemaking Agency

Community-based urbanism, revitalising of spaces and co-creation

During the recent years, I have been advising and helping also in many other projects. It started from a few contacts, but rapidly the number started to grow, and so was born Second Thought Placemaking Agency, which – as the name says – offers new perspectives on community-based urbanism.

Co-creation and better use of space are increasingly important factors in creating a better city and life. Technology provides us with a number of tools to reach out people, share resources and work together. However, there is no one-size-fits-all solution, but each case is different and requires knowledge of different contexts, concepts and ways of participation.

I have worked with various organisations in the field of placemaking, co-creation and community building as designer, producer and consultant – alone and with a larger team. The clients include companies, NGOs, cities, public sector and educational institutions.

Placemaking has become more popular recently, but it dates back to the 1960s to Jane Jacobs and William H. Whyte. It is a versatile approach to space planning and management that brings locality, grassroots activity and everyday life into urban development. Placemaking gets more out of our surroundings and existing resources to create places that improve people’s wellbeing. It’s a holistic approach that includes creating a shared vision, concrete plans to achieve to it as well as practical tools.

Do you have a project you need help to implement? Call or send a message and let’s talk more about it!
+358 44 5478354

In Media

Do you want to read more? Here are some articles about me in Finnish, English and German:

Vihreä Lanka: “Muutosvoima” (in Finnish)

Helsingin Sanomat: ”Ihmiset kaipaavat säröjä ja mahdollisuutta puhua vieraalle” (in Finnish)

Helsinki-info: “Ideanikkari” (in Finnish)

Osuustoiminta-lehti: “Yhteisöllisyys kasvussa erityisesti kaupungeissa (in Finnish)”

Cities in Transition: “Jaakko Blomberg – Making the city go outside” (in English)

brand eins: “Frag nie, ob du darfst!” (in German)

DER STANDARD: “Der Stadtverwandler von Helsinki: ‘Nur nicht um Erlaubnis fragen’” (in German) 

Tages Anzeiger: “Offene Saunen und schräge Ideen” (in German)

Finntastic: “Just do it!” (in German)

Helsinki Urban Art

Helsinki Urban Art is a non-governmental organisation specialised in urban art that I was founding in the beginning of 2017. The purpose of the association is to make art that enlivens urban environments in Helsinki as well as in other cities in Finland and abroad. We introduce new ways of using urban space, create participatory urban culture and solve problems by means of art and activism.

Helsinki Urban Art was created on the basis of the More Street Art in Helsinki -project that created several street art pieces in 2016 which enlivened the urban environment. Helsinki Urban Art expands this activity and brings even more art and more versatile forms of art into the urban space.

Helsinki Urban Art is formed by a group of professionals in visual arts, community arts and urban activism. Involving the communities and respecting the special characteristics of the places is important to us: we want the art that we create to really work in its environment and to suit the needs of the locals. Our team has a lot of experience in producing large murals, different sized street art pieces as well as coordinating large participatory art projects and different urban events. We also collaborate with many people working in the field of urban art both in Finland and abroad.





Yhteismaa – Common Ground

Yhteismaa (Common Ground in English) was got started actually quite accidentally in February 2012, when me, Pauliina Seppälä and Tanja Jänicke (and a few others) started to make a day when anyone could go and sell their stuff at yards, streets and parks. This turned into Cleaning Day, that was organised for the first time on May 12, 2012. It was only after this that we decided to start an organisation to arrange it – and other similar kinds of things. And so, this organisation called Yhteismaa was formed.

Yhteismaa is a non-governmental organisation that produces socially meaningful projects, events and services. Many of the projects that I have been doing between 2012 and 2017, are made under the name of Yhteismaa with different kinds of working groups. Or with other people and organisations. Or via social media with everyone involved. Or sometimes just on my own. But behind each of them there is the same worldview and the will to change the world.

Slowly our interests with Pauliina and Tanja started to go to different directions: I was more interested in creating new projects and working with ideas that were more connected with art, culture and urban space, whereas the others were more interested in the web service Nifty Neighbour and developing the first events of Yhteismaa, Cleaning Day and Dinner under the Helsinki Sky.

In the beginning of 2017 I decided to move on and establish a new non-profit organisation with the people of More Street Art in Helsinki project. That’s how Helsinki Urban Art was founded. It shares a lot with Yhteismaa, but concentrates more in art, interventions and physical urban spaces. After founding of the new association some of my old Yhteismaa projects are run by Helsinki Urban Art. Although art is now in a bigger role than before, it’s not the only thing: I also started to do more projects connected to placemaking and co-creation through my own company Second Thought Placemaking Agency. 



Lectures, Workshops, Innovating

The more I’ve done different things over the years, the more I have started to have talks about my projects and the things I have learned from them. And besides, it’s fun to meet people who share your interests and who you can help to create something new.

I travel around to talk, inspire, generate ideas and organise workshops all over Finland and the world. I talk about communal city culture, co-operation and the different and open-minded ways of doing. Some of my presentations can be found on Slideshare, but because pictures tell more than a hundred words, and I’m not a fan of boring slideshows, the slides might not make sense without an explanation. If you’re interested, go ahead and browse them through! And if you want to hear more, don’t hesitate to contact me personally!

Jaakko Blomberg

+358 44 5478354


I am often asked what I am by profession and what I do for a living. Both questions are difficult to answer shortly. I am one of the founders of Helsinki Urban Art NGO and part of my time I’m busy with its projects. But I do a lot of other things too: events, art projects, innovating, consulting, lectures, workshops, research, social media campaigns and international projects. Partly I work through my company Second Though Placemaking Agency, partly with different groups.

I’m also one of the founders of Yhteismaa (Common Ground) and I made many projects under its name between 2012 and 2017. So depending on the context, I can be producer, placemaker, artist, activist, city maker, planner or researcher, but if I have to pick a title, I usually call myself just urban activist and producer, which pretty much sums up all this stuff .

Some of my activities are associated with urban space, some with art, some with culture, some with environmental issues, some with food. But everything is linked in some way to urban culture, people and community. And when doing all that, I always like to stick to the values that are important for me: openness, fairness and sustainability.

On this website I have gathered all the projects I have been doing. A picture is worth a thousand words, so these pages include a lot of pictures. I hope they’ll give you some idea of what all this is all about. There are also some articles that I have written about participatory urban culture. If you want to keep on track of my doings, the easiest way is to follow me on Facebook (and on other social media) – just scroll down a bit for the links. And if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me!

Jaakko Blomberg
+358 44 5478354
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