Nordic City Challenge 2017

Winners of the multidisciplinary case competition Nordic City Challenge (NCC) 2017 were selected on the first of November at Hanasaari – the Swedish-Finnish cultural centre in Espoo.

The jury selected the student team “Eco Art 2” as winners of the challenge. The team describes their proposition “Polku” (“the path”) in the following way:

“Pasila deserves better! Pasila is a diverse community without an opportunity to come together and express itself in the urban space. There is a stark disconnection between city and nature. We are proposing a solution based on movement, connectivity and art.  Polku brings Finnish “luontopolku” or a nature path into the city. Pasila provides the elements of rough urban canvas and is a source of green in the adjacent central park. The Polku takes people on a journey through nodes of meeting places manifesting the history and existing seeds of community in the area. In Pasila we plant a seed for new Finnish urban identity, a natural marriage between nature and the city.  Pasila unites to build an identity through art, culture and entrepreneurial projects. The Polku connects east and west Pasila, as well as nature and the city. Different geographical areas will be connected through culture pieces and historical landmarks. Art and nature are used as tools to educate the people within eco-sustainability, awareness and stimulate them to be active themselves. By monumentalizing iconic landmarks in Pasila, the Polku will renew and refresh the dated postcard image of Helsinki.”

The winning team 2017: Eeva-Maija Ekman, Landscape Architecture, Aalto University, Thomas Rahbek, Global Health, University of Copenhagen, Aapo Markkula, Arts Management, Sibelius Academy, University of Arts, Madeleine Larsson, Social sciences, University of Gothenburg, Maria Viitanen, Spatial Planning & Transportation Engineering, Aalto University

Their presentation is available at: https://nordicsustainablecampusnetwork.wordpress.com/outcome-of-the-nordic-city-challenge-2017/

The organizers invited 24 students from five Nordic countries to participate in the multidisciplinary course in urban planning. The participants represented the following academic disciplines: urban planning, architecture, landscape architecture, creative sustainability, real estate economics, environmental engineering, environmental ecology, global health, arts management, industrial design, social sciences and environmental and natural resources.

The project brought together students, teachers, professors, practitioners and leading experts from the Nordic countries to work on a real-life planning case. Before the on-site work the students worked with a pre-task providing them with scholarly knowledge on socio-ecological sustainability.

The course highlighted the social-ecological approach to urban planning. During the course, the student teams created plans to develop Pasila by using art and design as a means of strengthening a shared understanding and identity of the Pasila neighborhood. In the proposals, the student teams focused on the development of the Ilmala Square and introduced innovative ideas, which can be integrated into a general environmental art programme in Pasila.

The program included input from The Helsinki City Planning Department, local residents, NGOs as well as representatives from University of Helsinki and Aalto University.

The group work was facilitated by experienced researchers with different orientations into urban planning. The course work also included a written pre-assignment before the intensive course as well as a written report after the course on the learning experiences and case outcomes. On the final day, the student teams presented their solutions to the other teams and a jury. The jury evaluated the results and gave feedback.