Citizens' city

Wellbeing in cities starts from the bottom

The neighbourhoods of Helsinki are at the heart of Helka’s operations. As a central body for the 74 neighbourhood associations in Helsinki, its goal is to activate and network residents and other local stakeholders in the city.


Transforming citizens from spectators into participants is getting easier, but still presents challenges. Helka is an enabler, enhancing dialogue and co-development between neighbourhoods and the official city governance. Helka’s members are local multi-issue community associations that arrange cultural events, sustain local media and cultivate urban projects, workshops or action groups. Helka’s mission supports all of that: creating livable thriving and sustainable everyday life and neighbourhoods – for everyone.

Participation increases empowerment

Helka creates tools and methods for successful participation processes, mainly via projects. An example of a project turned into a citywide service is the platform of local neighbourhood web pages that we have been developing since 1997. We also have projects that promote and cherish the authentic features of each neighbourhood (e.g. “Local City Trails”). In 2009-2011 Helka participated in an international EU-funded project called CADDIES with partners from Riga (Latvia) and Norrköping (Sweden). In our view, residents and other local stakeholders are key players in tackling local challenges in the future. The future begins with the citizens!

Come and partner with Helka in joint community development projects

– We believe there is an infinite amount of local potential yet to be discovered, says Pirjo Tulikukka from the Helsinki Neighbourhoods Association.

Commonly crafted visions and inspiration drive people towards brighter futures. Thriving communities and local neighbourhoods are our passion, which is why Helka is looking for partners in projects that enhance inclusive participatory processes and wellbeing in neighbourhoods. We are constantly open to new ideas and eager to share experiences with anyone with similar interests in joint projects.

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Helsinki Neighbourhoods Association, Helka

Founded in 1964

Focal point for 73 neighbourhood associations in Helsinki

Politically and religiously unaffiliated NGO

See website

For further information, please contact:
Pirjo Tulikukka

+358 41 522 2071