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Anni Sinnemäki

Anni Milja Maaria Sinnemäki
Born July 20, 1973, Helsinki

Bachelor of Arts 2001 (Russian literature and philosophy), University of Helsinki

Deputy Mayor (City planning and real estate) January 14, 2015–, City of Helsinki
Minister of Labour and Chairman of the Greens 2009–11
Member of parliament 1999–2015

Lyrics for the band Ultra Bra and the poetry collections Sokeana hetkenä (‘A moment of blindness’) and Aleksis Kiven katu (‘Alexis Kivi Street’)

Photo: Helsingin kaupunki
Written by Suvi Uotinen
Translated by Matthew Billington

Deputy mayor of Helsinki dreams of growth and city boulevards

Anni Sinnemäki began as Deputy Mayor of Helsinki in January 2015. She is in charge of city planning and real estate. Her job entails town planning, land use planning, supervision of building, and housing policy.

“This is incredibly interesting work. Helsinki is growing and developing at a rapid pace. The state doesn’t have so much say over town planning, so the city’s own wishes and perspectives are visible. The job of the Deputy Mayor is to get proposals from various bureaus through the City Board and the City Council, so to a large extent the job entails managing political processes and negotiations. A central aspect of the work is also collaboration with external actors such as NGOs, city activists and enterprises.”

Anni Sinnemäki presenting the Central Library to Helsinki City Council.

The City’s leadership structure is currently being reorganised, so the present brief of the Deputy Mayor will only continue until the next municipal elections in the spring of 2017.

“It is such as short time that hardly anything can be started and completely finished. But then again you never once get the feeling that perhaps something can wait until later. You maintain a good rhythm”

A single issue of particular import is the proposal for the city’s zoning scheme, which will come before the City Council in spring 2016. The zoning scheme will set out develop targets for Helsinki all the way to 2050: what will be built and where.

“We have to plan Helsinki in such a way that if there is the capacity to accommodate 250 000 new residents by the year 2050. It is a large number, but the growth rate of recent years is leading in this direction.”

Anni Sinnemäki photographing buildings on a fact-finding trip to the Slusholmen district of Copenhagen in April 2015.

Ms Sinnemäki wants Helsinki to be a place that attracts people from abroad and from other parts of Finland to come and build their lives. Recently there has been much discussion about the turning the major roads into Helsinki into boulevards.

“This measure would allow us to radically change the face of the city and we would be a global pioneer.”

Anni Sinnemäki has lived in Helsinki all her life. She has long participated in developing the city, both as a Member of Parliament and as a City Councillor.

“It is great to be working for the city. Here, everyone’s job is to consider the best interests of the city and its residents.”

Anni Sinnemäki’s mascot still visits her office, and they like having their picture taken together.


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