Science park and Linnanniemi as examples of the circular economy

Juho Luomala/Unsplash

In this fall’s Circular economy in practice course, the students’ task was a group work, which client was City of Turku. Task’s main goal was to ponder to either Science Park or Linnanniemi area different actions through which the area would become as example of the circular economy. Four of the student groups started to ponder Science Park and three groups Linnanniemi area.

The task started by getting to know the background and plans of the selected area. The purpose was also to search other similar circular economy districts in Finland and abroad, based on which it would be easier to ponder and come with ideas for the actions in the selected area. It was also essential to search for target and stakeholder groups and companies operating in the area and possibly operating there in the future. Based on these and previously found ideas, the development of the area as example of circular economy was easier.

Another of the selectable areas was Science Park, which is located between the university and Itäharju Prisma. However, the groups that chose Science Park were able to delimit the area according to their own interests. The goal of Science Park is to be boldly experimental and internationally networked center of expertise. The purpose is to develop the area to be logistically attractive, 24/7/365 alive, sustainably growing and bravely experimenting.

The demarcation of the second chosen area, Linnanniemi area, was clearer. The clients’ wish was to use the planning area of Museum of History and the Future as area demarcation, which limit the area to the area between Turku castle and the port. Linnanniemi area’s goal is to highlight the historicity, culture, and maritime of the area. There are four principles guiding development in the area, which are Turku Castle, vibrant station, productive city, and sustainable regeneration. Turku’s first art district is also planned for the area.

Presentations given by groups were really interesting and they were presented logically. The actions proposed for Science Park were related to increasing sharing platforms and community spirit. Community spirit was shown in the actions as communal living through common transformable spaces and by adding shared vehicles to the area. Common single application was also proposed for shared vehicles to facilitate movement and switching between different vehicles. Digitality was also shown in the actions for example as sharing platform for waste from companies in the area. The involvement of the residents and users of the area and user-oriented planning of the area were also felt to be important.

The actions proposed in Linnanniemi area were mainly related to sustainable construction and increasing community spirit through for example art and urban agriculture. Due to the location of the area, the accessibility of the archipelago is also essential. Shared use boats were proposed as a solution to this which makes it easier to get to the archipelago, but also makes it easier for the people of the archipelago to get to Turku. Sharing platforms and joint use sites were also proposed for Linnanniemi area.

I think that the group work was really interesting. It was great to get to know the zoning of the areas and through that to be able to propose development ideas for the areas. Our group chose Linnanniemi area, whose plans I wasn’t familiar with before. This made exploring the area even more interesting. As result of the group work, students became more aware and civilized about zoning plans of the City of Turku. I think that it was truly awesome to get task from official body, City of Turku. It’s great that they also wanted to hear the students’ ideas on the development of the regions. The clients were grateful after the presentations, and they seemed to get new ideas and support for their previous ideas through the presentations. The group work was interesting and worthwhile in every way.

Nelli Kontturi

Read more about Science Park project