The municipal elections are in April 9. The advance voting from March 29 to April 5. You can find more official information about the elections in the official page vaalit.fi, including whether you are eligible for voting and the polling stations.

I’m running for the municipal council in Helsinki as a Green candidate. I have been active in the city politics for several years and from the beginning of 2012 I have been the vice member of Osmo Soininvaara in the city planning council (which is responsible for zoning and traffic infrastructure planning).

You can read a bit about my background here.

This page is a short introduction to the things I wish to drive if I’m elected to the Helsinki city council. If you wish to know more about me, just ask – either in the comments section of this page, or via email: mikko.sarela (a) vihreat.fi. I will also be happy to speak in an event especially about city planning and public transportation, if you would like to hear more about my views.

The people of Helsinki deserve to have a more open city, a more urban city, and better public transportation system; a city in which it’s good to walk or cycle. Many more apartments so that everybody who wants can afford to live in Helsinki.

The growth of the city is a great challenge and we must rise up to it. We have not built dense urban core after second world war. It’s time to change that.

Helsinki has mostly a  relatively good public transportation system, but we can still do much better. We need to modernize our tram system to the level of the great European modern tram cities (Freiburg, Zurich, etc.).

Helsinki can improve it’s decision making by opening up the data it collects. It helps us residents and politicians understand issues better and it also provides new opportunities for entrepreneurs. A real win-win situation.

I’m sure you’re aware that the times are rough and there’s not enough money around for everything. Helsinki, too, has to be careful with the money it spends and the property it owns. We need to reduce burdensome regulations and find new ways of getting more by spending less.

I would like to present two examples that I have worked with for the past five years:

  • changing the highways inside ring I into boulevards. The land that can be used is valuable (on the order of hundreds of millions) and the city can get many more residents (~100000) close to downtown.
  • The second is speeding up the trams by technical upgrades and giving them a priority in traffic lights. The city benefits, because the cost of running the system goes down, since the same level of service can be provided with fewer trams (on the order of 10 million a year can be achieved) and the people benefit, because the trams get you to your destination faster.

Want to help? You can

  • vote for me in Helsinki.
  • Spread the word and recommend me to your friends
  • Like my Facebook page
  • Donate money to my campaign. Every euro will be put to good use.