Workshop in Oulu, Part 1

At the end of May we were warmly welcomed in the northern lands of Finland where we had two productive first days in our twin town Oulu.

Oulu welcomed us with open arms on a sunny and windy Thursday afternoon. The green city charmed us from the start and the people were the absolute cherry on the top.

The next day, we visited the colorful Oulun yliopisto - University of Oulu, where science and humanities meet. A warm welcome from our project partners and the Vice rector for Education, Tapio Kolvu, was followed by a wonderful lecture by dr. Heini Hakosalo about how medicine and urbanism interact - by now, most of us forgot about tuberculosis, but in the interwar period in Oulu, the disease governed the everyday life of everyone.

It didn't pick and choose, no one was safe and the urban landscape of the city changed because of it. How? We'll tell you more soon - we took notes!

And did you know that in 2026, Oulu will shine even brighter than it already does - as the Oulu2026 - European Capital of Culture 2026. Executive director of the Oulu Capital of Culture foundation Rita Rantala-Korhonen, introduced us to the many ways Oulu will become a city by the people and for the people.

With every EU project comes a lot of responsibility, quite a lot of organization and bureaucracy as well. So our afternoon was full of discussions about the last bits and bobs we have to tie off in the following months in order to fulfill the project obligations. Final reports and task assignments with a dash of technical details and vocabulary differences - what can you expect with a varied bunch as ours?

To end our day, we had the pleasure of visiting the Pehkolanlampi, the city guesthouse. An introduction to the world of sauna - much more than a warm place for a hangout. It is here that the communities are built!

What will today bring? Another round of meetings and a visit to the Oulu Museum of Art!

We can’t wait to learn more, see more and feel more of Oulu!