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    How should we build the new Hiedanranta district?

    visit tampere hiedanranta innovaatiotila laura vanzo 17
    In the future, Hiedanranta will offer homes for 25 000 residents and 10 000 jobs. RECO project organised Transition arena (‘Murrosareena’ in Finnish): a series of workshops, in which a selected group of professionals developed future transition pathways. Photo: Laura Vanzo

    A growing number of people, companies and other organisations agree that pursuing sustainable life and carbon-neutral Tampere are worthy goals. But how to reach the targets? A Tampere-based project (Resilient Smart City Solutions, RECO) is looking for solutions in the fields of construction, energy, automation and ICT. Hiedanranta serves as a key piloting platform for the project.

    Collaboration is the key to success. The plan is to build a new type of residential area in Hiedanranta, based on sustainable and renewable energy. In order to achieve this, professionals of energy technology and construction industry must first discuss their needs and how to take each other’s requirements into account from the planning phase on.

    Automation and ICT experts are the third group of professionals who need to join the discussions. Utilization of renewable energy is more efficient, if the new type of buildings have smart features added to them.

    – Renewable energy and energy-efficient construction are linked together with automation and ICT, says Yrjö Majanne, Project Manager at Tampere University.

    Because renewable energy production (wind, solar) is weather dependent and variable, it is important to define how to implement energy flexibility in the new buildings. This task needs expert-level collaboration: of construction, energy, automation, ICT.

    Transition arena provided pathways to future

    The good news for Hiedanranta and Tampere are that the collaboration has already begun. RECO project organised Transition arena (‘Murrosareena’ in Finnish): a series of workshops, in which a selected group of professionals developed future transition pathways.

    The main themes were sustainable energy solutions and energy-efficient construction. Companies represented the largest group of participants in the Transition arena. The City of Tampere, research and education were actively involved in the process as well.

    In the future, Hiedanranta will offer homes for 25 000 residents and 10 000 jobs. The terms and conditions of plot assignment define a framework for the future buildings in the area. The sooner they will be formulated for the new type of energy-efficient construction, the better.

    – There are no standardized model solutions available, and it is a challenging task to create guidelines for the building planning. Technology, for example data collection and sharing, is also developing very rapidly, says Majanne.

    Based on the terms and conditions of plot assignment, development and construction companies are able to do their subsequent plans and financial calculations. They can decide whether they are interested in the said area; i.e. will the prices be likely to attract potential home buyers.

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    Hiedanranta gardens. Photo: Laura Vanzo / Visit Tampere

    Sustainable life for all

    The fundamental idea in Tampere and in the RECO project is that sustainable living and consumption are everyone’s rights. Sanna Öörni, Co-Creation Manager at VTT, states that making the world a better place – for example towards carbon neutrality – is not exclusively the task for scientists, companies or authorities.

    – Tampere aims to be a living lab where it is easy to have an influence on matters. One can participate by literally being a part of it all: by going to work or school, by commuting and so on, says Öörni. 

    Cities are crucial when solving the most challenging problems of our times; climate change, pandemics or energy and security related issues. New services and solutions are needed, and they are more likely to achieve success, if they have been developed in extensive collaboration.

    According to Öörni, Tampere and Finland are excellent sites to develop and test new technologies and making wise use of them. Finland’s assets are a stable environment and high level of education – there are also plenty of start-ups with splendid ideas for sustainable urbanisation.

    – Finns approach new technologies with curiosity and acceptance, and digitalisation is very advanced in Finland. There is lots of unused potential for development work, says Öörni.


    Yrjö Majanne
    Project Manager, Tampere University
    +358 40 198 1168

    Tuomas Vanhanen
    Project Manager, Resilient Smart City Solutions Ecosystem project (RECO), City of Tampere
    +358 44 486 3818

    Sanna Öörni
    Carbon Neutral Solutions, Co-Creation Manager, VTT
    +358 40 842 0898

    Author: Päivi Stenroos

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