Oulu2026 Changes the Cultural Climate!

It is time to join forces and think about how, through culture and arts, we can improve the mental atmosphere and cooperation throughout Europe. Cultural Climate Change is about reconnecting with the world around us and creating a new sense of togetherness. We want to do this in a sustainable way with the power of Cultural Climate Change!

Our Cultural Climate Change is built around three themes of Wild City, Cool Contrasts and Brave Hinterland. You can read more about our themes below. 

The themes have been created by the 20 creative advisors, of which everyone has their own area of expertise and competence including science, art and various fields of culture.

 Together we will make Oulu, Northern Finland and Europe a better place to live, to enjoy and to love! 




Oulu is on the cusp. We could settle for being a tame municipal city on the fringe. Or we could go Wild. We choose Wild.

With Wild City we bring wildness into the city by celebrating the wilderness around it. Creating a new cultural approach with our unique northern vibe. Oulu as a cultural laboratory, going wild for Europe.

What exactly is a creative city in the middle of the wild nature? What is a lively, creative village? How do art, subcultures and creative spaces fill emptiness, silence and darkness? What are the Urban Attraction Factors that Oulu needs as it is one of Europe’s youngest urban areas.


  • To make the city flourish and to make it lively and approachable
  • To emphasize the charm factors; a beautiful city that can be charming or swift

  • Art start-up incubators are combined with technology

  • Controlled Madness: Subcultures, Urban Wild

  • To fill the cultural media vacuum

  • WOW style architecture

  • Artist Ambassadors, Pikisaari Island Areas, tourist attractions

  • To listen to young people: more free places for being, doing and creating

  • To fill empty urban spaces, we need creative spaces for the cultural people

  • More space for citizens: cultural packages, living rooms, creative spaces

  • To unleash the feeling that something exciting could always happen

  • To create an atmosphere that makes young people appreciate their home area, to stay or to return

    #wildcity #arcticurban #urbanwild #urbanattractionfactors #creativevillages #ArtTakeover! #STREAMtotheFuture #UrbanBoost



Oulu is the kingdom of great contrasts – positive, but also challenging. Contrasts such as the nightless nights
of the midnight sun and sunless days in the heart of winter. Contrasts have the power both to connect and disconnect, but also to create something new.

How do we learn to better understand each other? What new and surprising connections can we create and nourish? We can listen, appreciate, be curious, supportive and interested in each other. Let’s celebrate our differences in the city of contrasts!


  • Collaboration of culture, science, art, and technology across genre boundaries creates new, surprising links, international collaboration 

  • To turn our character, that is, black humour into affection and a permissive resource 

  • To treat challenges and difficult situations with joy and to be able to discuss and burst spiritual and geographical bubbles 

  • To celebrate a peaceful co-existence, to protect special groups and create a better living environment for children and the elderly 

  • The City and its own cultural institutions, freelancers and grassroots artists cooperate and work together to do more than anyone could do alone

  • To carry out unprecedentedly important projects, productions, festivals, and events that have deeper and longer lasting effects 

  • To create life-changing experiences that inspire people to travel and move to Oulu and elsewhere in the North

    #celebratecontrasts #connectingpeople #celebrateOulu #burstingbubbles #lifechangingexperiences #powerofopposites #art<3tech #darkmatters #oulucalling



You need to be brave to live here. Brave too to pack up and leave, starting a new life elsewhere. But even
braver to stay and try to change things. Far away from everything, on the periphery of Europe. We live facing an uncompromising nature, extreme climate (change), enormous distances and wild vastness, excessive light and excessive darkness. Only a few in Europe are willing to live with extreme hardship and extreme beauty. Yet Europe is much more than just its geographical core. We want Europe to get excited by its edges in 2026.

How can we make the region’s exquisite features well known to Europeans? How would you define the city outside of the metropolitan area, a place for some of Europe’s most populous forests? How does the northern nature motivate us, inspire us to experience, move, and play? Northern nature brings prosperity, provides a framework for culture and a space for art.



  • To make the Nordic phenomena more visible and strengthen local identities

  • To bring our precious history and various folk tales to the forefront

  • To bring the city’s inhabitants to the peripheral edge and the peripheral edge to the city

  • To take advantage of our beautiful estuaries and river basins with the sea in the middle; ice and marshes as well-functioning platforms

  • Winter saunas, winter swimming, night, dark matter, dark light

  • To become moved by and in nature, naturally – on its own and by means through art and culture

  • Active health movement to the foreground and increase urban biking

  • To make more use of parks and empty areas

  • To value authenticity

  • To protect all of this and to cherish our nature

    #movedbynature #northernemotion #winterland #worlclasshinterland #bravelyonthepheripheraledge #northernvibes #naturallyart #betweeneastandwest