Urban Biotopes: Otaniemi in transition 2017 >> 2030
Our project advanced in the integration of Natural Sciences and Planning by combining scientific methods to analyze the abiotic and biotic conditions of the urban environment with planning methods to promote the integration of multifunctional green infrastructures in more sustainable urban fabrics.
In particular, our work used the Biotopes of Otaniemi to develop strategic proposals, fieldwork, lab work and advanced plans in current and future Otaniemi, in which new Urban Biotopes might emerge as a consequence of densification, climate change and social transformations.
Otaniemi is located in Southern Finland, in Helsinki metropolitan area, in the South-Eastern part of city of Espoo. It’s a peninsula of 1,68 km2 reaching in the gulf of Laajalahti. Today Otaniemi is mainly home for students of Aalto University and has a population of 2.500 people, mainly students and researchers. By 2030, the population of Otaniemi will increase up to 10.000 people and new land uses will be incorporated (offices, services, commerce, etc.). Our goal was to plan the evolution of Otaniemi from the existing mono-functional campus to a multifunctional, vibrant and sustainable town. In this endeavor, we used nature as an essential resource an asset. Firstly, we analyzed the existing biotopes of Otaniemi and we assessed the current state and performance of its blue-green infrastructure. Then we developed a strategic vision for Otaniemi highly informed by landscape and ecological issues. The result is a project in which new synergic interactions between nature and people occur in a denser and more diverse, resilient and sustainable Otaniemi.