Flexible space network - creating a model for sharing underutilized spaces in the city

Vitalija Danivska, Seppo Junnila

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned reportProfessional


Even though cities across the world are growing, at the same time, many of them suffer from empty or half-empty buildings spread across. Changes in economy, household sizes, and types of businesses lead to empty spaces, which can not only affect negatively building owners but also decrease the attractiveness of neighbourhoods and cause other unwanted effects. This is especially important from the perspective of city governance.
One way to tackle the problem of empty or under-used spaces around the city is using sharing economy principles and business models. By changing the spaces to serve the needs of people better and opening up for more different use, buildings and spaces can be used more efficiently and neighbourhoods can be regenerated.
This research was done in collaboration with Forum Virium Helsinki, Aalto University, Granlund Oy, and the City of Helsinki. The goal of the project was to increase the understanding of ways to share the spaces and create a network of spaces in the city to serve the needs of people better. The objectives included development of operating model for self-use premises, understanding the business logic of sharing spaces, and exploring the possibilities of new tools (such as smart locks and access control) and data for improved utilization of spaces and user experience.
This report summarizes the research part of the project. First, it discusses the development of spaces and the need for increased experience in buildings. The research builds on the idea of sharing economy and introduces platform approach to business. Report presents the case study of Urban Lab in Kalasatama area, Helsinki, and introduces the flexible space ecosystem model as a result which is followed by a discussion on the role of the City of Helsinki in this model.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherAalto University
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)978-952-60-8837-2
Publication statusPublished - 2019
MoE publication typeD4 Published development or research report or study

Publication series

NameAalto University publication series SCIENCE + TECHNOLOGY
PublisherAalto University
ISSN (Print)1799-4896
ISSN (Electronic)1799-490X


  • flexible spaces
  • network of spaces
  • Platform economy
  • Sharing economy
  • municipal spaces


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