Borrow items locally: city block to pilot a lending service 

Artikkelikuva: Borrow items locally: city block to pilot a lending service 

The pilot, carried out in Lauttasaari in Helsinki, aims to determine how a shared lending service between ten housing companies would function, and which items the residents would most like to borrow.

Borrowing from a neighbour is a traditional way of accessing goods that you do not own. However, it requires getting to know your neighbours, and is dependent on coincidence: does anyone living next door happen to have a pressure washer or fishing trousers when you need it? 

The Katajaharju Taloyhtiöklubi (housing company club) in Lauttasaari is piloting a self-service lending service on their block. The housing companies in the area share a courtyard, which serves as the location for a container used for lending services. Residents can borrow items offered and maintained by CoReorient in the container. 

According to Harri Paloheimo, managing director of CoReorient, the experiment examines how people want to use lending services. 

“In these times, it really is not worth wasting energy and money driving long distances to buy items that are only used every now and then. This new service makes lending effortless with items on the other side of the yard. We have already received quite enthusiastic feedback from the residents,” Paloheimo says.

The experiment is also very interesting from the point of view of cooperation between housing companies. 

“The lending service is an excellent example of new types of services offered to residents by housing companies and, if located conveniently within the block, allows for the sharing of services with neighbouring buildings too,” says Kimmo Karvinen, manager of the Katajaharju Taloyhtiöklubi. 

The container is light and does not require construction or building permits. It circumvents bureaucratic challenges. In the future, shared containers in the blocks may be used for more than lending services. 

The pilot is part of the Circular Green Blocks project, which promotes circular and sharing economy in residential blocks together with housing companies, businesses and the City. In addition to CoReorient’s lending service, the ‘Sustainable sharing’ piloting program introduces two other sharing economy related pilots: household items rental service by Lainappi in Malminkartano and the shared-use bicycles offered by Willari in Leinelä,Vantaa. 

The project is funded by the European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Union’s COVID-19 pandemic recovery efforts.

The project is being implemented by the Helsinki Region Environmental Services Authority HSY, Forum Virium Helsinki, Aalto University and Metropolia University of Applied Sciences.

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